On our way to Atina, we decided to first take Mike and Mary to see the spectacular Abbey of Montecassino and then proceeded to drive on through Caira and up towards the village of Terelle. Near here we halted for a tasty little picnic, blessed with panoramic views of the snow-capped Abruzzi mountains and the wide expanse of the verdant Cassino valley that stretched below.
We began to make our gradual descent, passing through Terelle’s magnificient chestnut woods which are said to be the most beautiful in all of Lazio. The largest chestnut tree has a circumference of 12 metres and the oldest is 800 years old. On the second Sunday of November a well-known Sagra delle Castagne or Chestnut Festival takes place in Terelle. Here there is the opportunity to eat the local roasted chestnuts and desserts and cakes made of them and sample other such delicacies such as wild boar, local hams, sausages, cheeses, bread, polenta, beans, mushrooms, and try a sip or two of the local Cesanese wine.
We continued our descent passing beautiful vistas of the picturesque village of Belmonte Castello which appears to cling to and wind its way around the rock spur on which it stands.