The net that eventually drew us to opening an inn and tour company in Abruzzo, Italy was firmly cast in August 2007 during a trip to my wife Lisa’s incredibly beautiful ancestral village of San Sebastiano in southern L’Aquila.

Lisa, her mother Anita Grassi, and our nephew Jordan Tarini reconnected with their family in the old country. They met dozens of relatives as the annual week-long party kicked off in the village. We discovered that after decades of lost contact Lisa’s family roots ran very deep in the picturesque Giovenco Valley. The excitement of meeting all these warm and welcoming people was overwhelming.

On the second day of that trip, we really got into the swing of things as people we barely knew went out of their way to make us feel welcome and include us in the traditions. They invited us to parties, for drinks, to sing with them, to walk with them, and to be part of a larger group.

This warmth has kept us going back to the village almost every year since then in August. We’ve come to be good friends with many of these people, and it’s doubtful we would be embarking on this adventure without them embracing us as they did.

Next week, I'll get back to our path to opening Amazing Abruzzo Tours.

But for this blog, I’m going to introduce you to some of these wonderful people. 

There are many more people I should include here, but you get the point. A big part of our decision to leave our comfortable jobs in Canada to open a tour company and inn in the rustic and beautiful Abruzzo region of Italy was the people of San Sebastiano. We truly have been welcomed with open arms into their community.


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