Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Another beautiful drive, this time in Abruzzo's National Parks

20 November
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!  Here are some photos from a drive I made last Sunday from Montorio, home to a wonderful Salumi producer called appropriately Salumeria del Parco, to Amatrice which is, of course the home of the famous italian dish spaghetti amatriciana.  In between, I drove through the National park named the Mountains of the Lake, through picturesque canyons with beautiful fall foliage, waterfalls, lovely towns...you know, the usual.
The cured meats table with lonzino, prosciutto, wonderful salamis and native variety apples at Salumeria del Parco

The smoking room with smoke 

Our little gourmet group with our leader Alessandro helping himself to the salami.

Special thanks to Alessandro for bringing our breakfast wines, Cloudy Bay S.B. and Pineau Charentes, which I had never heard of, but is a wonderfully balanced sweet wine from France.

The entrance to the salami mecca of Montorio.

Salamis hanging from the ceiling, Salvatore uses white pepper in his signature salami which gives a great though mild kick to the meat.
from Montorio to Ortolano

last shades of yellow and red for the fall season

Take a hidden right turn at Ortolano, watch out for the cows in the road and arrive at the Lago di Campotosto

Love this one, no doctoring performed by iPhoto

looking north and...

looking south from the northern tip of the lake near Campotosto

The obligatory picture of cattle 

The last of the fall colors

And finally back in Arquata del Tronto home of Pecorino grapes

Monday, November 12, 2012

Giro di Mt Ascensione (a trip to and atop and around)

11 Novembre
Happy Veteran's Day!  This crusty old vet decided to take a road trip with Bacco to a nearby peak above Ascoli Piceno, as I had never been up there and autumn colors were beckoning.
http://www.monteascensione.comunerotella.net/sentier1.html  was my guide to this little hike of 20 minutes each way, but it was very rewarding for the great views!
Seriously, the hardest part was choosing the photos out of 115 to put on the blog, they were all wonderful, thanks to digital technology and God's paintbrush.
Bacco starting up the trail which was chock full of little chestnuts

View from the top of Mt. Ascensione looking west towards the Sibillinis. I have seen Ascensione from the Sibillinis many times, but this was my first the other direction.

Bacco admiring the Autumn colors

Beautiful views in every direction, another look west at Mt. Vettore
a little bit more NW

Hills covered in red

Now looking south towards the special erosive formations we have in the Marche called cilanchi.

The sun and clouds and trees combined to make the morning special

The towers atop Ascensione keep our cell phones working (somewhat)

Looking southwest towards Abruzzo

double click on these if you want to see them larger

A cross is found on the top of all the local mountains

Looking back towards Castignano in the left foreground and Offida upper right

I drove back home on the western slope of the mountain and this is a view southward.

The profile of Ascensione from the west

And this is one taken from Castorano, almost home

One last look at the dream-like landscape from the mountain top