If you’ve been following my recent posts you’ll know that I recently had the extraordinary opportunity to take a five-hour trek with shepherds in the mountains of the Parco Nazionale della Majella of Abruzzo. Chronicling life with a flock of sheep and a flock of goats, along with two shepherds and several hard-working dogs, was a photo assignment life luckily dropped in my lap. The photo ops were plentiful, as you will see as I continue this series. I want to thank Nunzio Marcelli, the visionary and master shepherd of Abruzzo’s La Porta dei Parchi agriturismo for making this experience possible.
A stay at La Porta dei Parchi agriturismo in Abruzzo offers you the opportunity to walk with the shepherds and to observe the workings of an organic farm.
La Trasumanza is an opportunity to take a four-day/three-night journey with the shepherds and the flocks. These special trips happen in June, and you can choose from three different time periods. Be sure to read more about the itinerary here (you can translate into English, or another language if necessary).
La Porta dei Parhci’s cheeses are world-renowned.
Apparently, President Obama partook of the farm’s cheeses during the 35th G8 Summit, which was held in Abruzzo in 2009. Rumor has it Nunzio’s cheeses were such a hit that they have been shipped to and consumed at the White House. Pretty high praise I’d say.
Nunzio Marcelli’s Adopt a Sheep Program
Yes, you can adopt a sheep from afar. You’ll get a discount on products from your adopted sheep, and his/her family, while also helping to preserve their environment and a healthy, sustainable way of farming.
Nunzio is a man who is serious and passionate about his farm. I hope to make a return trip to Abruzzo when I can spend time on the mountain with him, and learn more, one-on-one, about what prompted him to choose this path in life.
I hope you continue to enjoy this series. And, I hope I’m piquing your interest so that you’ll make a journey to Abruzzo to experience its raw, majestic beauty, and the incredible kindness and hospitality of its inhabitants.
Sulmona is a great place to make your center of operations in Abruzzo. And, Novelia Giannantonio, who lives there with her delightful husband Peppe, knows everyone. She introduced me to Nunzio and orchestrated my day on the mountain. If you’re looking for a place to stay contact Novelia about her lovely spacious two-bedroom Casa di Cuore, which she rents out (I can put you in touch with her, just send me a note from my contact link). She and Peppe will make sure you’re pointed in the right direction about things to do.
Another wonderful resource, which covers so many things about Sulmona (including other options for accommodations) is WelcomeToSulmona.com. It’s the best English language resource guide to Sulmona.