Retire Overseas Conference Orlando 27th / 30th of August

Conference Live and Invest Overseas – 
Orlando 27th / 30th of August 2017

This year ARP will participate to the annual conference of Live and Invest Overseas in Orlando, Florida. More info.

Habitable country house with land and olive grove, Molise.

Country house of 190 sqm, surrounded by 1 hectare of olive grove. Poggio Sannita, Molise, Italy.

Country house of 190 sqm, surrounded by 1 hectare of olive grove. Poggio Sannita. 70.000 €. View Property.

Restored 200 year old stone 132 sqm villa close to Palmoli, Italy.

Restored 200 year old stone 132 sqm villa surrounded by one hectare of land close to Palmoli, Abruzzo.

Beautiful restored old stone villa with one hectare of land, four bedrooms and four bathrooms. 185.000 €. View Property.

Beautiful villa with sea view. Montenero di Bisaccia. Molise.

Beautiful villa with breath-taking view of the Adriatic sea, Majella mountain and rolling hills. Molise, Italy.

Beautiful villa. 370 sqm of habitable space surrounded by 1.500 sqm garden. 350.000 €. View Property.

Life in Abruzzo. Events and Traditions.

This blog promotes life style in Abruzzo and Molise regions. Events, festivals, traditions and many others interesting, funny and useful tips about Abruzzo and Molise.

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Holidays in Abruzzo and tips

Most beautiful places to visit and tips about Abruzzo and Molise regions.

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Italian hill town of Tufillo in Abruzzo

 Retiring to Abruzzo is ideal for those who are looking for a quiet retirement. This region, where the north of Italy meets the south, is one of the most beautiful in the country, is very unspoiled and has beautiful countryside to offer as well as a wealth of leisure facilities. The region looks ancient with its Medieval towns clinging to hillsides and tucked into hidden crevices in forgotten peaks. The inland part of the region is home to many small towns and villages and property is very reasonably priced there. Most of the towns in the region are not large and have a good mix of traditional living and modern life, as good shopping facilities and leisure amenities. Many of the buildings are centuries old, but there are also some new developments.

All inland towns and villages offer a continuous calendar of events like historical pageants, patron saint festivals, open-air dances, folklore performances, concerts and culinary stands. Every season of the year, every city and town sees in Abruzzo a never-ending succession of traditional festivities and folkloristic celebrations, which engage whole communities. The origins of these rituals are often very ancient, and in them genuine Christian devotion and pagan worship have been blended together from time immemorial.

Tufillo is a small Mediaeval village perched on top of a hill, in Abruzzo region, immersed in nature. It is located at an altitude of 557 meters and it counts about 400 inhabitants. It is a very peaceful and quiet place, ideal for those who want to relax. People here are friendly and hospitable.

Street in Tufillo, province of Chieti, Abruzzo
Church of St. Giusta in Tufillo, Abruzzo
Roman fountain in Tufillo, Abruzzo region

Tufillo is situated at 28 km from the Trabocchi coast in the Adriatic coast and from the motor way A-14. The ski slope of Roccaraso is just one hour away. The closest train station is Vasto–San Salvo situated at 30 km from Tufillo. The train station is linked to Pescara where the Abruzzo airport is situated.

Tufillo has prehistoric origins, confirmed by many remains of buildings in its territory and the discovery of archaeological finds. The historic town center goes back to the Middle Age. Here there are many stone buildings and old monuments such as the main church of Santa Giusta, built in 1758 and connected to the marquis Bassano Palace, or the small church of San Vito. The square, Piazza Fuori Porta, is a meeting place for the inhabitants and the center of the social life of the village. Here we find a bar, a delicatessen and the pharmacy. Everything in Tufillo is within walking distance, such as the post office, shops and the traditional market where you can buy meat, fish and fresh fruit and vegetables. In the Palace of Marquis of Bassano, now the headquarter of the municipal office, there is an Archaeological Museum where you can find the “Key of the goddess Herentas”, dating back to the V century BC, which displays a dedication to Herentas, the Oscan counterpart of Venus (herettates súm agerllúd: “I belong to Herentas [and was given] by Agerllu”). The Oscan is an extinct Indo-European language of southern Italy and was spoken by a number of tribes, including the Samnites, an ancient Italic people who lived in Samnium, in south-central Italy.

