Abruzzo - L'Aquila - Bariscianno

Old Mar 21st, 2009, 06:04 AM
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Abruzzo - L'Aquila - Bariscianno

I will be traveling to Rome for 2 weeks this fall and taking my father to Barisciano a small village in the L'aquila province of Abruzzo to see his parents birthplace and possibly run into some long lost relatives. I was wondering if anyone had any insider tips on what to see along the route, other nearby towns, or favorite restaurants!

Grazie
sphillyguy is offline  
Old Mar 21st, 2009, 10:28 AM
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I think you will rent a car for this trip. From Roma to L'Aquila you can take the A24 arriving in L'Aquila in less than one hour, but if you have enough time I suggest you to make a little diversion and make a stop In Tivoli, just few miles outside Rome on the direction of Abruzzo. In Tivoli you can visit a magnificent piece of history, Villa Adriana. This archeological site needs at least 3 hours of visit.
Keepin' on you can make another short stop in the fine village of Carsoli, but maybe the best is arriving in L'Aquila and take all the time it needs to visit this little beautiful mostly medieval town.
All the area is magnificent, near the Gran Sasso mountain, and if weather is good I suggest you to make an excursion to Campo Imperatore.
Barisciano itself is put in a terrific landscape, just under the Gran Sasso.
In L'Aquila you're going to find a lot of good restaurants. One of the best is outside the town, on the road to Barisciano: "Elodia", local cuisine very tasty, I recommend it. In midtown I can suggest you to try "Ernesto".

http://www.elodia.it/elodiaeng.html
http://www.ristoranteernesto.it/eng/index.html

Abruzzo is not an usual tourist destination, but it is fantastic as the people who lives there is. Also my roots are there (not in L'Aquila but in province of Pescara) and even if I live in Italy (north) I can't go back often there, and I'm very sad about it. Take all the time it needs for this trip, you wont't regret.
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Old Mar 21st, 2009, 03:24 PM
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I still remember our drive thru the Abruzzo and our stay in L'Aquila... it was on my very first trip to Italy. Have always wanted to return.
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Old Mar 21st, 2009, 07:14 PM
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Liberosette,

You sound very knowledgeable about Abruzzo.. I have a similar issue to Sphillyguy (opening poster. I will be in Rome the last week of May with my fiance', and we wish to visit her ancestral village of Pietracamela, near L'Aquila in the Gran Sasso area. I am having a hard time planning this (this is out 3rd visit to Italy, I've planned all our visits). What is a good auto rental agency in Rome to used for a day trip to Pietracamela? I see the route on the map but am having a difficult time planning this one. Any information you can provide would be great....Grazie!
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Old Mar 22nd, 2009, 01:32 AM
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I'm very surprised someone on the other side of the ocean knows Pietracamela, a little treasure mostly unknown to Italian themselves, except to the Abruzzesi going on the Gran Sasso to ski or looking for fresh in summertime.
Pietracamela is on the northern side of the great mountain, while L'Aquila and Barisciano are on the southern side. So if you come from Rome and take the A24 autoroute you must keeping on after L'Aquila (after a stop I recommend), pass through the Gran Sasso tunnel and get the "Colledara S.Gabriele" exit from A24. From here you must drive for 20 miles of dramatic and winding road in the mountains, pass near Montorio al Vomano, and finally arrive at Pietracamela, a few miles before Prati di Tivo (ski station).
I've never try it, but this little hotel/restaurant in Pietracamela looks good: http://www.anticalocandaonline.it/Home.htm
I suggest you to verify opening days: May is very low season for this area.

I don't have any notice or suggestion about car rental in Rome (when I go around in Italy, I use my car), but I think you can choose any reliable car rental company for this trip.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2009, 10:17 AM
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Librosette~

