Finally, the Gorges of Fara San Martino are open to the public again and I want to take this opportunity to tell you something about this remarkable place.
Fara San Martino is a world
In Fara San Martino you can find the gorges, excellent pasta producers (De Cecco, Del Verde, Cocco…), special water, the mountain, the park with its flora and fauna, and the genuine people who live in this town.
I begin to explore this corner of Abruzzo with the discovery of its gorges and the Abbey of San Martino. This was offered by a dear friend, who some time ago decided to celebrate his birthday with a guided tour of these places. Isn’t that a fantastic idea for a birthday celebration?!
The Abbey of San Martino
Just a few hundred meters from the town centre, you can already enter this special place: the entrance to the area of the gorges, as well as the Abbey of San Martino.
Barbara Dalla Costa, our exceptional guide, tells us with great enthusiasm that the abbey was brought back to light only in 2009, following a long archaeological effort.
Just as we are admiring the site, the workers who are assembling the lights to illuminate the Abbey (part of the Jubilee of Light project) are in full swing, it will be a real sight at sunset.
Barbara tells us how the Faresi had always spoken of the presence of a miraculous fountain around the gorges, of friars and pilgrimages to receive graces for countless reasons. Right where the Abbey was stands, a water source was found, and water still flows today. People immediately connected the discovery to the old stories, thinking that there must have been some truth in them.
The Gorges of San Martino
Continuing the path, you pass through the local gorges, a real canyon that opens onto the valley and towards the mountain. From here you can start walking the path that leads you to the Monte Amaro.
But already after a few steps, the gaze falls on the flora and fauna that surround us, from the chamois jumping on the barren rocks to the peregrine falcon whose makes us aware of his presence with his unique chant.
Continuing with our observation, we notice a cave on the top of the front peak where, with Barbara’s help, we identify a cave. It is a refuge of the only local shepherd who still grazes his sheep there, and who does the traditional transhumance.
A natural movie set
One last curiosity for now, the Gorges and the Abbey of San Martino were the set of the tv-fiction “The name of the rose” taken from the masterpiece by Umberto Eco, and Barbara, who accompanied us on this tour, assisted the crew with her work, and she told us many interesting curiosities… but we won’t reveal too much.
Now, all you need to do is to go to Fara San Martino and continue discover this peculiar corner of Abruzzo.
Rome, July 2020
Translated by Venusia, October 2020
Photo © Chiara