Sunday, 27 September 2015

Pennadomo, a Unique Village in Abruzzo

Recently we travelled to Pennadomo, a small village about an hour away by car from where we live.  It was a memorable visit.

We had read about Pennadomo in the local paper, Il Centro, and found out about the amazing Project Pennadomo. 

This old formerly abandoned village has set about regenerating itself and is piloting the first eco village of its kind in Italy. The founder and main organizer is Barbara Ciarrapico who has set about transforming this small hill-top village into an ecological and self-sustaining tourist destination in the near future. This project will revitalise the area and bring in a lot more tourism, and hopefully put Abruzzo on the world wide map.

You can read more about this in La Fondazione IKO page.

The IKO coin
We were very happy to buy the beautifully crafted silver and gold Iko Number One coin which cost 50 Euros.

We are the very proud owners of the coin  below..

This money will go towards funding this very ambitious project which will cost hundreds of thousands of Euros to complete.  With this coin we will be able to use it as currency in the village and we will also be able to keep it as a wonderful souvenir!   The Pennadomo Project experience will involve local food, artisinal handicrafts, cultural events and a wealth of exciting activities. A stay there promises to be a truly wonderful Abruzzese gastronomic delight!!

Pennadomo is a beautiful village and we were very priviledged to be given a personal guided tour by Elisa, one of the group responsible for making the charming gift sacks for the IK0 coin Number One. 
 The building where they produce these sacks by hand is called 'Taglio e Cucito'.

We also met the organizing commitee and I had a photo taken with them all.  They gave me and K such a very warm welcome to Pennadomo!!  We explained we had come to the village as a direct result of seeing the newspaper article in Il Centro, and of viewing the Youtube video!  It was amazing to actually meet the people we had seen in the video.

With Elisa we climbed 180 old steep steps right to the top of the village and the views from there were absolutely spectacular!!!

Abruzzo can be justifiably proud of its title 'The Greenest Region in Europe!'.

We saw this charming statue of the Madonna, which was at the foot of the steps.

Lake Bomba is below in the distance.  You can see a Canadair fire-fighting aircraft coming in to land on Lake Bomba to load up with tons of water to fight some local forest fires which have devastated nealy 400 hectares of land, including oak forests, olive groves and vineyards in the local Abruzzo area.  These aircraft scoop up almost 1,300 gallons of water in 12 seconds.  The pilots fly through narrow valleys and thick smoke, and they do this hour in and hour out. They are amazing!

Rugged mountain scenery surrounds the village. 


The youtube video below gives lots of info (in Italian) about Pennadomo. Towards the end you can see Elisa talking passionately about her role in this incredible life-changing project:

Visiting Pennadomo was one of the best experiences I have ever had here in Abruzzo.  I cannot wait to go again next year to see how the project has evolved!!

I wish Barbara, Elisa and all the villagers great success in achieving the goal of regenerating the village and bringing it back to life!!

Thanks so much for giving us such a lovely welcome to Pennadomo!!

Post Scriptum - 2019
Sadly the initiative did not receive the promised public funding or backing of the authorities in 2015, and so for the moment, as far as I know, it has sadly been laid to rest.  This is an enormous pity.

Article from Il Centro: