Where to go, what to eat, where to eat and what to do around 'Casa del Fiume'.


Opposite Pescara airport you will find Auchan, the french hypermarket, recommended for a quick visit just after picking up your rental car.
Try their walnut bread, olive bread and pistaccio bread from their fresh bread counter (press the red buzzer for service). It can be bought whole or less and they do slice it for you if needed, like most of europe you pay for bread by weight. Fresh fish counter is superb too. Auchan is one of the few places where we can get Tofu and organic yoghurt from.

Nearby and on the way to the A14 motorway is the Sambuceto shopping area. Here you will find Decathlon, the french sports hypermarket as well as IperCoop supermarket recommended by us for healthfood style products at cheap prices (eg organic wholegrain pasta 80 cents for 500 grammes). Also nearby is Castorama, the french DIY store owned by Kingfisher who also own B&Q.

Street Markets

Lanciano market on Saturday morning is the largest in the area and 30 minutes drive away from us. Here you will find stalls selling vintage clothing, antique lace and linen, locally handmade baskets, locally made copper items, boots & shoes, leather belts, clothing etc. Follow the signs to Lanciano Hospital, park in the nearby carpark. The market is a short walk away towards the town centre.

There is also a large produce market in the old part of town, which is covered and contains a bar serving food as well as a variety of small shops.

Guardiagrele market on Sunday morning is well worth a visit, found within the old walled town. The seperate produce market, located in the piazza behind the Cathedral of Santa Maria Maggiore, has local fruit and veg as well as local cheeses and the familiar van selling roast pig.

Casoli market on Friday morning has an array of stalls selling locally produced fruit, vegetables, cheese and a roast pig van.

Antique Markets

There are a number of Antique Fairs every year in Abruzzo, but prices are rather high.
So instead, look out for signs saying “Mercatino” since these are often second-hand stalls offering various goods very similar to a ‘flea market’.

There is one at Rivisondoli, just below Pescocostanzo, every week during August.

Local Produce

Arguably the best patsa in the world is made in Fara San Martino. Both ‘DelVerde’ and ‘De Cecco’ have their own shops adjacent to the factory. In August there is a two day Pasta Festa at Fara San Martino.

Almost every supermarket will sell some locally-sourced cheese. But we would recommend buying your ricotta, mozzarella, pecorino etc in a street market direct from the producer. There are two local producers that travel this area selling from their vans.
There is a Cheese Festa every year at Gessopalena usually the second weekend in September and the stall holders come from all over Abruzzo. Not only are there spectacular cheeses, but also salami, salsice (sausages) and wine - free tasting too!

OK being non-meat eaters we do not know much about this topic, but we do know that the butcher in Fara San Martino supplies Harrods!

We are told that the river Aventino at the bottom of our garden has trout, but we haven’t caught any yet.
Most fish caught in the Adriatic are seasonal, so when buying from a supermarket fish counter read the label since it should tell you where it was caught or in the case of trout and salmon where it was farmed. There are several fishmongers in Casoli as well as Lanciano. Those in Casoli are only normally open on Friday.
A fishmonger van travels this area on Thursday morning.

Fruit and Vegetables
We again recommend buying your fresh fruit and vegetables from local markets. Often you will discover, like we did, that the stall holder that only has a few seasonal items not only grew them but did so organically. Should you miss a street market and cannot get to a supermarket, just ask us if we have any surplus - this will have been grown organically and couldn’t be more local or fresher. If not there is always the fruit and veg van that travels this area on Wednesday morning.

We have to make a special mention of our local Fungaia, which is nearby in the hamlet of Ciclone about two minutes drive away. Nicola and Maria cultivate their own organic oyster mushrooms - great for risotto, soups or in a stir-fry.


It has been said that in Abruzzo there is a Festa every weekend from May through to the end of October.

Local Festas
Fonterossi has a three day festa at the last weekend in June
Civitella Messer Raimondo has a three day festa 3rd weekend in September
Casoli has a three day festa at the end of October
Fara San Martino has a two day Pasta (De Cecco) festa in mid August
Fara San Martino has a three day festa at the end of August
Lama dei Peligni has a three day festa in mid August
Gessopalena has a three day Cheese festa at the beginning of September

Fico San Martino is the hamlet adjacent to Vicenne, so it is also considered as Vicenne festa. It is held on the third Sunday in August.