Key of the goddess Herentas

According to a legend, the ancient village was situated on the mount Farano and an invasion of huge ants forced the inhabitants to move further down. In fact, on the Mount Farano are the ruins of an ancient settlement and they have been investigated by archeologists during the last years.

Tufillo is rich in old traditions with pagan origins mixed with catholic beliefs. The main event is “the Farchia”: on Christmas Eve, the young men of the village make a big heavy bundle of wood, which is around 20 meters long, and transport it through the streets of the old town, by their hands, stopping only at some points set up with cakes and wine. From the church of St. Vito to the main church of St. Giusta the journey continues until midnight, when the wood is blessed in front of the Church. Then they burn it to light the most important night of the year and all the inhabitants celebrate the Night of Christmas Eve by singing traditional Christmas carols.

Young men of the village transporting the Farchia through the streets of the old town
Burning the Farchia the Night of Christmas Eve in Tufillo

The "pizz’a figlitt" is the most known traditional food of Tufillo, a sort of pizza bread seasoned with sweet red paprika and sometimes filled with pork crackling. The cavatelli pasta in a sausage ragout is another traditional dish; Cavatelli is a traditional southern Italian pasta shape and you can try them during the famous “Cavatelli Festival” on the 11th of August. For carnival, you can try "lu cangaron", a kind of cheese salami filled with a mixture of cheese, eggs, almonds, livers and raisins. And do not forget the quality of the local olive oil, directly from family-owned producers, freshly pressed olive oil.

The pizz’a figlitt with sweet red paprika. Traditional food of TufilloThe pizz’a figlitt filled with pork crackling. Traditional food of Tufillo
Making homemade cavatelli for the cavatelli festival in TufilloLocal tomatoes for the sausage ragout of cavatelli
Homemade cavatelli from TufilloBoiling water for pasta in the cavatelli festival in Tufillo

Shops in Tufillo: grocery store, pharmacy, bakery, bar, restaurant, post office, hairdresser and a shop that sells household products.

Towns nearby:

  • Palmoli is 9 km far from Tufillo.
  • Dogliola is 5 km far from Tufillo.
  • Montemitro is 10 km far from Tufillo.
  • Mafalda is 17 km far from Tufillo.
  • Vasto is 36 km far from Tufillo.

Airports nearby:

  • Pescara is 106 km far from Tufillo.
  • Naples is 155 km far from Tufillo.
  • Rome is 235 km far from Tufillo.

Many overseas property buyers are looking at Abruzzo as the area is not yet as popular as Tuscany and Umbria and properties are therefore cheaper, particularly if you are prepared to renovate. It is a fact that a property in Abruzzo can be up to 50% cheaper than in Tuscany. Many overseas property buyers are choosing the area for investment properties as well as second homes and there are bargains to be found for those who want commercial properties.

Abruzzo Rural Property has sold several properties in Tufillo to foreign clients. Below the testimonials of clients that bought property in Tufillo.

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The sixth of January, here in Italy, we celebrate La Befana, it is a National bank holiday and a religious celebration.

Nowadays the festivity is mainly orientated to amuse children with little gifts and numerous festivals across the country. La Befana is an old ugly witch that flies on a broomstick carrying candies and sweets to well-behaved children, charcoal to naughty children.

This year La Befana has amused everyone here in Abruzzo with an incredible snowfall that will pass to the history. The snow started to fall on hilltop villages during the afternoon of January the 5th.

The 6th of January at around lunchtime, it started to snow even along the coast; it is very uncommon to have snow along the coast, but this winter it has been an exception. By dinnertime everything was white and all the roads were very quiet, no traffic, no noise, no people. Shops all closed and numerous bars and restaurants had to shut down earlier because of the bad snowstorm in course.

