Legends of Loreto Aprutino – Cinque and Guardia

Cinque and Guardia were two special dogs that were often seen around the town of Loreto Aprutino. Sadly they are no longer with us. What follows is an edited version of two posts I wrote about them before this blog had its last major facelift. Cinque: Citizen of Loreto Cinque…

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How to make Bucatini alla Trescatora (Italian)

Many thanks to Jennifer,  Chef in Cucine and Rete8 for helping unveil the mystery of Bucatini alla Trescatora. I’m still not certain if a papera is a type of duck or goose (I’m leaning toward duck) but either way whenever I’ve had this pasta dish I’ve always loved it.

If you are interested in other dishes from Abruzzo then you may want to follow Chef in Cucina on Facebook on watch it daily on Rete8.

Chef in cucina è il programma TV che propone ogni giorno delle ricette realizzate da grandi chef abruzzesi. Tutti i giorni alle 13:40 e alle 19:10 su Rete8

Chef in cucina is a TV program that showcases recipes created by great chefs from Abruzzo. It’s on every day at 13:40 and at 19:10 on Rete8


Summer Sun: Sea or Mountains?

Summer sun – I’m not designed for it.

Once temperatures touch 30 degrees I find myself craving shade and drinking water every chance I get.

Girasole by Noel McCarthy on 500px.com

For me staying cool during the hot Abruzzo summer is a challenge. I’ve already decided to return to Ireland for two weeks in August to try to avoid my blood reaching boiling point.

The locals take it in their stride.

Ready by Noel McCarthy on 500px.com

They head to the beach along with thousands of others and enjoy cool sea breezes and immerse themselves in the refreshing Adriatic.

Others prefer the hills, mountains and woods.

Promises to Keep by Noel McCarthy on 500px.com

Although I have done both I’m not sure which I prefer.

Once I’m by the sea I think about eating fish, if I’m in the mountains it has to be arrosticini.

Decisions based on food – very Abruzzese!

A Few of my Favourite Things

Today I plan to make my way to Pescara. It’s not an arduous journey but because I travel there at least three times a week I usually need a good reason to go there again on a Saturday. Finding that reason isn’t too difficult, sometimes I want/need a Globo fix,…

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When is a Bus Stop not a Bus Stop?

When is a bus stop not a bus stop? Yep it’s a riddle or perhaps a stupid joke. Certainly not as funny as “When is a door not a door?”, but it’s worth asking all the same. A few days ago I asked a few of my English students to…

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The Art of the Shoemaker

Lately I’ve been trying to improve my Italian. I’ve a bit of free time on Mondays and this lets me go to our local school with about eight other students and formally study and hopefully improve my ability to speak and communicate.

In one of these classes we were talking about jobs and the vocabulary of different types of work.

The word calzolaio (shoemaker) cropped up and before we knew it we were taking about the disappearance of traditional skills and crafts.

We chatted about the last time any of us had our shoes repaired and if cobblers or shoemakers still exist in our respective countries.

I was able to say that I’ve a pair of shoes I would definitely repair before throwing out, that as far as I know there are still shoemakers (cobblers) in Dublin, that there’s at least one shoemaker in Loreto Aprutino (possibly two) and we all agreed there was at least one (possibly two) in Penne also.

The conversation reminded me of a photo I’d taken a little over a year ago of a shoemaker in full flow in his shop in Penne.

I was passing by and I asked if I could sit and watch him work and maybe take a picture or two.

He agreed and I tried not to be a nuisance or get in the way as he went about his business in his very tight dark shop.

When I left I felt I might have taken at least one good shot.

I had.

Here is my favourite.

Handy Work by Noel McCarthy on 500px.com


The Olive Harvest – La Raccolta delle Olive

Olio Nuovo

It’s late October and the olive harvest is in full swing around Loreto Aprutino. This year promises to be far better than last year when many people chose to not produce any olive oil (olio) as weather and parasites played havoc with the crop. But this year is different. “It’s…

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Abruzzo 2.0

Loreto Aprutino

This is where I live. One of the many wonderful towns in Abruzzo. It’s where I used to live and where I’m living once again. I suppose it’s like a reboot. A restart. A new beginning. Well sort of. Abruzzo never really left us; we just had to go away…

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Look What’s Outside

I took this photo in May 2010.

We were having lunch with good friends.

It was a very special day.

Abruzzo seems to generate special days with surprising ease.

Outside by Noel McCarthy on 500px.com

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

This canine scene is from 2008 in L’Aquila.

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie by Noel McCarthy on 500px.com

Nothing was going to disturb their slumber.