After a tour of the major cities of Italy, we planned to visit the Teramo, Abruzzo region where my ancestors were born and to do some research on them. While searching for places to stay in Teramo, a divine providence led us to La Grande Quercia, and we arranged to stay there in that beautiful region. La Grande Quercia is located in one of the most stunning and tranquil settings we have ever seen. Upon our arrival, we were pleasantly greeted and upgraded to the charming cottage which is surrounded by olive, apricot and many other fruit trees. The cottage is spacious and beautifully decorated. We felt very special because it felt like a home away from home, with everything you could possibly need. The grounds of La Grande Quercia are so lovely and the surrounding countryside so breathtaking, that you instantly get a sense of peace and tranquility. Breakfast every morning was superb. One of the highlights of our stay was the special five course dinner they hosted and prepared for us one evening. Excellent food, excellent wine, good friends, and good times – it doesn’t get any better than that!!
To our amazement, since it was the main reason for our visiting Teramo, Russ and Sergio specialize in ancestral research for the region. These amazing gentlemen did research for us before we even left the States and were able to obtain information that had eluded us for a lifetime. Without Sergio and Russ acting as translators and interpreters, we never could have accomplished this research or obtained documents that will enable me to obtain Italian dual citizenship; something I have wanted to do for many years. They also went out of their way to drive us around the small villages where my ancestors were born and to show us ancient sites in the city of Teramo.
Russ and Sergio learned it was my wife’s birthday while we were there and gave her a very special gift, which just exemplifies how wonderful they are. But most of all, we feel we have the gift of their friendship, which we hold very dear. We hope to visit Teramo again and of course, La Grande Quercia will be the only place for us to stay. The visit to Teramo, staying at La Grande Quercia, and meeting Russ and Sergio was the highlight of our trip to Italy. We will treasure it for a lifetime.