Festa season has arrived!

It's festival time in Abruzzo and the events around the Villa begun with characteristic vitality. The Festa of Limiti Sant'Antonio is 2 minutes walk from us. It's on 2nd and 3rd August and features music, food, plus a procession. For photos and details go to our facebook page facebook.com/VillaMaieletta There's still a little room at the inn, so book your late break now :)

Historic Cycling for Softies! 

Abruzzo, Palombaro and the nearby Adriatic coast have a historic significance known well to the generation who lived through World War II, but talked about little by more recent generations, until now …...

Local cycling enthusiasts are currently trialling a cycle way along the valley of the River Sangro, which was the local section of the Gustav Line during the war. In its time the Line stretched all the way from the Adriatic to the Tyrrhenian Sea and was the strategic divide followed by the Allies in their liberation of Italy during the overthrow of Mussolini. Italy’s Liberation Day, April 25th saw the first eco-friendly bike ride open to all along the first 27 km of the Line, from Torino Di Sangro to Oasi Di Serranella.

We are delighted that we are now able to offer guided cycle rides along this mostly flat and easy route, complete with mountain bike hire for the day and transport to and from the starting point. The route can be shortened or extended to suit your interests, ability and preferred dates. Email us if you want to relive this very special piece of history on two wheels!

Here’s just a flavour of the huge range of events that take place nearby, month by month, during the year. There are far too many to list them all, so just drop us an email if you’d like to know more.

The anticipation of spring, comes early at the Villa, as the cold of late February gives way to uplifting sunshine, and all the lizards in the garden peer out from their winter hiding places to see if it’s really true!

Early March sees the first of the year’s big cycling events in our neighbourhood, the Tirreno Adriatico, used as a testing ground for top British riders like Mark Cavendish and Chris Froome, in preparation for their exertions in the Giro D’Italia in May, and the Tour De France. The Giro frequently comes our way, too.

In April the fireflies join us in the garden in the evenings, twinkling bright green as they look for a mate among the wildflowers.

The festa season is long in Italy, and the first local sagre (food festival) of the year celebrates the delightful Pecorino cheese, in mid-May.

The Maiella Fiat 500 car rally comes to town in June, when 50 or 60 of these iconic cars of yesteryear proceed in stately fashion through the surrounding villages.

On the first Sunday of July you can enjoy a walk along the tops of the Maiella mountains, organised by Fara San Martino Alpine Club and sponsored by world-famous local pasta makers, Del Verde. Also in July is the Pescara International Jazz Festival, which regularly attracts high profile artists from around the world. Last year’s Festival featured former Queen guitarist Brian May, and Kerry Ellis performing together.

August is the month when the festa season is in full swing, with an event every night in at least one nearby village. The festas most local to the Villa are during the first 2 weeks of the month. The local highlight is the Di Vitis Festa Della Birra, a great night out of food, drink, dancing and family fun that’s usually on the 2nd weekend of the month. The legendary Night of the Shooting Stars is in the middle of the month, too. This is when we spend the evening, along with countless other Italians, looking up to the clear night sky to see who spots the next shooting star to fly across the heavens ... and yes, there are quite a few!   

There are more festas in September, like the annual Medieval Festa, when you’ll be able to step back in time and enjoy the sights and sounds of the era in Lanciano’s historic centre. An autumn delight for gastronomers takes place at the end of the month, with the Queen of Honey event in Tornarecchio, also famous for its mosaics.

And we’re not quite finished yet! The most unlikely festa of the year is the Casoli Festival of Patron Saints in October, which typically takes place on a weekday morning. It’s a harvest festival like you’ve never seen before, and the town is filled with people in traditional dress, a parade of trailers from surrounding villages showcasing the fruits of local labours and, to cap it all, a stage filled with musicians and dancers whose vitality beggars belief. This is where the festa season signs off in style. 

There’s at least one more thing to look forward to though. After the grape harvesting in September comes November’s olive picking, a great time to join us if you can, to see the whole process through from picking to the olive press and finally some of your very own oil to take home.

If you fancy some winter sun at Christmas, you’ll be in for some stunning sunsets at the Villa, along with snow-covered mountain tops all around you, plus some of our home-grown cachi fruit to eat in front of your log fire!