I had only visited Pacentro once, so was looking forward to returning.
In the heart of the Majella National Park, Pacentro rises majestically amid the mountains as you approach it.
We parked just off the side of the road, at the top of the town and decided we would walk down into its centre.
This town is like a bigger version of Pretoro with lots of labyrinthine alleys and steps, each holding some wonderful view or detail to make you stop and stare.
We were visiting with our friends and we had our children with us. It was nearly 2pm. The children were starving. We had forgotten how long driving on the Passo San Leonardo takes.
The last time I visited, with my friend, Laura, we went to lunch at a lovely little pizzeria. We walked as quickly as we could to try and make it before they closed. My husband went in and enquired about lunch, but we were told that we were too late. We hadn't walked far down the road when the manager came running after us and told us that they would stay open for our benefit. We thanked her profusely. This is so typical of the kind, Abruzzese people we have met over the years.
Ristorante Pizzeria Majella is cosy, pretty and traditional, in the best possible sense. I love these styles of restaurants in Abruzzo. The couple that ran the restaurant were friendly and charming. Our food was delicious and the fresh bread was out of this world.
We all enjoyed our food and agreed we would definitely eat here again. This lovely couple who kept open for odd British strangers who asked for lunch, after lunch definitely deserve to do well.
Afterwards, we meandered back to the top of Pacentro, stopping at one of the pretty piazzas on the way. The town was mostly asleep as it was mid-afternoon. It wasn't too hot because the streets were shady, so it was a perfect time for a stroll. The children loved the fountain, especially my three year old who soaked himself at every fountain, when given the opportunity, on this holiday.
If I was visiting Abruzzo for the first time and I only had time to visit a few places, then Pacentro would be in my top ten. There is something about this town that is magical, the atmosphere and location contribute to this, along with it's wonderful people. This is Italy at it's best.