Dove: Abruzzo and 'Terre Mutate'
A special journey, the common thread are some women who have chosen to stay and others who have gone away and then have come back. They have always been guardians of social, cultural and spiritual habits and use natural resources with creativity, by preserving and taking care of the territory. Thanks to them we will take you to the magical Abruzzo and ‘Terre Mutate’ through evocative itineraries.
These lands are called ‘Terre Mutate’, from the homonymous committee of women from L’Aquila, because the earthquakes that hit Central Italy in 2016 and 2017, and then L’Aquila in 2009, transformed them. It is a simultaneous encounter with the beauty and fragility of territories. From here stories, protagonists and projects of local communities’ rebirth arise: they deserve to be experienced and told.
"On one side we have ruins, on the other beauty: it's up to us to choose", this is the common thought of all women that will be protagonists of our journey.
Let us start with Francesca Chiappa and Silvia Sorana, organisers of FuturoInfinito, a project born in Visso (MC) where, due to the earthquake, it was physically impossible to build a library. So they decided, two years after the tragedy, to start a 'widespread library': there are two small posts managed by older people living in emergency houses.
"Here there is nothing left, nature is the only thing which has remained intact. Just from here, in my opinion, we have to start again: it is a unique opportunity to choose more sustainable and collaborative lifestyles, through community-based walks and treks", Patrizia Vita says. She is the owner of the B&B La Casa dell'Ortigiana in Ussita (MC) and she had to reinvent herself following the serious damage suffered by the building. This is where the "Cammino nelle Terre Mutate" was born, among the enchanting landscapes of Pian Grande and Castelluccio di Norcia, up to the Fiastra Lake. An experience of inner transformation, a 14 day journey with a strong ecological and fair value that meets up with administrations, associations, women and men struggling for the reconstruction of their future.
The ‘Marcia Solidale nelle Terre Mutate’ comes back again this year, with a new path that, in four days, travels along the upper Valnerina valley, in the heart of the Monti Sibillini National Park. The march will start from Ussita towards Visso, Campi di Norcia and Castelluccio, up to Castelsantangelo sul Nera. An itinerary to discover the most beautiful villages of the Apennines that, since 2016, are waiting for a more and more slow reconstruction, also impeded by the pandemic. On foot and with respect through the places of the ‘Cammino nelle Terre Mutate’, with the desire to keep the focus on a restart that struggles to get going.
Craft is also made along the treks of I viaggi di Penelope, three women who have combined their knowledge of the area with encounters on the trail.
If the path contributes to territories’ "fixing", who can tell it better than Assunta Perilli, owner of the workshop "La fonte della tessitura", in Campotosto (AQ). "My activity was born in 2000, when I found a part of my grandmother's loom. I rebuilt it with the help of the elderly women of the village. I gladly welcomed the walkers who decided to embrace and involve this territory, which had remained somewhat in the shadows," the weaver says. After this period of pandemic, in order to start again together, during the months of July and August Assunta will wait for you outside her shop, with some free workshops to learn the beautiful art of spinning wool with conocchia and spindle.
Let us continue our journey to Abruzzo: Valeria Roselli, Wildlife Adventures’ guide will lead us to discover the National Park of Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise. She will take you through the enchanting woods of Decontra and Villetta Barrea, to reach the Riserva Integrale della Camosciara, a natural amphitheater of white and grey dolomite. Here bears and chamois live in peace with the wild nature and the main elements of the National Park’s fauna and flora are held in a few hectares. But above all, there is so much of women’s in the "genes of the place". "Let’s think - Valeria says – about the Nymphs waterfalls where, in addition to the legendary woodland dwellers, the Samnite goddess Mephitis, who represents the gushing water, stands out in the foreground." During summer, Wildlife Adventures offers various itineraries. The most popular excursion is bearwatching, which offers the opportunity to see bears in the wild and, above all, to experience the environment where these animals live, so as to push visitors to think about the importance of Italian parks and protected areas. Alternatively, they propose a walk through the beautiful beech forests that a few years ago were included in the UNESCO World Heritage natural sites.
Another opportunity to experience all the nuances of the thousand environments that characterize these areas is the Re.Connect program: Marta Mainini proposes an evocative itinerary in the lands where bears are slowly making their way.
To admire Abruzzo in all its facets, we will follow the proposals of the women who live in these territories. Let us start from L'Aquila: here we meet Gabriella, who works in the ‘Api Operose’ laboratory, a group of artisans specialized in antique lace, leather and ceramics.
Together with Carla, we will discover the historic centre of Medieval origin. We will leave from Navelli and, traveling along the first section of ‘Tratturo Magno’, the transhumance road from San Demetrio, we will walk to Bominaco and to the wonderful San Pellegrino oratory, defined as "the Sistine Chapel of Abruzzo". Then we will move towards Fontecchio, the renowned village which still keeps the tower-houses’ Medieval structure. We will continue on the ancient fonticulano path up to the so-called ‘pagliare’, ancient stone structures used for sheep-breeding and highland agricultural activities. After visiting Rocca Calascio, ranked among the 10 most beautiful castles in the world with its wonderful view of the ‘conca Aquilana’, we will visit the beautiful village of Santo Stefano di Sessanio, where we will meet Mirella, an expert in medicinal plants and botany, who holds traditional cooking workshops.
Along the way, we will run into various viewpoints over Sirente mount, Aterno valley and Gran Sasso d'Italia, the highest peak of the Apennine Mountains. Finally, in Stiffe we will visit the homonymous caves, an extraordinary example of a river’s resurgence on the surface after an underground stretch.
Let us go back to L'Aquila, where we will visit the National Museum of Abruzzo, which houses archaeology and local art’s masterpieces from pre-Roman times to the eighteenth century. The last required stop, to end the trip, is the MAXXI museum, the first national institution dedicated to contemporary creativity which, housed in the baroque spaces of Ardinghelli Palace, has just opened its doors to the public.
Article by: Sara Teruzzi e Rebecca Foti
THE JOURNEY AND CONTACTS
Viaggi e Miraggi - email: firstname.lastname@example.org tel: 0498 751997
Abruzzo traveling - website: http://www.abruzzotravelling.com/ tel: 328 1646402
Association Women of Abruzzo Mountain - email: email@example.com
Navelli plateau cooperative - website: https://www.zafferanoaltopianonavelli.it/ tel: 329 8009732
Francesca Chiappa and Silvia Sorana - Futuro Infinito - email: firstname.lastname@example.org tel: 737 783733
Valeria Roselli - Wild Life Adventures: email: email@example.com tel: 339 8395335
Assunta Perilli - La fonte della tessitura: email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Gabriella Del Pinto - La Bottega delle Api Operose: email: email@example.com
Marta Mainini - Re.Connect: website: www.lotoftravel.com/2021/05/08/reconnect-viaggio-trekking-abruzz/
Camosciara Excursions and Trekking in the Abruzzo National Park - website: https://www.camosciara.com/
Visit Abruzzo - website: https://abruzzoturismo.it/ email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Stiffe Caves - website: http://www.visitsandemetrio.it/visitare/grotte-di-stiffe/ tel: 333 785 1582
MAXXI Museum L'Aquila - website: https://maxxilaquila.art/ email: email@example.com
I viaggi di Penelope - website: https://www.facebook.com/iviaggidipenelopeaq/about/?ref=page_internal email: firstname.lastname@example.org