Main piazza of the old town, Piazza Gabriele Rossetti in Vasto, ItalyAncient narrow streets under snow in Vasto, Italy
Monument dedicated to Gabriele Rossetti, poet and patriot who fought for the Italian IndependenceThe Caldoresco Castle in Vasto. Winter 2017

The atmosphere was breath-taking and magic.

Vasto CathedralRemains of Church of St. Peter, Vasto
Monument to the Fallen of VastoView of Vasto Marina, Italy

A friend took some photos of the ancient city of Vasto during the night of the 6th of January; Vasto with its castle, churches, monuments and the narrow roads of its historic centre has never looked so beautiful as under the snow with all the Christmas decorations still on.

Streets under snow in Vasto, Italy. January 2017
Streets under snow in Vasto, Italy. January 2017
Houses under snow in Vasto, Italy. January 2017

Thank you Befana, for this beautiful gift!

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Medieval castle of Roccascalegna and mountains view

 Roccascalegna is a small town with about 1.400 inhabitants, situated in the province of Chieti, up in the hills running along the Sangro river. It is only 35 km away from the beautiful coastline with iconic perched fishing huts, so called Trabocchi, over the Adriatic sea.

Medieval town of Roccascalegna

The hamlet is very picturesque, characterized by the stunning Medieval castle built on a rock with the wonderful backdrop of the awesome Majella mountains of Abruzzo. The castle was restored in the 90's and today it is open for guided tours. The small town is perfectly preserved, lying on the spur of the mountain.

View of Roccascalegna church from the castle
View of Roccascalegna from the castle

There are many legends but the most famous of all, is that of the Castle of Roccascalegna, which tells of the protagonist Corvo de Corvis and the edict of the “Jus Primae Noctis”, the Latin for the “Right of the first night”.

View of the Castle of Roccascalegna at night

It seems that in 1646, the phantom Baron reintroduced this Medieval practice, which stated that every newly wed bride on the estate of Roccascalegna, was to spend the first wedding night with him and not with the husband. It is not known if a newly wed bride, or the husband dressed up as the bride, stabbed the Baron in the bridal suite and that whilst dying, left his bloody hand print on the tower rock, which was later to collapse in 1940.

Although they tried to wash the blood stain from the rock, it kept reappearing and to this very day, elderly people swear that they have seen the “hand of blood” even after the rock had collapsed.

The hand of blood

The hamlet of Roccascalegna and its castle have been chosen by the film director Matteo Garrone as a location for one of the three episodes of his film “Il racconto dei racconti”,”A tale of tales”. It is the first film in English by the Italian director which was presented at the Cannes festival in 2015 and won seven David di Donatello awards.

Now let’s meet our clients, Sean and Susan, to find out what made them decide to purchase a house in Roccascalegna.

View of the tower of the castle with the mountains
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 There is a whole universe to be discovered between the Apennines slopes and the waters of the Adriatic sea: nature parks and art towns, ski slopes and beaches, medieval churches, castles and museums.

Abruzzo is a region in Central Italy. It is still an unspoilt region although in the last 10 years its popularity has increased amongst tourists and also amongst foreign investors. In fact, Abruzzo is one of the cheapest regions for investors wishing to buy a house in Italy.

Abruzzo is not far from important cities in Italy. Rome is just 250 km away. There are numerous daily coaches connecting Rome to several towns in Abruzzo. The journey takes roughly two and a half hours and a return ticket costs 30,00 euros (40 dollars). The journey is very pleasant as the coach crosses the Apennines and passengers can enjoy the beautiful scenery of the mountains and hills scattered, here and there, with hamlets and villages. Coaches are always very punctual and reliable. Naples is not far either, it is just 180 km from Abruzzo and it is reachable by coach or by train. Other important cities which are not far and can be easily reached by train are: Ancona in Le Marche, a region just 170 km away, and Bari in the Apulia region at just 220 km from Abruzzo. To Florence it is 450 km. It is very easy to visit the whole of Italy from here.

