ItalyWise Coming Attractions!

ItalyWise is hard at work.

Just wanted you all to know that ItalyWise is anything but asleep or on vacation this week. Since I’ve thrown myself headlong into the world of video production, I’ve been up to my eyeballs in shooting and editing video footage—all with the intent of making ItalyWise an even more dimensional experience. I want to make videos a regular part of my posts and I have ambitious goals for building out a robust YouTube channel.

So, I’m utilizing this weeks post as a marquee to whet your appetites for what is in store in the coming weeks.


La Giostra Cavalleresca in Sulmona.

ItalyWise takes you, once again, to one of my favorite places in Italy: Sulmona, Abruzzo. Held the last weekend in July for the last twenty-four years, this is a Medieval festival and jousting event not to be missed. I’ll take you from the processions of rich costumes and pageantry to the highly-competitive jousting event held in Piazza Garibaldi.


Pietrantonj, ItalyWise, Cerano

Spaghetti alla Chitarra – © 2018 Jed Smith

ItalyWise takes you to Abruzzo’s oldest winery.

Pietrantonj makes incredible wines. Join me for my visit to the vineyards and cantina, and for a tasting of their wines with Alice Pietrantonj (one of the three daughters of the family). The experience was a real treat and I hope that, after reading the upcoming post and watching the video, you’ll be making a beeline to visit the winery and load up on their truly elegant wines.


ItalyWise, Chitarra, Spaghetti

Spaghetti alla Chitarra – © 2018 Jed Smith

Handmade spaghetti with Novelia!

ItalyWise takes you back into the kitchen with Novelia to make spaghetti all chitarra. The enthusiasm for Novelia’s handmade fettuccine was enormous, with many of you saying “More please!” So, I’m stepping up my efforts to get this story out ASAP. This time, you’ll see Novelia using her 200-year-old chitarra to make spaghetti. Even yours truly tried his hand at this amazing invention. You’ll appreciate the culinary ingenuity and artistry that people in Abruzzo have been using for centuries, well before modern technology and machines streamlined and hastened the process. I’m a  believer that pasta “a mano” is infused with something special that machines just can’t impart!

Stay tuned!



By |2019-01-19T20:26:27+01:00August 2nd, 2018|Abruzzo|12 Comments

About the Author:

I’m an American expat living in Italy!


  1. Melanie Garthwaite August 2, 2018 at 11:12 pm - Reply

    Hi Jed and Novelia,

    Your passion for Sulmona shines through!!!
    I love it! We are so privileged to spend the summers in this beautiful town and to be welcomed and embraced by you all.
    I’m so sorry I missed the Giostra this year but look forward to seeing your videos Jed.
    I continue to be the embassador for Sulmona in New Zealand!

    • Jed August 2, 2018 at 11:51 pm - Reply

      Ciao Melanie! So good to hear from you. Perhaps we’re all turning into Sulmona/Abruzzo groupies! Definitely a good thing. Stay in touch! Jed

  2. Joe August 2, 2018 at 10:43 pm - Reply

    Can’t wait to see what you come up with in terms of photos and videos!
    Good luck Jed!

    • Jed August 2, 2018 at 11:51 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Joe!

  3. Marilyn August 2, 2018 at 8:23 pm - Reply

    My first trip to the Abruzzo was in perhaps 2014. I made my list of towns to visit. I included Sulmona only because I wanted to go to the town where the Confetti is made (my grandmother used to give them to me). But, I found much more than Confetti in Sulmona….I found Novelia, an extended family and friends. I booked her place for 3 days and then stayed three weeks! Since then, I have been back another 3 or 4 times. Whenever Novelia and I talk over the phone, I find myself transported to Sulmona. It is as if we are sitting and chatting in her BnB or in her home. When she says “Ottavio asked if you are coming back anytime soon for a visit”, I find myself wanting to be standing at the bar having a cappuccino, chatting with Ottavio and his wife, or to be picking up my favorite ventricina pizza that he makes. I want to be there buying fresh foods at the Wed/Sat market, the sfrizzoli from the bakery, talking with the people, drinking the water from the fountains (oh my, you’ve never tasted better water), having a meal at La Metamorfosi with Novelia, Peppe and Andrea, not to mention my favorite (can you believe there is a flavor that surpassed my all time favorite, Amarena?) gelato at da Silvio on the Corso. So Jeff, when I read your postings about Sulmona and the Abruzzo, it is as if I am there….and I want to be there. Sorry this was more than a comment….and sometime I will tell you what the best gelato flavor is….

    • Jed August 2, 2018 at 8:47 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Marilyn, for your wonderful comments. The more I shine the spotlight on Sulmona and Abruzzo the more I receive an outpouring of enthusiasm from ardent fans of the area like you! I can’t imagine just how many people Novelia has “brought into the fold” of devotees——loads I’m certain. I hope other readers will make notes from your comments and follow in your footsteps should they be wise enough to make the journey to Abruzzo!

  4. elizabeth wholey August 2, 2018 at 6:13 pm - Reply

    The blog just keeps getting better and better! I want to go to Sulmona and make pasta!

    • Jed August 2, 2018 at 6:23 pm - Reply

      Grazie mille, dear friend! I sense an outing together to Sulmona is in the cards!

  5. Novelia August 2, 2018 at 3:07 pm - Reply

    My dear friend, glad that your feelings are so strong about Sulmona, every time you are here there is always something interesting going on like in this case the MEDIEVAL JOUST, that is part of this city and it’s history. I loved watching you work and try to capture the best moments of this beautiful event, I am sure you have done an amazing work like you always do because first of all, you use your heart. The message that I want to send to all the followers of ITALYWISE is that if they decide to visit Abruzzo and Sulmona they will have your same reaction like the first time you come, because I am sure that apart all the beauty, the food, the nature and much more, you have found a family that considers you and Simone more than relatives. My family and I are ready to welcome all that choose to come to Sulmona with open arms. Can’t wait for your next articles of THE SPAGHETTI and the GOOD WINE FROM PIETRANTONI. Thank you for loving Abruzzo, Novelia

    • Jed August 2, 2018 at 3:42 pm - Reply

      My dear Novelia, you were cupid, bringing me to Sulmona and making me fall in love. I can never thank you enough for the gift of Abruzzo. Your region gives handsomely to all who are wise enough to make the journey there! Jed

  6. Debra August 2, 2018 at 2:20 pm - Reply

    Absolutely brilliant, Jed! Can’t wait to see it all… happy I found your blog!

    • Jed August 2, 2018 at 3:40 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Debra! I’m so glad to know this resonates with you!

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