Take me home country roads.........
La Grande Quercia
Bed & Breakfast
Italian arrivals at Ellis Island 1910
After a wonderful time sightseeing on Italy's west coast, Mary, Dave & Eric set off from Sorrento on the long drive to Abruzzo. As they left Lazio, the drive through spectacular countryside, surpassed their dreams of what the region of her grandfather would be like. Entering Abruzzo they passed through rolling hillsides filled with olive groves and vineyards, the terrain becoming more rugged each kilometer they drove. Ancient walled villages perched precariously on ragged peaks and then the mountainous Appenino came into view on the horizon. Mary knew that upon entering the Gran Sasso tunnel, it would only be a matter of 10kms before she would be in Nicola's home region. Arriving at La Grande Quercia was like arriving at the last staging post of a long journey. It was just as she had imagined it would be.
In the weeks leading up to the trip, Russ & Sergio had been in contact with a local man in Tortoreto, who's hobby was genealogy and totally unbeknown to Mary, he had managed to find out some more information on Nicola. The long awaited morning of the trip to Tortoreto at last arrived. Off they set, following behind Russ & Sergio in their car. The autostrada led them to the coast at Giulianova and Mary could barely contain her excitement as they saw the sign for Tortoreto Lido. Whilst it had been a beautifully sunny morning when they set out, they were now driving in thick fog and the views from Tortoreto of the Gran Sasso and the Adriatic sea that had been described to them, were now going to be obscured by this "pea souper". The next sign they barely saw through the fog was for Tortoreto Alta. A winding country road, passing a scattering of houses old and new. Could one of these houses be where Nicola lived? Did he walk this road? As they approached Tortoreto, the fog thinned and suddenly the sun appeared through the haze and ahead there was the town, seemingly sitting on the clouds that shrouded everything below.
As they drove into the narrow streets, the lovingly restored buildings that had been described felt almost familiar to Mary. Up some steps, worn smooth with countless footfall over hundreds of years and they walked through a cobbled street leading into the main Piazza. In that instant the church bells rang out, seemingly welcoming a long lost family. Emotions rushed as Mary thought to herself how her grandfather would have listened to those very same bells and she could picture Nicola as a young boy running up and down the same steps and across the cobbles.
Phone : +39 086 1211 323
Fax : 1997 07075 7019 (Italy only)
Mobile: +39 320 822 2215
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