Friday, September 21, 2012

Two ancient hill towns

Back in 282 BC the Romans built a fortified town on the hilltop site of an earlier town. More than two millenia later it's still here and thriving. We drove up the steep hills to find Atri, explored its cobbled streets and alleys and sat in the piazza across from the church enjoying cioccolatte caldo, a thick almost pudding-like chocolate drink.

I love the regionalism of Italy, where each town has its special food. This is Atria's specialty, Pan Ducale. Apparently it was made for a Duke back in the 1300s and is now marketed as a specialy sweet in the piazza.

We tried it and liked it but decided to buy a box after we had walked around. Big mistake! Just as we got back to the piazza, every store was closing its doors for the afternoon break. I finally found a little convenience store that was open so we have some for with our morning tea. It has chocolate, almonds, and citron and is quite tasty.
Atri has the usual narrow stone streets that twist and turn. The little Fiat 500s are just the best cars for getting around.

Here's one of the ornate downspouts on a street.

Towards the coast from Atri is a smaller hilltop town, Silvi, which has a spectacular view of the Adriatic. This is the view from the terrace where we had our lunch.

And here's a view down a narrow alleyway with a view of the sea from the end.

I could wander around these hill towns for days. And in fact that's part of our plan. Abruzzo is full of these places and they're enough off the beaten track that they're not overrun by tourists.


  1. Lovely town !
    Let there be cake !
    Now I want some with coffee.

    cheers, parsnip

  2. Looks like you are having a wonderful adventure. The scenery is spectacular. All is well here. Looking forward to seeing Harry's new tee shirt!


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