A common saying about what makes Abruzzo so great is that “it has the sea and the mountains.” We took advantage of this over the past couple of days, with a trip to a trabocco on the sea and a hike in the mountains.
Trabocchi date back to the 1700s. They are complex structures made of pine logs, designed to allow fishermen to catch fish even in rough seas. A large net is suspended from the antennae of the trabocco. The fishermen would lower the antennae to drop the empty net into the water. When the timing was right, they would then raise it filled with their catch. These days, the trabocchi are no longer used for fishing, but have been restored because of their historical importance. Some have been converted into restaurants.
When we got to the trabocco, the owner spoke to us about the history of the coast and these amazing fishing machines. Afterward we were served fresh bread, olive oil, and orange marmalade on waffles.
On Saturday, we drove to the small town of Bocca di Valle in the Majella National Park for a hike. From the town, is takes approximately an hour to climb to the San Giovanni Waterfall. While the day was hot, the water was cold, and many took advantage.
We’re nearing the end of the summer program, which is strange because it feels like we just got started. Our students write their exams on Tuesday, followed by a semi-formal dinner.
It will surely be sad to say goodbye next week.