Discover the Zafferano plateaus, home to the yellow gold of Abruzzo among charming villages and landscapes
06 October 2022
It starts from the capital of Abruzzo, L’Aquila, beautiful balcony on the Gran Sasso, with the 16th-century Spanish fort, the basilicas of Santa Maria di Collemaggio and San Bernardino and the Fountain of 99 Spouts, also known as the Rivera, a symbol of the town with its stone masks. Before heading south, in the Navelli pleateau (760 m), we find the villages of San Pio and Camere, places of transhumance, where one can still find the "pajare," a kind of trulli site near the pasture for sheltering shepherds. This is the Navelli plateau: in the fall, in the blooming season, the extensive cultivation of saffron color the fields with violet.
Another area of saffron production is Cocullo. To get there, one must cross the beautiful Sagittarius Canyon. It is reached after passing through Capistrano, where the famous "Warrior of Capistrano," a sculpture in stone and marble of the sixth century BC, now kept in the National Museum of Chieti, was discovered. Continuing south, one passes by Bussi sul Tirino, whose waters are famous for shrimp fishing. Finally, after Sulmona (home of confetti candies), is Cocullo which from its 900-meter position dominates the Flaturno valley, the Mezzana, and and gorges of the Sagittarius Canyon. This area too is devoted to the cultivation of saffron.
One cannot miss the beautiful Celano with its 15th-Century Piccolomini Castle and the National Museum of Marsica, a detour of a few miles towards Avezzano, leading to the archaeological site of Alba Fucens. Otherwise, continue from Celano to Ovindoli located at 1375 meters above sea level, known by skiers and mountaineers, because from here the mountains Velino (2487 m) and Sirente (2,348 m) begin. And then there's Rovere, the picturesque fortified medieval town. On the vast expanses of the Rocche, finally, are Rocca di Mezzo Rocca di Cambio, known for their resorts and skiing. A trip in the fall. In the last hours of the night, saffron gives off the most of its perfume and the farmers gently collect the flowers one by one, the pistils of which are then separated by hand and dried the same day as the harvest.