Uncovering Italy’s Superlatives in people, places and things

La Mia l’Aquila by Margherita Cardelli

Margherita Cardelli is one-half of the design duo Giuliva Heritage, a collection of expert tailoring and handmade craftsmanship. Abruzzese by birth and nature, Margherita  introduces ISSIMO readers to L’Aquila and share her favourite places in Abruzzo.

What makes l’Aquila unique?

The feeling that when I get there the place is mine and I am jealous of it. And the strongest emotions every time I am there.

What do you miss most when away?

The smell, the sounds of nature and the serenity it gives me.

What places and experiences do you always suggest to friends?

Drive up to Campo Imperatore, preferably during the week and just breath. After breathing there is Ristoro Mucciante at the end of the road where you can definitely have the best meal of your life. Outdoor self bbq, only local grass fed meat and cheese. local wine and vegetables. in the middle of a huge lowland, it seems Mongolia. One hour and 15 mins from Rome.

Ristoro Mucciante

Favourite galleries, museums and sites in Abruzzo?

Santa Maria di Collemaggio, L’Aquila it is the church that has the first holy door in the world, the church where Celestino V wanted to found the Vaticano. Rocca Calascio, an amazing medieval castle in the middle of the mountains also location of the Lady Hawke movie. Campo Imperatore, a dreaming lowland also location of some spaghetti western movies by Sergio Leone. Santa Maria del Monte Church, an abandoned ruined church in the middle of nature – Fontana delle 99 Cannelle, 1272 L’Aquila. 

Share your favourite bars for coffee and aperitivo

Coffee: Bar Nurzia, L’Aquila. Bar in Piazzetta Medicea, Santo Stefano in Sessanio. Aperitivo: Enoteca La Fenice, L’AquilaJu Boss, L’AquilaIl Cantinone, Santo Stefano di Sessanio

Il Cantinone at Sextantio, photo courtesy of Sextantio.it

Give us an example of a typical Abruzzo dish

Home made pasta al sugo fresco. It can be gnocchi, sagnnettucce or chitarra.

Favourite restaurants?

Osteria della Posta, Poggio Picenze L’Aquila – Reale, Castel di Sangro – Ristoro Mucciante, Campo Imperatore – Il Baco da Seta, L’Aquila – Agriturismo Emidio Pepe, Torano.

Favourite merenda or street food?

Piazza bianca

Best day trip or weekend getaway in Abruzzo?

From L’Aquila up to the mountain! Mostly Campo Imperatore and Rocca Calascio

Rocca Calascio, photo courtesy of Giada Mariani

Three favourite places not to miss in Abruzzo?

Santo Stefano di Sessanio and Campo Imperatore, L’Aquila and Trabocchi near Vasto.

Finally, what’s your go-to detto?

ju letto come ti ju fa cusci ti ci addurmi (the way you do things is the way you are)

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