Abruzzo has an international airport situated in Pescara. The airport offers daily and weekly low cost flight connections all over Europe.

The Abruzzo region is unique for its landscape, the Adriatic coast, its high mountains, Natural Parks and its rolling hills scattered with hamlets.

The climate changes from the mountain area to the coastal area. Obviously the mountains tend to have a cold climate with snow in winter and cool summers. The coast tends to have mild winters and hot summers.

A unique coast, with golden sands or pebble beaches; the placid Adriatic, coloured green or turquoise; the coast of Abruzzo is anything but monotonous: there are flat sandy beaches highly organized for tourists where it is possible to rent beach umbrellas and deck chairs with a bar/restaurant open all day and also part of the night. These beaches have bay watchers and lifeguards for safety regulations. There is always some entertainment taking place on these kinds of beaches: beach volley, live music, dance and sport lessons. Fun is guaranteed for all.

Cerrano tower, an ancient coastal tower located on the Adriatic coast between Silvi Marina and Pineto, Teramo, Abruzzo
Natural reserve of Punta Penna in Vasto - The trabocchi coast. Abruzzo coastlineCasarza beach near Vasto, Abruzzo. The trabocchi coast. Adriatic coastline of Italy.

Abruzzo also offers solitary wild beaches where it is possible to spend a laid-back day, walking the dog or simply reading a book. There are dramatic coastlines with high cliffs and pebbly beaches of unique beauty. The water temperature of the Adriatic Sea is very mild; in summer it reaches 27 degrees. It is possible to swim from the end of April to the beginning of October. Abruzzo offers one of the highest densities of blue flag beaches in Italy.

The southern part is distinguished by a unique coast with its characteristic trabocchi. The area of the Trabocchi coast covers some 230 square km, from the border with Ortona in the north, down to the mouth of the Sinello in the south, along one of the Abruzzo region's most beautiful coasts. Trabocchi are original fishermen stilt huts where it is possible to dine eating freshly caught fish cooked in a simple and traditional way. A dinner at one of the Trabocchi, eating fresh fish and drinking excellent local wine, costs 35,00 euros a person. The atmosphere is very romantic, absolutely perfect for an unforgettable evening.

San Vito Chietino at sunrise. Trabocchi coast.Mottagrossa Beach, natural reserve near Vasto.
Vasto Marina Beach in the Adriatic Coast, Abruzzo, Italy.Trabocco in Marina di San Vito Chietino, Trabocchi coast in Italy.

Between the high mountains and the Adriatic Sea, Abruzzo offers an unspoilt countryside characterized by hundreds of kilometres of rolling hills scattered with tiny villages, lush vegetation and organic cultivations of olive trees and vineyards. It is always a pleasure to drive at a slow pace along the narrow country roads surrounded by olive trees, fig trees, lemon and orange trees, cherry trees and vineyards. Picking fruit from the trees to taste is not considered an insult and farmers will be happy to welcome you.

The hill side is also characterized by beautifully preserved hamlets dating back to the middle ages, so very well preserved that the visitor feels like stepping back in time to a different age. The countryside and the villages on the hills are characterized by a slow pace of life, relaxed and laid back, far from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Abbey of San Clemente a Casauria in the territory of Castiglione a Casauria, Abruzzo, central Italy
Ovindoli is a village and a popular ski-resort in the Abruzzo region in Central Italy
Colledimezzo, a pictoresque hill town overlooking the lake of Bomba in Chieti Province, Abruzzo

There are seven beautiful lakes in Abruzzo, some are natural, some are man created. We do offer a wide selection of properties close to the lakes.

