GREEN FLOURISHINGS IN SOUTHERN LAZIO
In Southern Lazio, on the edge of one of Italy’s first protected areas, National Park of Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise (Parco Nazionale d’Abruzzo, Lazio e Molise), is a forgotten valley. We want to paint a picture of how stunning and underwhelmingly unknown this area is.
The Comino Valley is a natural verdant environment dotted with small towns and ancient castles. It is a part of Lazio that demonstrates resilience and growth. Although the area is on the typical tourist track, the Italian community is investing into itself and its traditions, creating beautiful and hospitable locations for locals and foreigners to experience.
For those who like to travel with us, we have a created a unique day trip (for a day or more) to a small little borgo, Picinisco.
The medieval hilltop town was first documented in March 1017, when the Princes of Capua restored the Abbey of Montecassino in the Contea di Comino. This tiny ancient town is anything but sleepy, dusty, or crumbling. On the contrary, the collective effort of several affluent descendants of Italians who emigrated abroad and then returned, can be appreciated at every turn. For a tiny mountain-top town there is a lively selection of gourmet destinations developing, from an artisanal gelateria, to an award-winning pizzeria. Even non-descendants recognize the potential of this “forgotten” region.
We tend to encourage hands-on gastronomic experiences. In the area, there is a family-run winery growing the mysterious Maturano white wine, a long-forgotten local variety. Not only is the vine one-of-a-kind but it is organic! The family vineyard heeds to the principles of organic farming while developing fine wines under the supervision of one of the most important oenologists in the world.
Stop for lunch at a rustic trattoria on a dairy farm. The proprietor is an impassioned yet humble man who painstakingly will meticulously go through the production process and history of each product on the platter of award-winning cheeses at your table. The most prominent cheese of the bunch is the cacio, whose aging process differs to the cacio that you may have tried on your pasta in Rome. For a more robust experience, enjoy a cheese making demonstration and farm visit afterwards.
If all that food has you aching to work it off, the network of bike and hiking trails should work. The aforementioned National Park of Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise illustrates what the future for national parks and green areas are. Beyond the considerable naturalistic value due to the high percentage of both animal and vegetable biodiversity and old growth forests, the park conducts many outreach programs. The park’s direction cycles through one innovative multi-year project to another: safe animal crossings around Europe, bear and wolf repopulations, flower photography contests as a creative way to map out flora populations, etc. The park’s direction is also very collaborative with other park entities in Italy and abroad. But what makes the park incredibly exciting is that the projects are uniquely Italian and local based, encouraging the intermingling of local traditions with future sustainability.
Boutique 5-star lodging, private transportation, local hands on experiences, wine & olive oil & cheese tastings, truffle hunting, hiking and biking excursions, local cultural tours and more can be arranged in the area through Italy’s Best. Contact our bookings team for your custom itinerary.