The City of Stone, immortalized by Gabriele d’Annunzio, an Italian poet, playwright, and journalist.
This is how Guardiagrele presents itself, one of the most beautiful places in Abruzzo and among the most beautiful in Italy, located in an enchanting position.
A village where time flows to the rhythm of wrought iron and sweets baked in the oven.
The iron of the artisans’ ateliers, which have made the processing of this material famous to the point of being one of the prides of the small village, together with copper manufacturing.
The other pride of the little city that gives the tempo of time are the sweets.
In fact, the dessert called Sise delle Monache – mmm… we can translate the name with something like nuns’ boobs… please, don’t ask and look at the picture – was born here in Guardiagrele, a dessert whose recipe is secret, handed down only from father to son for generations and only – the original one at least – in the Emo Lullo pastry shop. The origin of the nice name of this dessert, made with sponge cake, cream and powdered sugar, is not known exactly. However, it seems that the original name was Tre Monti (Three Mounts)… The name’s origin is a mystery, but all of this loses importance after taking the first bite of this delicacy.
Another nice curiosity about Guardiagrele?
In the center, on one side of the beautiful Cathedral of Santa Maria Maggiore, there is a huge fresco of San Cristoforo, protector of travellers!
Taking a photo under it is an indispensable memory!
Guardiagrele is actually full of things to see: the small historic center, the exhibition of ancient radios, the kiosk of San Francesco, the Galleria del Gusto, where, in addition to trying the local products (I only took away the liquorice liqueur because I just can’t resist it, but it would have been better to fill with a trolley! Among jams, oil, wine, sweets… it’s hard to choose!) the girls offer a nice service: give them the list of what you want to buy as a souvenir, take your time around Guardiagrele, and before leaving, go back to them to pick your beautiful souvenir bag up, everything ready.
Finally, the romantic side cannot be missed: a walk to the Park of Villa Comunale, in the center of which there is a stone bridge surrounded by a pond, from where it is possible to observe the whole valley around the village, crossed by a long road full of curves… a daydream for any on the road addicted!
One last tip: stop and eat at the Santa Chiara Restaurant, where people still believe in what they do, where quality counts and local products are the protagonists.
Guardiagrele really deserves at least a day to fill your soul with traditions and your palate with good taste.