One thing I am going to miss this summer is my trip to Abruzzo to visit my Nonna Linda. Being 6 months pregnant with a 3 yr old do not really lend themselves to overseas travel, at least not when my feet swell instantly to Frakenfoot size upon waking each morning.
One of the highlights of my summer visits to my Nonna have always been our trip to the Shrine of St. Gabriel (San Gabriele dell' Addolorata). This beautiful sanctuary, nestled underneath the majestic Gran Sasso, has been a favorite place of mine since I was a small child. San Gabriele is the patron saint of young people and quite a super star for us Abruzzesi.
Depending on when we go we eat at one of two places. The prorchetta truck which is always faithfully present in the parking lot is a sure bet. But if we feel like being a bit more relaxed we have lunch at the Ristorante Gran Sasso. This family owned restaurant is really one of the best places I have ever eaten in my life. Paola family have gone out of their way, year after year to make us feel welcome. And the food is just plain heavenly. Here you will absolutely taste la cucina abruzzese in its true form. The best part, depending on the season, you can rent a room there if you feel like exploring the surrounding area more closely. The town of Castelli, known for it's ceramics is close by and not to be missed.
Here we are after a meal at the Ristorante Gran Sasso in 2005...I think our smiling faces say it all!
So if you happen to be near San Gabriele or Castelli stop in and say hello. You will not be disappointed.