We do not eat meat, but we do eat lots of fish so some of the restaurants mentioned here
have not all been tried by us but are on the list because locals who we trust have recommended them.

La Villetta in Fara San Martino. Great Pizzas, good beer (incl Fuller’s) and superb wine list. Live music outside in August.

La Taverna sul Lago
in Torretta, a small hamlet on the Sant’Angelo lake. Good local trattoria.

Il Pescatore
at Fossecesia Marina. Superb fish restaurant, eat on the terrace with sea views. We recommend the 12 plate antipasta course.

Mare Blu
at Torino di Sangro Marina. Good value fish & pizzas. Great location opposite beach. Live music in August.

Ristorante Santa Chiara
at Guardiagrele is an absolute gem of a restaurant. Although they serve mostly meat we did visit when there was a lot of non-meat courses available.
Everything is seasonal and sourced locally. They even have an excellent Merlot wine produced from their own vineyard in the Chieti hills. This is a SlowFood restaurant.

Live Music

Most Festas have live music during the summer (see above).

Here’s a list of Bars (mainly) that have Live Music, usually starting around 9.00 or 10.00 pm:

Overload Pub at Lama dei Peligni has Rock and Blues once a month during summer and winter.
Mare Blu at Torino di Sangro Marina. Every Fri and Sat throughout the summer.
La Villetta at Fara San Martino. Fri and Sat during August.
Checkmate Pub at Selva Piana, just below Casoli. Every Sat throughout the year, more dates in the summer.


The beaches nearest to ‘Casa del Fiume’ are on the stretch of coast known as the ‘Trabocchi Coast’.

Our favourite beach is a pebble beach within a Nature Reserve just 40 minutes drive away. It has no name, no facilities other than a small carpark and is therfore harldy ever crowded - even in August!


There are a number of ski resorts in Abruzzo, the biggest of which is Roccaraso which is only 30 minutes drive away.
Passo Lanciano is a much smaller resort, but on a clear sunny day has the added scenery of sea views!

To see a report on Roccaraso - click here.
To see a report on Passo Lanciano - click here.


There are many walking routes within easy driving distance from us and we can even loan you the maps to help you.
In fact, since there is a right to roam on any land that is not fenced off, you do not even need to drive.
It’s easy to walk from ‘Casa del Fiume’ to Fara San Martino and into the Majella National Park.

There are a number of Refuges in the mountains for walkers and hikers to rest in and/or sleep in. These are alwaya marked on a hiking map and can also be seen in the interactive map of the Maielletta (see item below).

Horse riding

At Lettopalena, not far from Lama dei Peligni, is an american-style riding school and stables.
More information can be found here.


Wake boarding takes place on Lake Bomba at the tourist village/sports centre just below the town of Colledimezzo.


Swim in the warm Adriatic sea. Loads of Blue-Flag beaches to choose from either private or public.
Alternatively, swim in the delightful pools at Lama dei Peligni. Visit their webite (italian text) here.

Majella National Park

The Majella National Park is the first PAN (Protected Area Network) Park in Western Europe and is supported by WWF. It is a unique wilderness area and is home to an amazingly rich wildlife. It hosts one-third of the entire Italian flora and a great variety of protected animals.
For further information, please visit click here.

Maielletta Mountain Communities

The Maielletta is the eastern edge of the Majella. The communities that are in this area have their own Interactive Map detailing information of interest such as Refuges, Churches, Castles, Caves, Archaeological Sites, Museums, Pic-Nic areas as well as Banks, Chemists, Information Points and Restaurants. To see this interactive map (in english) click here.


From our garden we have seen deer, cinghiale (wild boar), golden eagle, pelican, buzzard, falcon, jay, frog, lizard, grass snake.
The most abundant has been butterflies. We leave certain areas of our grounds to grow wild, which encourages wildlife.