The Abruzzo region is a foodie's heaven, offering a wide range of food, from the hearty grilled meats of the mountain regions, down to the fresh seafood of the Adriatic coast. You can sample food that arrives directly from the pristine and uncontaminated mountains, lakes, hills and coast. Abruzzo has always been a land of great rural traditions, with a wide selection of flavours and aromas.
In the hills, you can enjoy a leisurely lunch at one of the many local family-owned restaurants, where the local Montepulciano d'Abruzzo and Trebbiano wines provide the perfect accompaniment to the freshest local produce, or head down to the coast to one of the many seafood restaurants overlooking the glittering blue Adriatic.
The wholesome cuisine is notable for the abundance and freshness of its products. Woods, pastures and fertile hills yield unforgettable food and drinks. The large number of chefs from Abruzzo who work worldwide, such as Aldo Zilli, is a mark of how important fine food is for this region.
The DOC wines of Abruzzo are served in the best restaurants around the world. The traditional grapes are Trebbiano (white) and Montepulciano (red). Abruzzo is also famous for its liqueurs, most notably centerbe (hundred herbs) from the foothills of Maiella, and orange-flavoured Aurum, produced in Pescara.
The unmistakable shape of olive trees are a familiar sight on the gently rolling hills of Abruzzo. The DOC extra-virgin olive oil that is produced here cannot be beaten. Tasting your own fresh olive oil, on the day that it has been produced, is an experience that you will never forget and a flavour which you will never find on the supermarket shelves.
The excellent durum wheat from the hills and the crystal clear water of the mountains make pasta one of the highlights of local cuisine. Among the most famous are maccheroni alla chitarra, named after the wooden loom used to make them, and mugnaia, from the local village of Elice.
Meat is a staple in the Abruzzo hills, where there is a long animal breeding tradition. Arrosticini, small skewers of lamb grilled over charcoal, are are favourite amongst farmers and are very tasty on a picnic.
The Adriatic provides fishermen with first quality fish and shellfish. In the coastal restaurants there is an enormous variety of fish to choose, whilst the beach-side postion provides the perfect setting.
LE SAGRE - FOOD FESTIVALS
The abruzzese people are extremely proud of their cuisine and eating and drinking play a central role in their lives. Therefore they enjoy the opportunity to celebrate the local produce by holding many food festivals - sagre - throughout the year.
During the summer, in whichever part of Abruzzo you find yourself, you will have the chance to participate in the celebrations and taste many local specialities, including truffles, saffron, red garlic and various types of local pasta. In the autumn, the harvests are commemorated, in particular the grape harvest, and chestnuts.