Friends of mine Anne and Leslie from Ireland signed up for a tango holiday in Pescara organized by a tango teacher Simona Zaino who is Italian and lives in Dublin. They planned to spend a few days visiting me in Rome, and talked me into joining them on the trip. I haven’t danced since Loris took ill as haven’t felt like it, but I thought I would join them as the tango holiday consisted of Pilates classes as well as tango, and there was no obligation to dance or take any of the classes.
Pescara is on the Adriatic coast in the province of Abruzzo, a very beautiful province full of mountains and noted for it’s good food. We took the bus there which was very cheap (9 Eur) and which went through the mountains giving us wonderful views. We stayed in a hotel across the road from the beach and had it almost all to ourselves. Pescara is popular among families with children as the beach is long and flat, and the water is shallow close to the shore but since school isn’t yet finished for the summer holidays, there were few visitors.
There were only about six people in the Irish group so we got to know each other very quickly. Understandably, coming from Ireland, some were eager to soak up the sun and lie on the beach. Not something I’m particularly keen on myself. So I was delighted to a woman in the group, Hermione Winters who is the president of the Slow Food Movement in Ireland. Hermione had rented a car and wanted to visit the neighbouring towns to do some sightseeing and check out the restaurants serving good food. The towns close to Pescara, Ortona, Vasto, Silvi and Atri are picturesque, one or two of them perched on high cliffs overlooking the ocean.
We wandered through them checking out whatever there was to see and visiting small shops that sold local produce. In Silvi Alta, we came across a small shop that supported the slow food network and we bought excellent salami and salsiccia (sausage). We also found out that Atri was where liquorice is produced and as one would expect, the town has lots of sweets and pastries containing liquorice. In Vasto, we were eager to find a particular lunch spot called Da Ferri which is noted for its fish soups. It was in the industrial port and hard to find as you had to go through a hidden side entrance but the soup was amazing. In fact so good that we spent over two hours there and had no time to see anything of the city which I believe has a wonderful view overlooking the ocean. However, the drive there along the coast was beautiful and we had lunch on the terrace outside with a view of the sea (and unfortunately, a crane!). After we had finished the fish and seafood in our soup, they brought us pasta which they swirled around the dish to pick up the remaining sauce. A wonderful idea.
I ended up taking a couple of tango classes after all. In addition to Simona and another tango teacher Laura Francia from Pescara, there were two Argentinian teachers, Ariel Perez and Emiliano Alcaraz who had come from Athens and Berlin respectively, to teach. The classes were small and we got individual attention as well as the opportunity to ask specific questions as well as dance with the teachers. The classes were held in a restaurant very close to our hotel and when we found that the room allotted to us was too hot, we just came out and danced on their private patio instead. It was a great reintroduction to tango and I danced almost non-stop at both the milongas I attended. Simona gave us a class on posture and breathing as she is also a Pilates teacher and I find this very useful for playing the flute and for singing. The holiday in Pescara was a wonderful experience for me and I’m waiting for Anne and Leslie to come up with a new Tango destination in Italy or Hermione to find a slow food event!