I’m going to change my life”. Who hasn’t thought that at least once? Antonella Marinelli thought about it, and then she did it. She started working with yarn when she was just six years old, learning to knit from her grandmother in Capestrano in the Tirino Valley. Although at first it was just a hobby, 10 years ago she left her day job and became an artisan. Today she owns the business “I campi di mais,” knitting and crocheting Abruzzo wool and natural fabrics.
She displays her work at a shop in Fontecchio, a Medieval village 30 km from L’Aquila that foreigners and tourists in Abruzzo really love.
The shop is located near the village’s splendid 14th-century fountain, inside the home of Julian Civiero, a documentary filmmaker whose work focuses on the inland area of the Abruzzo region and who divides his time between England and Fontecchio. The shop has the charm of yesteryear as it is the old Fontecchio post office, complete with original safe, telegraph holes, letter cabinet and vintage door.
Journeys along the wool routes
Antonella Marinelli and tour guide Vanessa Ponziani created “I viaggi di Penelope” (Penelope’s Travels), an experiential tourism venture that takes visitors through Abruzzo’s wool production routes. They offer short vacations along the tratturo (the sheep route), with stays in B&Bs and traditional pagliare (former hay barns). The holidays include hiking and artisanal workshops on working wool, vegetable dye with saffron and wild herbs, felting, and handmade soaps. These journeys allow visitors to get to know the territory and its history, as well as its identity with the transumanza (sheep migration) and the people who live here. (ITALIAN VERSION)
Enrica Di Battista