245 – My New Website about Atina and the Val di Comino.

I am really passionate about this little hidden gem of a town that has panoramic views over the valley of the Val di Comino – an area of outstanding natural beauty. My maternal grandparents originated from this beautiful mountain community, so it is part of my ancestral heritage and my roots.

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However, I used to find it somewhat frustrating that I couldn’t manage to find much information in English about this area, so I came up with the idea of creating a website in English all about Atina and the Val di Comino.  For over a year now I have been working on setting up a new site about the town of my Italian ancestral heritage – Atina.

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Atina is situated in the province of Frosinone in the region of Lazio Italy, conveniently situated approximately midway between Rome and Naples. It is also only a short drive from the Abbey of Montecassino and the beautiful coastline of South Lazio.

Over the centuries Atina has experienced such an interesting history.  It was an important town even back in the times of the Romans and Samnites and it has been destroyed by earthquakes and rebuilt several times over the centuries.

 

Within the historic centre there are many places to explore such as the medieval fortified palace of the Cantelmo family, the beautiful cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta and the nearby Palazzo Prepositurale.

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Atina also has several other churches of interest,  archaeological sites to visit and local museums.

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During the summer months there are many popular events held in the area such as the Feast of Santa Maria Assunta, the Atina Jazz Festival, the International Folklore Festival and the CantinAtina wine festival to name but a few.

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photo © Mirko Macari

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There are many interesting local products to sample, notably the Cannellini beans of Atina and the local wine Atina Cabernet Doc and as well as other traditional gastronomic delights.

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It is also a great region for exploring the great outdoors and partaking in various sport activities such as treking, mountain biking, horse riding, climbing, canoeing and paragliding. Indeed this area has so much to offer.

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I am hoping to translate the website into Italian and French and to add a blog which could be a supply interesting articles and publicise local facilities, festivals and events. I hope that my website may encourage more people, with connections with Atina and the Val di Comino in Ciociaria to come and discover more about this wonderful area.  

My new Atina website:  Atina Italy

I have also created a Facebook Group named “We Love Atina”. It is a great meeting place for people who have family with origins from this town, and who share my interest and passion. If you have a connection with Atina please do feel welcome to come and join us.

Facebook Group We Love Atina

All photos except where stated by me © Louise Shapcott

 

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Tre Cancelle Farmhouse Holiday Apartments

Near Sperlonga’s Beaches and Historic Itri in South Lazio

 

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243 – The Lake of Posta Fibreno

During our grandson’s April visit to Italy we took time to explore the Lake of Posta Fibreno, which is located in the beautiful area of the Val di Comino in Italy. The village, of the same name, is perched on on a rocky ledge and has a splendid view of the valley and lake below.

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The lake is in the shape of an elongated curve. It is a protected Nature Reserve measuring about 400 hectares.

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The lake is fed by thawing snow and rainwater that has flowed down from the slopes of the mountains of the Abruzzi. As the rock is limestone much of the rainwater is channeled underground.  Where a pool of water collects the water becomes dispersed through springs into the lake.  Thus the water in the lake is icy cold and crystal clear, and remains at a constant temperature all year round.  Scuba divers enjoy exploring the lake due to crystal clearness of the water.

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The lake has a curious “floating island” known as “la Rota” which has developed over the course of thousands of years due to an accumulation of peat, rhizomes, tree roots, plants and algae.  The thick mat of vegetation is not rooted to the bottom of the lake, so it drifts according the undercurrents  and the strength of the wind.  

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Local fishermen use flat-bottomed boats, known as “nàue”, traditionally made of oak and propelled by the use of a pole or an oar.  It is thought that this type of boat was designed and first utilised thousands of years ago by the Samnite people. The lake contains an abundance of fish such as trout, carp, eels and freshwater crayfish. The lake is lined by weeping willow trees, by rushes and reeds and other aquatic plants.

It is a popular haunt of nature lovers and bird watchers.  Several nature trails have been created through the park and there is also restored watermill and a museum of local culture and tradition to visit. 

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On the shoreline there are several bars and restaurants set beside the lake. There are also lovely spots to have a family picnic. It is a favourite place to visit on a Sunday afternoon by the locals.

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We hired a pedal boat to further explore the lake. 

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We saw numerous birds such as coots, ducks and herons. There were also some eager beavers who were busily collecting sticks to build their dams. Together with its unique natural beauty and eco-system the lake provides an ideal environment for many species of flora and fauna. 

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All photos by me © Louise Shapcott

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Tre Cancelle Farmhouse Holiday Apartments

Near Sperlonga’s Beaches and Historic Itri

Discover South Lazio

157 – Gelato from the “Fiocco di Neve”

While Paul was back in the UK it wasn’t all hard work.  Kay and I decided to make the best of it and got out and about most days. Kay quickly mastered the knack of driving in Italy, we had a few hairy moments, but she did really well.  In fact she has inspired me to start tentatively driving again, at least I can get down to Itri and back !!!

It has to be said that Kay is a bit of an ice-cream-oholic. She’ll use any excuse to go down to Itri to her favourite ice cream shop, “Fiocco di Neve”, where she soon became friends with the owner. Kay’s favourite flavours are coconut, hazelnut and rum and raisin.  She even learned how to ask for them in Italian.  “Cono picollo, due gusti, coco e nocciola !!!” Brava Kay !!!  

There are so many flavours to choose from – I recommend that if you ever find yourself  in Itri head straight for the “Fiocco di Neve”.

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Manuela and Kay

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“Fiocco Di Neve’s” Facebook Page

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Fiocco-di-Neve-Gelateria/194727540590258?fref=ts

It’s amazing who you bump into at the Ice-cream shop !!!  Luiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigiiiiiii !!!

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All photos by me © Louise Shapcott

 

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Tre Cancelle Farmhouse Apartments Near Sperlonga Beaches and Historic Itri, South Lazio, Italy