La Porta dei Parchi – An Organic Farm Ahead of Its Time

Organic farming was a unique concept forty years ago.

Looking back to the late seventies and early eighties, I remember how organic products were a rare find. Only a few health food stores carried them. An organic way of life was considered more of a hippy, counter-culture type of thing.

So, imagine my surprise to learn that master shepherd Nunzio Marcelli resolved to build an organic sheep and goat farm, La Porta dei Parchi, forty years ago in the majestic mountains of Abruzzo.

The realization of La Porta dei Parchi is an inspiring story.

As you will find out in the following video, which is Part One of a four-part series, Nunzio was unlike many of his contemporaries who left their small villages in search of a more cosmopolitan life.

Instead, he applied his education and his passion to preserving the ways of nature and he committed to staying behind and “giving back” to this incredibly beautiful rural part of Italy.

I hope you’ll discover this gem of an experience for yourself one day.

I love pointing people to some of the most worthy and off-the-beaten-path experiences in Italy. For me, La Porta dei Parchi is such a worthy experience. Not only will the setting leave you pinching yourself to make sure you’re not dreaming, but the artisanal sheep and goat cheeses and other products will deliver an extraordinary culinary experience.

If you didn’t get a chance to see the introductory video to La Porta dei Parchi, be sure to watch it and whet your appetite for the full series. Parts Two through Four are coming soon. For now, I hope you’ll enjoy meeting Nunzio Marcelli up close and personal in this video!

For more information on La Porta dei Parchi, click here.

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By |2019-01-19T20:25:20+01:00November 8th, 2018|Abruzzo, Food in Italy|18 Comments

About the Author:

I’m an American expat living in Italy!


  1. Kevin November 10, 2018 at 5:28 am - Reply

    This is the kind of thing so many people crave…a connection with the earth…with nature…and with the the parts of life that are so beautiful in their simplicity. You did a wonderful job of capturing this man and his more than idyllic setting. A remarkable find!

    • Jed November 12, 2018 at 11:42 am - Reply

      Thanks, my friend! I’m so fortunate to have people like Nunzio show up in my path. More coming soon!

  2. Tia White November 9, 2018 at 6:06 pm - Reply

    Hello Jed,
    I am so inspired by these people who are determined to make their area’s of Italy a better place. I have watched a program here in the United States called Chefs Table and have seen a father and son who are both Chef’s and how the father worked with almond farmers to help save the almond trade in Noto Sicily where he is famous for his Gelato and has a sweet shop. These people put it all on the line to save their traditions, you can’t help but fall in love with them and their country!

    • Jed November 9, 2018 at 10:27 pm - Reply

      Me too, Tia! I have so much to learn from people like Nunzio who give so generously of themselves to preserve their culture and their environments. Yes, you can’t help but fall in love with this kind of passion!

  3. Mark Tessicini November 9, 2018 at 3:59 pm - Reply

    As always, nobody paints a story better than you my friend. I can’t wait for the next video so I can feel like I am back in Italy

    • Jed November 9, 2018 at 10:25 pm - Reply

      Grazie mille, Mark. I love pointing my camera and telling a worthy story. I like to think of myself as a conduit to shine a light on such worthy experiences and people like Nunzio. The next segment will be coming soon!

  4. Novelia November 9, 2018 at 8:00 am - Reply

    Dear Jed, these appointments with you are so precious, you have opened a casket and with respect, have tiptoed alla PORTA DEI PARCHI, telling the story of Nunzio,about his passion, the beautiful project that he started many years ago with the intention to charish and pass down these traditions that have deep roots in our territory, to the future generations. ( He just become a grandfather)
    Your interview has been special, outside the box, informal, the feeling I had was like we where old friends chatting along pleasantly. I will never forget that day, pecorino and montepulciano for breakfast, MAMMA MIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Jed November 9, 2018 at 10:23 pm - Reply

      Dear Novelia, What an incredible gift this was for us, to sit with Nunzio and to hear his story and his passion for La Porta dei Parchi. I hope Nunzio will become a beacon to other people who desire to dedicate themselves to preserving traditions and precious ways of living—ways that respect the earth! Thank you, thank you, thank you, for being part of this and for helping to make it all happen. You are a saint!

      • Novelia November 10, 2018 at 4:32 pm - Reply

        Thank you Jed for giving prestige through your writing and videos to Abruzzo. A region still to be discovered by most, probably that is what makes it so special.
        Since you come the first time, you have captured the essence of our area, letting yourself go, taking it all in; the feelings, the emotions, the enthusiasm that you felt once in Sulmona is unforgettable.
        A former Italian President, Partisan during the second world war was hidden by the people of Scanno and saved him from the nazi.
        When he come to visit he always said ” People of Abruzzo have given me the food they didn’t have”.
        This is what makes a place so special, first of all the people.
        Proud to belong to this land, proud to have met you, happy to have all these new friends on Italywise, hoping to welcome them to Sulmona in the future. A big embrace like ALL.ABRUZZO TO ALL, NOVELIA

        • Jed November 12, 2018 at 11:45 am - Reply

          Grazie, Novelia! You speak to what is so evident to me in my experiences in Abruzzo—the warmth and generosity of the people. I do hope that together we can continue to shine the light on all the incredible things that Abruzzo offers! Thank you, in particular, for your bountiful generosity and for showing me your beloved Abruzzo!

  5. John Maragni November 8, 2018 at 8:53 pm - Reply

    Very nice Jed, love your travel blogs of Italy and especially seeing our mutual dear friend/ Italian sister Novelia.

    • Jed November 8, 2018 at 10:38 pm - Reply

      Thanks, John. I love having you along with my adventures…especially with Novelia, who always elevates my experiences significantly!

  6. Rich November 8, 2018 at 8:15 pm - Reply


    I really enjoyed the interview with Nunzio.
    Can`t wait to see the next post.

    Thanks again for showing the character of Abruzzo and it`s people!

    • Jed November 8, 2018 at 10:34 pm - Reply

      Caio, Rich! You, like me, have a love affair with Abruzzo and its lovely, lovely people! Thank you for all you do to spread the good word!

  7. Sam Gloyd November 8, 2018 at 6:13 pm - Reply

    Beautiful video and story Jed! I can’t wait for the next one!

    • Jed November 8, 2018 at 10:32 pm - Reply

      Many thanks, Sam!

  8. Eloise November 8, 2018 at 5:52 pm - Reply


    This video blog like all your others is absolutely wonderful. I so enjoy the in-depth exploration of your subjects. It allows me to experience, through your eyes, a part of Italian life I would otherwise not be exposed to.

    Gracie Mille

    • Jed November 8, 2018 at 10:31 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Eloise, you’re so kind! I love being able to bring people like you up close and personal to people like Nunzio and what he is doing to improve life in Abruzzo!

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