Explore the mountain trails and forest rambles. Climb the peaks for spectacular views, follow the winding river through the valley,
or walk in the footsteps of pilgrims to the 13th-century Santuario di Canneto.
Learn the art of foraging with local guides – hunt for truffles, pick porcini mushrooms and wild asparagus, and then create unforgettable dishes in a Villa Inglese cookery class. Try your hand at making ricotta and pecorino, using methods passed down through the generations. Crush the grapes and learn from the winemakers what makes this terroir unique.
Relax with an aperitivo on the roof terrace and enjoy panoramic views. Join the party in the square at one of the many local festivals. Or simply take in the silence of the mountains, the clean air and be still for a moment.
See you soon,
Ben & Gaynor
The hills around Picinisco are abundant. In the Villa Inglese cookery classes, you can explore the nearby woods and mountains with our guides and bring the mushrooms, truffles, asparagus, fragrant herbs and wild spinach to the Cookery School table. Local producers grow beautiful fruit and vegetables, make delicious cheeses such as pecorino and goats cheeses, charcuterie and meats, olive oils and wine, with family recipes that go back generations. These are just some of the ingredients we will be cooking with when you join us for a hands-on lesson. We believe in taking you on the exhilarating journey from forest-floor and farm to plate, combining foraging, cooking, cheesemaking and the making of conserves all into one course. We’ll teach you how to make fresh pasta, unforgettable local dishes, and we’ll give you the recipes to take home with you too.
The lessons are fun, informal, and Ben’s enthusiasm is catching. We know you’ll leave the kitchen feeling energised and with a great sense of achievement.
Forage with the locals
The woods, hills and mountains around Picinisco are a paradise for any herbalist, mycologist, or naturalist. Submerge yourself in nature, spend a day as the hunter-gatherer and come foraging with us. It’s fun, competitive, and has a risk factor – just joking! The locals have a saying that their ancestors died so that they should know what to eat, so you’re in very safe hands. We work with highly qualified guides who will train your eye and help you pick mushrooms, truffles, asparagus, herbs, spinach and more.
The mountains’ most-prized mushrooms are porcini, ovali and galette or finferle. Orapi is a mountain spinach that has become a symbol of the culinary traditions of the Parco Nazionale D’Abruzzo. Picinisco dedicates a festival to orapi every spring as a symbol of all the foraged wild ingredients that can be found in the mountains.
There is also an abundance of truffles a little higher up in the mountains, especially across the valley above Alvito.
Wine, cheese & other delights
The white roads of the Valle di Comino are filled with vineyards and cantinas, ranging from the grand vaulted cantinas of high-profile vineyards to the small ‘garage’ cellars where only a limited number of bottles are produced each year. These produce the DOC Atina Rosso and Atina Cabernet, but also wines made from indigenous grapes that have been reintroduced as part of a new trend in Italian wine making. Maturano, Pampanaro, Capolongo and Lecinate are now challenging the classic Taglio Bordelese DOC wines. Learn from the winemakers themselves, and enjoy a glass amongst the vines.
We can arrange visits to farms where you can learn the art of cheesemaking and sample a range of beautiful local cheeses. Or simply hop on one of our e-bikes and follow our wine-and-cheese tour map.
Guests can access a local tennis court that has amazing views, or if a lazy day by the water is what you need, we can point you towards a swimming pool or the turquoise freshwater lake.
Walking & exploring
There are stunning trails around Picinisco that wander through woodland and take in the magnificent scenery of the Valle di Comino. Some are more challenging than others, but we have a map of footpaths to help you find the right one for your level. Wander down a beautiful easy track to the lake and caves at Grotta Campanaro, pass the natural rock-climbing face La Roccia di Corvo, wind through the woods, or follow the path to the 13th-century Santuario of Caneto and to the village of Settefrati.
Some pathways are accessible by bike, varying from gentle mountain tracks to hard-core mountain descents. We have electric bikes that guests are welcome to take up into the mountains, down to the lake or simply into the village. We can put you in touch with stables if you’d like to explore on horseback or, if climbing through the trees is more your thing, the Indiana Park adventure park is right on our doorstep, at the edge of the village.
Hiking & adventure
There is only one road through Picinisco, and it leads directly into the heart of the National Park of Abruzzo and to Prati di Mezzo at 1500m. In winter, this is blanketed in snow, but in summer it’s a beautiful place to go hiking, mountain biking, climbing, bouldering or simply to explore nature. From a mountain refuge in the park, you can set off for the Monti della Meta at 2100m and beyond. For the more adventurous, take a two-day mountain trek across the Apennines to Pescasseroli in the heart of the park.
We can provide you with maps, provisions, a picnic for your excursion, or everything you need for an al fresco barbecue in the tree-shaded barbecue area.
We work with a team of professional mountain guides who are passionate about their mountains and the Valle di Comino. They are keen to share their knowledge with you and to show you the flora, wildlife and secrets of the mountains.