We were unaware of Pietracamela, until my fiance' spent time with her grandmother, whose parents emigrated from Pietracamela. We made a promise to her to try and visit when we come to Italy, so now I am planning it.
Unfortunately, I've never driven in Italy in our previous visits, we generally use public transportation so I am somewhat nervous about trying to drive there. I wonder if perhaps there is bus service, or hire driver services that perhaps I should look at ... ? In May, will the roads in the mountains be clear (snow, etc)? We would really like to make this a day trip from Rome if possible.
From what I have been able to see, the Gran Sasso area really looks beautiful.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2009, 01:03 PM
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I can't imagine to do this trip by public service, maybe it is possible by bus, but I'm afraid you will change transports a lot of times, wait for the connections in some sad waiting rooms, IMO the trip can be a nightmare... Remember you'll be out of the usual tourist paths, and off season.
I know a lot of american tourists are nervous about the idea of driving cars in Italy: I think it can be a troubled experience in big cities especially in southern Italy like Rome, Naples, Palermo and Catania (but also in Milan can be scary sometimes), but outside the urban areas the only problem you will have is parking or passing through the narrow street in some villages on the hills. My suggestion is: leave the car in a parking area outside the "centro storico", and go on by feet.

Snow is very unusual in May in this area, but anyway this is a kind of trip you must do in a day of good weather: check the "meteo" and if rain (or even snow) is forecasted, change your schedule and procrastinate it to another date.
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Old Mar 24th, 2009, 09:15 AM
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Veloguy-
I am renting a car from Hertz or Avis. You can reserve on-line and pick up at either Termini train station in Rome for FCO Fumancino airport.
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Old Mar 24th, 2009, 09:40 AM
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I had to look up your 'little village' but was delighted to find it is on the road to San Stefano di Sessanio, which is the village I was about to recommend. It really is a little gem and there are several buses a day between the two villages. The bus company is ARPA - http://www.arpaonline.it/
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Old Apr 6th, 2009, 03:09 AM
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The earthquake that has hit L'Aquila last night is just a enormous trajedy.
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Old Apr 7th, 2009, 05:45 AM
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I fell in love with Pietracamela and neighbouring Intermesoli a few years ago on a trip through Abruzzo. We're hoping that all the lovely people that we met there are okay. My children still talk about Intermesoli.
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Old Apr 7th, 2009, 05:35 PM
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Wow, My lady and I were so stunned to hear about the earthquake. Our thoughts go out to all affected by this terrible event. We are disappointed because we likely
will not be able to visit Pietracamela now, although I've
been pouring over all the news, the web, etc. for a scrap
of information if the village was affected. Unfortunately
I've found nothing, but so many of the communities there have been affected that I fear the worst. If anyone hears
anything about Pietracamela....please post. I hope all there
are safe.
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Old Apr 9th, 2009, 01:33 PM
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I just heard from my cousin in Riano, just outside Rome - she says that in Intermesoli the people are OK however they are staying in tents to be safe from the aftershocks. She said they just had another aftershock "10 minutes ago" that she could feel in Riano.
I expect Pietracamela is about the same.
My grandparents came from Intermesoli to New Brunswick, Canada. It is indeed spectacularly beautiful and has the finest people.
I would like to have more info on the earthquake if any of you have anything to add
DiCarlo is offline  
Old Apr 11th, 2009, 03:43 AM
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Has anyone heard anything about Cusciano (Montorio al Vomano)or Cerqueto (Fano Adriano)? I heard tha there was an epicenter of the eqrthquake just 2 km sw of Montorio. I am looking for DiValentino or DiCesare family info. Thank you
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Old Apr 11th, 2009, 06:47 AM
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Bob - Here's a link listing the known deceased -

http://www.corriere.it/cronache/09_a...l?fr=correlati

Steve
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Old Jul 25th, 2009, 11:08 AM
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I have had direct contact with relatives in Pietracamela and they report that 90% of the old portion of the town has sustained serious damage and people who live there are not allowed to enter that area of the town. Most of this damage is to the interior of the structures and they report in some homes the walls have actually fallen. The stone exteriors do not seem to be as badly effected. What a shame. I am so glad I had the opportunity to visit this town as a teen (40 years ago). I had always hoped to return, but, even if they eventually do repairs it will never be the same.
It is still one of the most beautiful places to visit, though.
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Old Jul 25th, 2009, 11:09 AM
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I forgot to add that they are still getting major aftershocks after 3 months.
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Old Jul 25th, 2009, 11:24 AM
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My son-in-law's cousins are still living in a tent the last I heard. The elderly relatives were taken to Rome to stay with family members. Not sure which town/village his cousins live or should I say lived in but it has been a sad a miserable time for so many.
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