he surrounding mountain ranges of the Gran Sasso (highest in all of Italy), Maiella, and Meta provide ample space and fodder in the fostering of the areas prized sheep and lamb , from which our artisanal, organic, products are derived. In addition to being home of the highest mountain range in the country, Abruzzo also has the advantage of lying on the Adriatic coast, providing the area with a myriad of products from atop a cliff, to below the sea. The cuisine of this region, much like its products and life-style, rely on the simple and the available, the raw and the fresh.
The farm itself was founded in 1977 by Nunzio Marcelli and Manuela Cozzi. Marcelli, an Anversa local , and Cozzi, of Florence; teamed up to revitalize the pastoral traditions of the area. These traditions were slowly waning, as more and more locals migrated to larger cities in the pursuit of careers and a more modern way of life.
Still today, these very customs continue to be at risk for the same reasons; making artisanal works using farming practices developed through generations of local products, all the more vital. Through perseverance and belief in their cause, the farm has prospered and its "bioagriturismo" model has been replicated in Italy and throughout Europe. The farm is owned and operated to this day, by our family.
The organic co-operative, Parco Produce, was established in 1996 to offer the products of La Porta dei Parchi, as well as six other farms within the Majella National Park and the Parco Nazionale D'Abruzzo. La Porta di Parchi rests on 1,100 hectares of farmland, employs a flock of 1300 Soppravizzano sheep (an ancient local breed), 15 Maremma sheep dogs, 6 shepherds, 2 cheese-makers, and a vet.
From the early spring and into the late fall, the sheep, the shepherds and their dogs, spend virtually their entire waking hours grazing in the mountain meadows of the Gran Sasso, feasting on the pristine mountain grass of wild mint, rosemary, oregano, fennel, and juniper.
At their bio-agriturismo farm, La Porta dei Parchi, the accommodations include apartment-style rooms (30 beds) with kitchenette, a 50-seat restaurant as well as picturesque picnic and recreation areas.