My Day with Shepherds in Abruzzo

shepherd, italywise

Heading up the mountain.

Just two weeks ago I took the long, but stunning drive down to Abruzzo and to see my dear friends Novelia and Peppe for a three day stay in Sulmona. After my first trip, early in the summer, I had resolved to return as soon as possible. Novelia had orchestrated a day for me and three friends to “shadow” the shepherds from Abruzzo’s organic La Porta dei Parchi agriturismo, run by Nunzio Marcelli, in the Majella National Park’s Sagittario Valley.

Our day took us with the shepherds high into the majestic Abruzzi Apennines.

Oh, what a day we had. The weather was spectacular. The views were the kind that made you want to slap yourself to make sure you weren’t dreaming. The two shepherds were kind young men who seemed happy to have us along for the journey. Of course, the real stars were the flocks of goat and sheep. I can’t begin to tell you how I fell in love with every animal face. But, I have to confess the goats were my favorites. I laughed, watching how the sheep were constantly “heads down” in consuming their food, while the goats were often on their hind legs stretching for the tenderest leaves in the shrubs and trees.

And the dogs…

I’ll write more in subsequent posts, but suffice it to say they were a BIG part of the experience. These dogs take their work seriously, and I loved getting to know them and while patiently waiting to be accepted after being with them for several hours.

A boatload of photos

I was in creative heaven. Plain and simple. So much, that climbing over more rugged parts of the terrain wasn’t even registering. Of course, I felt it all the next day, but it was a small price to pay for such an extraordinary opportunity.

I’m delighted with the final photos, and while I’m tempted to share them all in an online gallery, I’ve decided to feature one at a time, in different posts, along with my observations about what I was experiencing. I’ll endeavor to keep it simple so you, my followers, can enjoy the visuals without too much explanation!

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By |2019-09-04T09:19:58+02:00October 18th, 2016|Abruzzo, Black & White, Photography Posts|10 Comments

About the Author:

I’m an American expat living in Italy!


  1. David collins October 23, 2016 at 2:22 pm - Reply

    Sorry Jed, a late post! A great day in every respect. I have found several really fine ristorante in the last few weeks so you will be well catered for on your return to Abruzzo.

    • Jed October 23, 2016 at 11:50 pm - Reply

      Can’t wait to hear about your latest culinary recommendations!

  2. Gloria October 19, 2016 at 4:10 am - Reply

    Looking forward to seeing more. What a crazy cool experience!

    • Jed October 20, 2016 at 7:06 am - Reply

      Thanks Gloria! Stay tuned!

  3. Novelia October 18, 2016 at 9:47 pm - Reply

    At the end my dear friend you will write a book about Abruzzo and why not? You love this reagion , you have discovered the real Italy, the heart, you have come out of the track , and have prefered to walk the path with the sheep and the goats, in this other unique experience, reading you it was like I was there out in the wild, feeling the deep contact with nature. and anyone can experiment these precious moments deciding to go against the mainstream and live the real Italy. Novelia.

    • Jed October 20, 2016 at 7:10 am - Reply

      Ciao Novelia, I have so much to express about this wonderful experience – in word and in photos. Perhaps a book is waiting! I love going off the beaten path to experience such rich adventures.

  4. Debby October 18, 2016 at 8:51 pm - Reply

    What a memorable experience!

  5. elizabeth wholey October 18, 2016 at 6:28 pm - Reply

    Sounds like an extraordinary experience. Can’t wait to see your pictures!

  6. Linda Dini Jenkins October 18, 2016 at 3:39 pm - Reply

    Fantastic, Jed! I can’t wait to read more about your adventures.

    It was really nice meeting you and I hope we can stay in touch. We’re back in the States now and hating almost every minute. What is it about Abruzzo that steals your heart so? Our friends Louis and icky are in the apartment until the end of October and then they too return to the madness that is Salem in October!

    We’ll be back in early May and again in October. Hope to see you then! A presto — Linda

    • Jed October 20, 2016 at 7:07 am - Reply

      Same here Linda! I look forward to staying in touch.

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