Neil had been to Abruzzo for a few hiking trips and found it to be breathtakingly beautiful, so he decided to take me for a weekend getaway, kid-free this fall. We stayed in the quaint, small town of Rovere. There isn’t much there, however there is a lot of reconstruction happening to revive the little town that is full of charming character. We rented an apartment from the hotel Robur Marsorum. The apartment was very clean, with nice, rustic furnishings while containing modern conveniences. We had a fabulous view of the valley with the mountains in the distance. The price is about 100 euro a night, but includes breakfast brought to your door each morning in a small basket. The hotel also provides bicycles you can use to bike along the trail nearby. Our favorite part of the apartment was the large stone fireplace. We would absolutely recommend staying with this hotel if you ever visit the area. It would also make a great home base for the nearby ski area of Campo Felice.
We also enjoyed exploring the countryside filled with incredible views and fields growing lentils and the nearby town of Santo Stefano di Sessanio. The town was sadly severely damaged in the Aquila earthquake of 2009, but continues to be slowly repaired a bit at a time. The narrow stone-paved streets are lined with structures that date from the 11th–15th centuries.
The highlight for us was our serendipitous stop for lunch at La Bettola di Geppetto. It’s a very small, un-presuming restaurant with only a handful of tables. The owner was the most adorable man. He was exactly what you might imagine your Italian grandfather to be like—full of charm, character, and was also a great salesman. The rest of his family was in the kitchen or helping with other tables. We decided on the full-course menu because everything was priced exceptionally well. Each course was amazing! The delicious antipasti was full of marinated olives, bruschetta, and various cheeses and salumi. We were then brought out the classic zuppa di lenticchie abruzzese (lentil soup). It was fantastic and we’ve already recreated it at home several times. The handmade pastas didn’t disappoint either. Neil had the seasonal fettuccine all’amatriciana bianca (fettuccine with black truffles) and I enjoyed the cheese filled ravioli with butter and saffron. We also enjoyed a variety of grilled meats, then finished off the meal with caffè and refreshing sorbetto al limone. We were treated with such care and customer service not being rushed at all, but rather being encouraged to savor our 3 hour romantic lunch.
We took a lovely passeggiata back through the town towards our car where we headed on to the next stop on our adventure.