Ortona and Sulmona

A lengthy, but not too arduous drive, in our rental Fiat, brought us to Ortona on the Adriatic coast all the way from Positano on the Amalfi coast. There was plenty of snow on the Apennines to enjoy en route. Seeing towns and villages perched (often precariously) on the tops of hillsides and mountainsides in Italy never ceased to amaze us.It had been arranged that we 3 would be given a tasting inside Farnese’s ‘castle’ in Ortona, by export manager, Stenia Paparella. Speaking fluent English, Stenia allowed us the opportunity to sample wines from a range of their producers, but of course, just a fraction of the Farnese portfolio. One of the wines that stood out to me was from a grape I’d never tried before – Nero di Troia. Labelled ‘Tufarello’ and from Puglia, this ruby red wine revealed lovely blueberry and dark plum flavours with a hint of spice. I’ve brought 2 bottles home!

It must be mentioned that the large town of Ortona suffered terribly in late December 1943 during WW2, when Canadian forces fought against the Germans. However, we were able to enjoy the Thursday market, a superb seafood lunch at ‘Al Vecchio Teatro‘ , followed by a walk along the wide waterfront promenade.

The 2nd photo is a view looking through an arch of the aquaduct in the historic town of Sulmona. To get here we took a small detour on our way back across the country to Rome. Well worth visiting just to check out the many shops selling sugared almonds, known as ‘confetti’, and often put together as flowers – rather stunning.

Sulmona aquaduct