Off the Beaten Tracks… (but on the right way to happiness) :: Maufiki B&B

We all complain about the hustle and bustle of everyday life. We are all looking for some quiet places where we can spend some days off. We always say that we need to get rid of mobile phones, computers and all those gimmicks that, like an invisible umbilical cord, keep us “connected”. But when we eventually find a place like this, a few minutes after we put down our suitcases, we start wondering if there is wi-fi connection, if our mobile provider is available, if there are enough plugs to recharge our energy-sucking devices.

ld IMG_0781_Maiella
Places: Maiella National Park, Abruzzo, Italy

If you want to spend some days in the Maiella National Park, you won’t be much concerned about wi-fi connections or mobile coverage. Simply because you’ll be too busy at enjoying the landscape, hiking up and down the tracks on the Tavola dei Briganti, tasting typical recipes like pizza fritta, sagne e ceci and the delicious Sise delle Monache pastry.

dd image-27_Rapino ©MateldaCodagnone
View of the town of Rapino, (Chieti)

Rapino (Chieti) is a small village in the Majella Park, a stone’s throw away from the Maielletta peak (ski area in wintertime, hiking paths galore in summer), from medieval villages like Giardiagrele, or “big” towns like Chieti.

In Rapino a good Appetibilis friend, Mauro Caramanico, renovated a former “frantoio” (oil mill, in local language “trappète”) and transformed it into a cosy b&b.

ld image-40-01_MauroCaramanico ©Lonza65
Mauro Caramanico

I asked Mauro why he chose this building and the style he intended to give.

“When I first inspected the building, it was badly ruined but I immediately got good vibes from it. I recovered every single stone, every brick and I tried to “respect” it by using the original material to give it a new life.”

This does not mean that you’ll be living as in the XIII century. Modern luxuries (heating, air conditioning, fridge, shower) are available, no need to worry about that.

In his free time, Mauro likes traveling, but not so often as he would like to, so he thought that a nice way to have the world within a reach of hand is to rent his cosy flat to people from all over the world. Thanks to word of mouth and the magic of the net, Mauro can meet people from the US, France, Belgium, Germany.  He says “In this way I can meet new people, and they can get to know a corner of Italy off the beaten tracks”. Without Google Earth.

Contact: Mauro Caramanico
Mobile: +39 335 7609933
Telephone: +39 0871 440779
email: maufiki@alice.it

Tasting Notes: Bliss In A Hiss… Cheers!

When we are kids, we are used to have the same food and beverages. We are creatures of habit and we don’t like exploring new ingredients. We just stick to what we like – usually three or four dishes – and that’s it. Then, we grow up, we try new food and those flavours, tastes and smells disappear.

!gm DSC_2493_Fotor-Spuma
Spuma scura… Photo: Giuseppe Marone

Last year I was at Fritto Misto All’Italiana, an annual food show focused on fried food. Regional recipes with fried ingredients are offered at stands, and even though fried food is a sort of bugbear for high-cholesterol-level people (i.e. almost everybody), visitors wolf down every single piece of food, showing no regret at all. While I was strolling around the stands, I got close the beverage stand and I saw it. Perhaps I haven’t seen it for forty years.

I felt as if a time machine took me back when I was six and I was sipping my favourite soft drink with my cousins and my uncle. I believe that was the same feeling Marcel Proust experienced with his madeleine.

My madeleine is the spuma, whose taste is hard to explain, since it is not an orange juice, it is not a coke. Nor any other popular drinks that kids usually have these days. The best thing is to try it out. As for me, when I opened the bottle, the gas hissing out of the crown cap  was like music for my years and the taste on my mouth was the taste of happiness. The taste that just a comfort food can give. I raised the glass and had a toast to my uncle. He used to spoil us, and needless to say, we deeply loved him. One of his treat was to take us to the local “osteria” and he would ask for a glass of wine for him and a small bottle of spuma for us kids.  He is no longer with us, but every time I drink a glass of spuma, I know he’s right beside me. Cheers to my uncle, wherever is now!
This post originally appeared in Italian on Verba Volant Il sapore della felicità (ovvero: Na onbreta par mì e na spuma pa’ i boce)

DSC_5911_Spuma_photo: ©Lonza65 and ©GiuseppeMarone
Dreamin of Dark Spuma… | photo: ©Lonza65 and ©GiuseppeMarone