The Abruzzo story

One of my professors hails from Abruzzo, a quiet region where you can find some of the incredible nature in all of Italy, and I've been hearing about how enchanting it is nonstop for the past year. Finally, after the chaos of midterms and thesis preparation, we loaded up a car and drove the 5 hours to Abruzzo for a weekend in the middle of nowhere. It turned out to be just the sort of escape that I needed; in fact, I'm still daydreaming about spending another week there. There's something intoxicating about those mountains.

We slept in tiny cliffside Pacentro, and our B&B is one of those uniquely Italian places in which the family history was displayed on the walls. The best way to begin this story is to show you the photos I took there…

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When I asked people for their photos, I never heard a no. In fact, the baker even threw in a loaf of bread after I took his portrait. My professor Romeo also kindly agreed to being photographed in one of the restaurants we visited…

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It was two days driving down winding mountain roads, wandering through forests and along lakes, exploring both inhabited and abandoned villages, and- of course- making lots of photos. I tried regional foods like arrosticini and a special type of coffee that's made with cream of hazelnut. Each of us brought home a local specialty; for me and the other student it was wine and chocolate covered almonds, but Romeo may have bought half of the town (2 kilos of bread, 5 kilos of potatoes, chocolate, jam, and more).

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At this point the MFA photo group is a bit like family, so getting to see Romeo in his element was another highlight of the weekend. I'm convinced that Abruzzo is part of his genetic makeup, and by seeing it in person, the rest of us have deeper understanding of who he is. Now I understand why I've heard so much about this place, and I'm already ready to go back...

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