Sunday, 6 July 2014


"Do I need a car?"

Ah.  That simple question, asked a million times, but without a simple answer.


Depends on lots.  But depends mainly on the type of traveller you are and what you're looking for in a holiday.

To begin with a few facts:


We are 2.5km from Serramonacesca.  Easy walking distance, until you bring our hill into the equation; it's a 200m climb back up.  I love the walk, as do many others, but some will only do it once.

Serramonacesca, her hills & views
Castel Menardo in the foreground, sea on the horizon, 
Kokopelli Camping just out of view bottom right

Evening walk into the village

You see lots of things along the way: plants for foraging in the hedgerows, wild flowers, lizards , butterflies, snakes.  Yes, really.  And, my goodness, do they make you jump.  Most of the time, however, completely harmless, but not for the squeamish.

There are buzzards calling, oriels singing, mistle thrush, redstarts, and hoopoes to name but a few.

Smiley :-) 
You'll most likely be joined by one of the local dogs, who will love your company.  You won't go far without a nod, a smile and a "buongiorno" from people sweeping their steps, tending their gardens or hanging out their washing, and the chances are you won't even need to walk.

Offers of lifts from passers-by will be many.  In fact, so insistent can they be that it's often easier to graciously accept than to explain that you do, actually, really, strangely enough, want to walk.

Local produce
Once in Serra, all your needs can be catered for.  So long as you shop like a local.

There are two small shops, limited in choice but, thankfully, a world away from a supermarket.

There is a butcher and a pharmacist, two restaurants, two bars, two gelateria (in the summer) and a farm where their own cheeses and arrosticini are produced from their own goats and sheep that you'll see grazing the hills with the shepherd and his dogs.

Cheeses & yoghurts from the Cheese Man
There's a vegetable seller in the piazza 2-3 times a week, a fish man who does the rounds on a Tuesday, a vegetable van that comes by most Thursdays, as well as the cheese man who comes every now and then with home made yoghurts and far too tasty ricotta, pecorino and mozzarella.  So, yes, you can do very nicely indeed.

If you shop like a local and travel slow.

(You can read more on Serramonacesca here:  Serra shops & restaurants)

The Beach

A half hour's drive.  So, yes, if you fancy a day on the beach you need a car.  There are buses, they go from Serra into Pescara and back 2-3 times a day.  Early morning (6.30am), early afternoon and evening.  They take a while, they go round all the villages, you won't go anywhere fast, but you can get to the beach.  And back.  But it can be tedious.

Our beautiful river, the Alento,
it's source bubbling out of the mountains in Serramonacesca

Or, you can just take a blanket and a book, walk for half an hour or so, and go and sit by the river.


If travelling around from village to village, town to town, castle to castle takes your fancy, you could feel a little restricted without a car.


If you're a slow traveller and just want to absorb what is around you, really feel it, really experience it, get to know those who know it best, then, no, you don't need a car.  Within walking distance (for seasoned hikers and the hardy) we do have some of the most beautiful places and buildings in Abruzzo here in Serramonacesca, so long as you're happy to just explore what's on your doorstep and not venture further.

The Abbey of San Liberatore a Maiella

The Abbey of San Liberatore a Maiella
The Hermitage of San Onofrio
The Hermitage of San Onofrio

But what if you fall somewhere in between?

If you're happy to explore and get to know what's close to you, but wouldn't mind venturing further every now and then, here's what we can do to help, just a few of the little Kokopelli extras:

Drop you off, pick you up, take you out

Local markets
We're frequently out and about shopping in the local markets and towns, we go hiking, we go to the beach, we explore the higher mountain peaks, we'll go to a restaurant in the evening or just for a pizza or a party.

Anyone is welcome to hitch a ride.

Lend you a bike

We have mountain bikes that you're free to use, just pack up a picnic, hop on and pedal away.

Let you use our Vespa

Our little baby.  The essential part of slow Italian life, and fairly groovy too.  Think Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck.  Roman Holiday

For just €40 a day you can take off, with the wind in your hair, the sun on your back, and live the Italian dream.  Even if for just a day.

So there you have it.

Do you need a car?   Entirely depends on you.