Abruzzo Part I

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October 22nd 2017
Published: October 22nd 2017
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Yesterday we left Termoli and the Adriatic Sea and headed inland to the Gran Sasso d'Italia National Park and are spending 4 nights in the charming hilltop village of Santo Stefano di Sessanio. We rented a flat in a palazzo from this wonderful woman whose life call seems to be taking care of her guests like visiting relatives from afar. The moment we arrived she sent us to see the Rocca Calascio because the weather was good and there was a chance of rain for today. We naively hiked from the lowest point possible, first on an old road (long and uphill) and then on to a rugged, steep, rocky path to get to the fortress and church. I am adding a picture of the church. Please note the white road off to the right. That was just about at the end of the track before the rocky part.

There was a young couple in wedding attire doing a photoshoot when we arrived. We learned after arriving that there was a shorter, far less strenuous way up - of course. I didn't get any shots with my phone and I'm hoping the ones I took with my real camera will come out. For purposes of this blog I am only using phone shots. The fortress is one of the highest in Europe and commanded an amazing view of both the Gran Sasso mountains and the high valleys below.

The village of S. Stefano is undergoing some renovations because of earthquake damage from a 2009 quake that toppled the old tower in the center of town that was built by the Medicis. It was vulnerable because of 20th century renovations which replaced a wooden observation tower with a reinforced concrete one making the tower topheavy. The old village gives one the feeling of stepping back into the Middle Ages because so little of it has been updated and it is very narrow and ungentrified. The tower is beingreconstructed and scaffolding and bracing is everywhere. Pictures and text to follow because of my text being truncated :-(

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