Itinerary: Rieti, Poggio Bustone, Leonessa, Posta, Amatrice
The beauties and the culinary delights of the Sabina area
This time, let's discover the Sabina area's delicious food specialties beyond its natural beauties. You can start out on this tour from Rieti, the capital of this historic area called Sabina and which is also known as "the navel of Italy" because of its geographical location.
The small village of Poggio Bustone (pic n°1) is 15 kilometers north of Rieti. You can reach it by crossing the Natural Reserve of Lakes Lungo and Ripasottile (pic n°2), which offers impressive views of the valley of Rieti.
When arrived, take Via Roma and then follow your nose: soon, you will find a "Porchetteria", one of the many pork shops where you can taste a sandwich stuffed with the famous Porchetta (roasted pig flavored with spices). After tasting your sandwich you can stroll along the nice historic center or climb the road that leads to Convento San Giacomo (pic n°3), one of the four Franciscan shrines of the so-called Sacred Valley.
Then move towards Monte Terminillo. North of its foothills you will find the beautiful mountain village of Leonessa (pic n°4), a picturesque medieval town famous for its tasty potatoes. Enter one of the local eateries and ask for a portion of potato-based dumplings: Mouthwatering! You can also have a walk through the old town to discover architectural and historical treasures such as St. Francis' Church, one of the most beautiful of the whole Sabina area, and St. Peter's Church.
Amatrice (pic n°5) is the final stop of this tour in Sabina area. You will get there in twenty kilometers of driving, near the border between the regions of Umbria, Marches, and Abruzzo. It is a truly magical place where to be pleased by the culture, traditions, landscapes, and typical local food products of the three regions mixed in a harmonious balance. ( Unfortunately, Amatrice was severely damaged during the earthquake in 2016.)
Here, you can taste the famous spaghetti Amatriciana (pic central), which means pasta seasoned with bacon and tomato sauce. This pasta was born in the late eighteenth century from "pasta gricia", an ancient country pasta dish invented in Grisciano, not far from here.
Amatrice is also called the "Town of a Hundred Churches", such as St. Francis's Church (pic n°6) and St. Augustine's Church, located in the town center. Parts of both of these churches have also collapsed after the devastating earthquake in 2016.
On the outskirts of the town, do not miss the Church of San Cipriano in Villa San Cipriano, and the Church of Sant'Antonio Abate in Cornillo.
Length: Km 83
Some pictures of this tour:
Poggio Bustone (pic n°1); the Natural Reserve of Lakes Lungo and Ripasottile (pic n°2); Convento San Giacomo (pic n°3); Leonessa (pic n°4); Amatrice (pic n°5); St. Francis's Church (pic n°6); Spaghetti Amatriciana (pic central);