Tag Archives: Scanno

Photo diary: Around Scanno

Arriving in Scanno is a feat with its torturous winding roads, one-way tunnels, and breathtaking scenery. Once there, you have to navigate skinny roads that climb upwards (and hope no one is coming at you) to find a narrow parking spot. But it’s all worth it when you step out and breathe the mountain air.

Scanno is a little over 1000 metres above sea level and is surrounded by the Marsican Mountains (i Monti Marsicani). It contains atmospheric architecture, much of it medieval or older, along small lanes and long stairways that wind their way to pleasant little squares.

Below is a photo diary of this ancient town, nearby Lago di Scanno and the village of Anversa degli Abruzzi, where we stopped for a coffee on the way back to our base in Sulmona.

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We started the day right with an almondy, chocolate-covered pan dell’orso at the actual bakery that makes the famous Abruzzo treat.


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Home sweet home


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Narrow lanes and mountain views


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Things of stone and iron


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Traditional costumes are still seen in the village on festival days and for special events.


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Around every corner is another beautiful vista.


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Faded writing – Molino Eletterico Moderno – modern electric mill


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A great door deserves a decorative surround.


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Picturesque Scanno overlooks the upper Sagittario Valley.


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This Biscotteria is now run by the son of the woman (Lilliana) shown below.


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Lilliana in traditional costume in the 1970s


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Lilliana with my husband, Roo


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Irons for making thin, crispy waffles called ferratelle, also known as pizzelle or nevole


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It takes years to get the colour just right.


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Salami and butcher shop


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Mountain-fresh water comes from these spouts.


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We sat inside this hidden treasure of a restaurant. In the evening it’s also a pizzeria.


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Just for starters, locally made meats and cheeses


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Still just the starters


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A choice of chillis, arranged by heat


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Lago di Scanno (Lake Scanno) with paddle boats, plenty of grass for picnics and a chapel (Chiesa di Santa Maria dell’Annunziata, also known as the church of the Madonna del Lago).


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Inside the chapel, the walls are adorned with ‘ex votos’. These are silver figures, body parts or hearts left by the faithful as thanks, or in hope of a cure.


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Ex votos and rosaries


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Close up showing delicate silver work


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Wandering through Anversa, in search of coffee


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One of my favourite coffee cups from a bar in Anversa degli Abruzzi

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Day trip from Sulmona to Scanno

If you find yourself in Sulmono, a town in the L’Aquila province within the Abruzzo region, ‘senza macchina’ – without a car – it is worth the effort to catch the local bus to picturesque Scanno. And if you go on a school day when the teenagers from Scanno are travelling home from Sulmona, expect a little adventure.

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On the day we went, a normal city bus departed Sulmona and climbed up through a forested, hilly area, with ever narrowing roads. Eventually we reached a small tunnel and I thought, “no way this bus will get through that”. The driver stopped and all of the teenagers piled out of the bus. My sister and I looked at one another. In my broken Italian I asked if we had to get out. A girl responded yes and indicated we should follow her.

So, off we got and followed the others into a side track where there was a minibus parked. The group of 40 people crammed into the 22 seater. Some older women (not my sister and I) told the teenagers to get up and give their seats to ‘l’anziane’ – the elderly. We sat. After a 20 point turn, the driver maneuvered out of the side track, on to the road and through the tunnel. When we reached the other end of the tunnel we all piled out and into another full size bus waiting at the side of the road to make the rest of the journey to Scanno! I was a little curious as to why we didn’t stay in the little bus but one does not question the wily ways of Italian public transport, especially in a remote place!

We managed to have a little bit of sunshine while we walked around the old town but the afternoon came over all rainy. Not before we got a few pictures of the old town, il centro storico.

 

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Scanno is a charming town and is known for its women dressed in traditional costume. But on this rainy, mid-week, off-season day, we only saw a few stray dogs and some teenagers in the old town. I expect the women had watched the weather forecast…