I can hardly believe that it’s already been a week since we were with the sheep. Anversa degli Abruzzi is a small town tucked neatly into the Sagittario Valley between the picturesque mountainsides of Abruzzo, Italy. It was our mission to take Nunzio Marcelli’s sheep flock from Anversa to the top of the mountains in Chiarano. It was a ~20 mile, three day journey, full of cured meats, aged cheeses, many gallons of wine, bottles of moonshine grappa, and 300 sheep friends that we will never forget. Click on the thumbnails to see a rough approximation of our route.
Transhumance is the ancient practice of moving ruminant animals to fresh pastures on a seasonal basis. Before feed could be imported to the farm, shepherds would walk with their animals to faraway pastures in order to graze at various times of the year (see our previous transhumance post). Nunzio Marcelli has been practicing this tradition for many years and has recently opened it up to visitors who would like to participate. Check out his site at www.adottaunapecora.com for more information. Even if you can’t go on the transhumance you can still adopt-a-sheep! For the final three days of our honeymoon we decided to join him and his shepherds on the trip, it was a great decision.
The night before we set off on transhumance we celebrated with the townspeople of Anversa in a “Sagra degli Gnocchi del Pastore”, which is basically a Shepard style gnocchi-fest in the town piazza. The whole town of 300 was out in full effect. Tables lined the plaza streets,