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Day 3: L'Aquila


We started the day nice and early in Pettorano to discover that our kitchen didn't actually have any power. After some discussion (thanks, Ava) Mario was able to get things fixed. Ava found the trash cans! However, we still don't know how and when to take out the trash. Hopefully the bottom house will enlighten us.


Today we spent most of the day in L'Aquila, the administrative capital of the Abruzzo region that was largely destroyed in a major earthquake in 2009 (the economic capital is Pescara, a larger city by the water). Many buildings were either destroyed or in various stages of reconstruction.

MAXXI Museum

We arrived early to the museum, which naturally meant a morning gelato (and coffee) trip. The gelato was very sweet but delicious -- I tried the pistachio and crema (egg creme).

We then went to the MAXXI Museum, a contemporary art museum housed in a historical building reconstructed after the earthquake.

The first artwork was a painting made out of soap to represent the impermanence of the metaverse. Ava took a cool meta photo of the painting.

The next exhibit explored sound by showing videos of drums being played in an accousticly interesting old Italian prison.

The third exhibit looked at the intersection of science and art, focusing on an Italian physics research center.

The final exhibit showcased photographs of a culturally important elephant skeleton that was too difficult to move to the museum.

We then heard a presentation by Emmanuela Grismaldi Regione Abruzzo, the Director of the Office of the President of the Region of Abruzzo


Pasta alla Norma pt. 2 because it's yummy and was also the only thing on the menu I could eat.


L'Aquila has a theme of 99 after the traditional story that it was formed by 99 surrounding towns. One of its most famous landmarks is this fountain with 99 mouths, representing the 99 towns.

Back to Pettorano

We were pretty wiped from today after walking in the sun and then sitting for most of the day. Luckily, the 1.5-hour drive back to Pettorano back for a perfect nap.

Conversation with Antonio Carrara, Mayor of Pettorano sul Gizio

When we got back, we heard a presentation from the mayor of Pettorano, who was the former president of the Parco nazionale d’Abruzzo Lazio e Molise, the national park next to Pettorano, which is home to the largest population of critically endangered Marsican brown bears (about 60).

Happy Hour on Cantelmo Castle Rooftop

After the conversation with the mayor, we had drinks and aperitivo on the rooftop of the recently refurbished town castle. Inside the castle were models of the castle, town, and surrounding region. At the top, there were incredible views of the town and national parks.

Sarah is Back with More Cats

Cats in Pettorano hanging, plus one good dog chilling in his house, the finest residence in town. The first cat gets two photos because she kept posing for the camera and it was adorable.

Ava's Door of the Day

You know you've been in the library too long when you're offered alcohol by the server at the restaurant next door...I think it's time to call it for tonight. See you tomorrow!

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