4 hours into a 10 hour bus ride…driving across the country of Italy. Thankfully the bus is air-conditioned while temperatures sore over 38+ outside. We brace for the push of heat as we step off the bus for a quick break at the truck stop…a sandwich, some water guns, and back on the road again. For some this might be hell, but for me, I am in love with this bus adventure, with these people and with my rubber pig Douglas. We are setting off for 7 days of intensive eating, tasting, drinking and little sleep in the region of Abruzzo on the east coast of Italy. All the while, the sun beats down. Our first stop is the town of Pescara where we stopped seaside to watch the Italy-Spain match and swim. After 10 hours on a bus the water felt wonderful…the game was tragic.
We woke early the next morning to take one last dip in the sea before heading out to visit Fattoria la Valentina and Cantina Sociale Frentana wineries. The wines here are wonderful and distinct. The Montepulciano is deep purple red and full of big fruit. The Pecorinos and Rose’ are light and easy to drink in the oppressive heat of the day.
After tasting fresh raw phantom shrimp, we hopped back on the bus and headed to sea…literally. Walking down the beach, we ended our day with a fresh seafood dinner on “the machine”. The machine, or Trabocchi, consisted of a fishing platform supported by stilts and a series of nets. Used as far back as the 16th century, seven of these platforms have been refurbished with gourmet kitchens to host events. I just wanted to set up camp and live there for a summer. Our evening consisted of enormous clay pots of fresh shellfish, squid, octopus and all sort of fish. The air was thick and salty with a heavy breeze pushing in over the water. It was one of the most heady nights thus far.