Abruzzo is known for its festas. Often more than one a week just in our valley from the end of May to the middle of September celebrating everything from cherries, to pigs, to artichokes.
Abruzzo is also known for its bears. One of the only locations left in western europe where you still find bears in the wild. What better way to close the season in late November than to combine both? The ‘Festa del Letargo’ a.k.a. the Hibernation Festival.
What was on offer?
In Anversa degli Abruzzi, the village square was buzzing with stands touting local produce – oils, cheeses, meats and more; information from the WWF, the Majella national park and an array of the nature reserves that scatter our area; companies that offer activities such as nature watching in a glass cube – a true window to the outside world – trekking, biking and, in addition, an array of artisan goods made from natural, sustainable products including the beautiful woollen blankets that i love from the Porta dei Parchi agriturismo.
The activities on offer included a trek into the mountains – one suitable for children, another more difficult one for the more experienced trekker, activities for children to let them discover nature and a book presentation for a new book about the bear.
The restaurants of the town all worked together to provide a festa menu for 15 euros all from locally produced food and later in the day there was singing, roasted chestnuts, polenta.
Although the village of Anversa is only small and maybe the number of visitors was not as high as the organisers had hoped, certainly at the time that we were there anyway, it was a lovely way to spend a morning / afternoon. Stunning scenery combined with good food and a real sense that the people of Abruzzo are realising the importance of the mountains around them.