Made in Italy :: AbruzzoCreativo, New-Fashioned Heritage

What do Fellini’s favourite scriptwriter, an exquisite filigree jewel and a typical fishing device like the trabocco have in common?

The AbruzzoCreativo workshop in Pescara | photo: ©MateldaCodagnone
The workshop in Pescara

They are all icons from the same region, Abruzzo, and they feature “Abruzzo Creativo” items. The mind behind the brand is Paola Mucci, an architect by trade and a creative soul at heart. Paola is deeply in love with her region (the Abruzzi), where traditional heritage is still strong and cherished by their people.

The Architect Paola Mucci and her Presentosa Glassware

The first idea came from the Taranta blanket, a  woollen matted fabric that is manufactured in the village of Taranta Peligna, Chieti. Paola’s intent was to use its unique pattern and weft in furniture design, but its exploitation proved to be difficult.
The creative spark fired after a trip to Sardinia. Sardinia’s crafts and cultural floklore have been updated in so many different ways. Why not to try with Abruzzo? These two regions share many traditional features and the bottom line was to rethink the cultural heritage of the land into a modern way. “Tradizione contemporanea” – new-fashioned heritage – was the the right key and production started with “the mug” series.

Mugs show Abruzzo icons: Ennio Flaiano’s portrait – journalist, humorist and Fellini’s best scriptwriter, the Presentosa – a filigree pendant jewel – and the trabocchi, (a fishing device). The challenge is to bring up to light Abruzzo treasures, especially the ones that are little known and even less promoted. A natural outcome of this is the “Provincia” series, four mugs bearing four “hidden” treasures of each Abruzzo province: Roman mosaic floor in Vasto, Atri Cathedral rose window, Scanno typical women’s dress and Pescara Ponte del Mare (i.e. Sea bridge).

The path was set and Paola thought about new subjects, all of them with a strong and direct link to her region: Bruno the brown bear, the sheep and the “papalina” (a type of oily fish) and kitchenware production includes walnut chopping boards, glasses, pot mats, and coffee cups. 

"i so' d'abruzz" - Bruno the brown bear and the bird | photo: ©ockstyle

Abruzzo Creativo knows how to combine long-standing cultural heritage with a modern style; because only if you know your roots, you will be able to express yourself in an original way. And that is exactly what Abruzzo Creativo does with its products.

Deliciously Abruzzo @ La Grande Quercia

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Cooking tools @ La Grande Quercia | photo: ©Lonza65

At La Grande Quercia, dishes follow season cycle, so menus change according to the produce available. Don’t forget to ask for their signature lamb dish, “agnello incaporchiato” [anyello incaporkiato]. It requires a few ingredients: a leg of lamb, extra-virgin olive oil, white wine, rosemary, a couple of cloves of garlic.

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Prepping “agnello incaporchiato” @ La Grande Quercia | photo: ©Lonza65

This recipe comes from the old days when people did not have meat very often, so when there was the chance to cook it, they used to put another pot on top (incaporchiato), so that the smell could not go out and tell the neighbours that something good was on the stove. At La Grande Quercia a heavy lid is used instead, and the stewing is perfect.

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Deliciously Abruzzo :: Mamma Maria @ La Grande Quercia | photo: ©Lonza65

The true secret is mamma Maria’s cooking mastery – and the weight of the stones…

Read more about La Grande Quercia :: Harvesting time and family recipes