Roma Experience Spring-Clean Pacentro on Ecological Day

Italy seems as if it’s full of charming mediaeval hilltop villages – and it is – but perhaps none are as wholly charming as Pacentro. Gorgeous mediaeval Pacentro sits atop a hillside only a couple of hours outside of Rome, looking down upon the forested valleys of the magnificent Majella National Park.

Pacentro, although not a top tourist destination, holds a special place in the Roma Experience team’s heart. Despite being named one of Italy’s most beautiful villages, Pacentro is perhaps best known as the town Madonna’s family is from. However, Roma Experience knows it as the home of our business development partner, Robert Pardi. Rob’s Bisnonno grew up in Pacentro, before he crossed the wide sea to the States.

Which is why Rob was so eager to participate in Pacentro Ecological Day. Once a year, on April 15th, towns across Abruzzo participate in big clean-up operations; a generous act of Spring cleaning, if you will. Pacentro is no different, and last weekend Rob took to the streets, along with his friends from the Borgo, to give the village of Pacentro a good Spring-clean.

Pacentro: A Most Beautiful Village

Abruzzo, the region Pacentro is within, is renowned for its spectacular natural beauty – and Pacentro is in a prime location. The mediaeval Borgo sits inside Majella National Park, an area with some of the most diverse flora and fauna in Italy. Take a hike through Majella and expect to see rare species of deer and birds; the park is positively brimming with life. Some of Italy’s last native wolves and bears call Majella home. These animals all live within an astonishing natural landscape, dominated by craggy mountains, rich green pines, and an amazing diversity of flowers.

Perhaps such close proximity to these natural wonders is what motivates the people of Pacentro to keep the town beautiful. Of course, that was a big motivating factor for Rob – but he had a more personal reason for participating in Pacentro Ecological Day. Before Rob’s Bisnonno emigrated to America, he was born and raised in Pacentro. As an adult, Rob was determined to reconnect with his Italian roots. After visiting Pacentro, he found himself falling in love with this little village atop a hill, before eventually buying a home there. Rob wanted to give something back.

“My Great-Grandfather left to give me opportunities,” Rob told me, “but he was raised here. His experience in this town shaped my upbringing. Now, I live here. Taking part in Pacentro Ecological Day is great. The whole village unites to re-beautify Pacentro.”  Rob spent his day sweeping the city’s streets, picking up trash and planting flowers. “Only red flowers though. The people of Pacentro are very insistent on their color scheme!”

Reconnect With Your Italian Roots

Rob’s experience with Pacentro inspired our Ancestor’s Tour of Italy. We now offer the descendants of Italian emigres the chance to reconnect with their heritage, on a full-tour of the town their ancestors come from. For Rob, reconnecting with his ancestral home altered his life forever. Now, he counts the inhabitants of Pacentro as firm friends. Not many tours can promise to forever change your life – but if any can, it’s our Ancestor’s Tour.

As a team, Roma Experience care about preserving the remarkable heritage and unique beauty of Italy, which is why we’re proud Rob represented us at Pacentro Ecological Day. Keeping Italy looking gorgeous is a great way to give back to a country that’s produced so much beauty, that the whole world enjoys. We look forward to the next Ecological Day!

by Annie Beverley

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