Abruzzo holds many of Italy's best-preserved medieval and Renaissance hill towns that rival those in Umbria and Tuscany. Abruzzo boasts indeed twenty of the most beautiful villages in Italy, 2nd only to Umbria which has 22. These awards are not just for aesthetic beauty but also are for art and culture, historical importance and livability. The abrupt decline of Abruzzo's agricultural economy in the early to mid-20th-century saved some of the region’s most beautiful hill towns from the onslaught of modern development.

Abruzzo is well known for its ski slopes situated on the Apennine mountains. Roccaraso, one of the best skiing resorts, avails of ski slopes at 2.140 metres above sea level. Despite this altitude, the Adriatic shore can be reached in just one hour and thirty minutes’ drive. Other excellent ski slopes are situated in Ovindoli and Passo Lanciano. Abruzzo is also home to Calderone, Europe's most southern glacier.

Rocca Calascio fortress in Abruzzo, ItalyMedieval village of Santo Stefano di Sessanio in the province of L'Aquila in Abruzzo, inside the national park of the Gran Sasso e Monti della Laga, Italy
The Corno Grande is the highest peak on the Italian Peninsula, in the Gran Sasso massif in the Apennine MountainsWine area located in the mountainous central Italian region of Abruzzo along the Adriatic Sea

Abruzzo is also known as "the greenest region in Europe" as one third of its territory, the largest in Europe, is set aside as national parks and protected nature reserves: there are three national parks, one regional park, and 38 protected nature reserves. The parks are great for outdoor activities like walking, trekking, bird watching, canoeing and horse riding. The natural parks and protected reserves ensure the survival of 75% of Europe's living species including rare ones, such as the small wading dotterel, golden eagle, Abruzzese chamois, Apennine wolf, and the Marsican brown bear.

They have a saying in Italy which basically goes “you are what you eat” and I hasten to add that the Abruzzesi are a healthy lot and thoroughly enjoy their food as do most Italians. “Mens sana in Corpore sano” which is the Latin for A sound mind in a healthy body.

Everywhere in Abruzzo it is possible to taste traditionally made cheeses, cold meats, hand made pasta, bread and pizza cooked in wood ovens, gorgeous typical desserts and freshly made ice cream. The typical traditional “sagre”, local fairs, are not to be missed. They are not only a wonderful way of meeting new people and getting a better insight into life here, but they invite all present to taste their home products in season, which vary in every town. Fresh artichokes, cold meats, salami especially their renowned hot spicy “ventricina” along with a variety of fish with the speciality “brodetto di pesce”, fish cooked in fresh tomatoes and peppers to be eaten with freshly baked bread and many other delicacies cooked and prepared in different ways. This is accompanied by good, cheap local wine which always goes down very well, encouraging singing and dancing and generally being merry.

Homemade tortelli. Traditional cuisine from the Italian region of Abruzzo.
Homemade fusilli with clams and prawns. Traditional cuisine from the Italian region of Abruzzo.
Arrosticini are tender skewers of lamb cooked over an open fire. Traditional cuisine from the Italian region of Abruzzo.
Montepulciano d’Abruzzo and Trebbiano d’Abruzzo: italian wines from the Abruzzo region
A bocconotto is a pastry typical of the Italian regions of Abruzzo, Apulia, and Calabria.

In the past few years, Abruzzo has started to pay greater attention to organic food, not just vegetables and fruit but also organic wines, olive oils, pasta and bread made with locally produced flours. People also appreciate that the food has to be locally produced and consumed to be able to really enjoy its taste and freshness.

This region is a great producer of a well known red wine: Montepulciano d’Abruzzo exported all over the world. It is also worth mentioning the production of white wines. A bottle of wine can cost from 1,00 euro up to 15,00 euros for a DOC wine. A glass of wine at a wine bar served with finger food and appetizers costs 4,00 euros.

Mountain scenery and nature, rolling hills with picturesque hill towns, vineyards and olive grooves, delicious local Italian food and wine products, and the ralaxing on beautiful and peaceful beaches! Abruzzo is all of this and much more... come to discover and experience "Real Italy", the Green Heart of Italy!

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