Curiosity about Chieti   

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Curiosity about Chieti 


The typical local products of Chieti certainly deserve a mention among the curiosities to be explored, as well as the mystery of the "Table of Acerenza" and the most prosaic pork museum, but let's go with order.

Among the typical products we begin by describing ventricin, a kind of delicious salami, packaged only with the best pork parts, which is why it is expensive enough to buy. Of course, a fair amount of fat is added together with the meat. The pork is cut into small pieces and mixed with spices, then " bagged"or put into a pig's bladder. The spices used are basically the same: salt and chopped chilli pepper or sometimes fennel seeds are also added.


Because it is a local speciality, there are many artisanal producers in various parts of the country. The ventricin of Vasto, a village in the province of Chieti, packaged with loin, leg and shoulder and seasoned with salt and powder of sweet pepper called "goat's horn". Sometimes the fennel and pepper are also inserted. Aging is usually one year. During the maturing process, any mould is cleaned and the lard salami is covered against oxidation. This is one of the specialties on display at the Pig Museum in Carpineto Sinello.


Chieti curiositàCarpineto Sinello is a small agricultural centre situated on a slope of Monte Sorbo in the valley of the Sinello river. Its most striking characteristic is the castle on top of the hill. The first document in which the name Carpinetam appears is a document dating back to the 12th century. During the feudal period, Carpineto Sinella was acquired by several seigniories, the most important of which under the Bass family. It is interesting to visit the castle of 1700 and the archaeological remains. Here there is also a curious museum, the pig museum.


The Pig Museum (Museo del Maiale) has been designed to enhance the cultural, historical and economic heritage that is linked to the pig. The project was realized by Stefano Bracciantini, the young Turinese architect who played the role of Look of the Games Manager for the Organizing Committee of the XX Winter Olympic Games in Turin 2006. The museum is designed with simple shapes and decorated with warm traditional colours, such as cream and burgundy. It occupies an area of approximately 1,000 square metres. It is on three floors and has five exhibition sections. The topics of these sections are: who is the pig ?History of pork in the Italian culture and rural economy from Roman times to the present day; didactic area; pig breeding and trade in the agro-food economy of central-south Italy; the historical role of Carpineto Sinello, the Abruzzo art of salami making between past and present. The museum's Experiential Area is very interesting, where, for example, a stable has been rebuilt and where you can see the methods of preserving the sausages: the sausages hang from the beams like stalactites and there are original furniture and tools on display. In this way you can experience the scent and atmosphere of the place. Afterwards, the taste is followed by a tasting of the sausages.


Other Chieti and province specialities are calcionetti (sweets) and wines, plus the cooked wine. Then there are the newcomers (delicious little skins). You can not miss the Coconut pasta that is produced in Fara San Martino. The oil is also excellent. Then the annoia di Ortona (boredom of Ortona), which is a sort of salami made with pork tripe, first soaked in water and maize flour, then rinsed with orange flavored water. They are boiled and cut into strips with a pork rosette; it is to be tasted fresh, roast or in a pan. The Ortona fegatazzo, which are another salami made of offal eaten fresh or matured: the offal is ground, seasoned, seasoned, stuffed in the natural gut and then placed to dry before maturing. Among the desserts there is the nougat of Chieti in Guardiagrele and Villamagna.


In the province there are other excellent products such as Farindola pecorino, which is produced with milk and rennet obtained from the epithelial layer of the stomach of the pig. The maturing period is one year. Production takes place between April and June. The mortadella di Campotosto is made with the shoulder, loin and trimming of the ham.

Another curiosity, in the province of Chieti there is Villa Santa Maria that hosts one of the most famous hotel schools in Italy.


Moving on from regional specialities to the most delicate art world, in Chieti, the University Museum has been examined the "Table of Acerenza", an alleged self-portrait of Leonardo da Vinci, known as "Presunto self-portrait Lucano". This small painting, an oil on wood, 44 cm x 60 cm in size, was discovered by chance at the end of 2008, in the building of a noble family of Acerenza (south of Naples). For over a year, the experts directed by Prof. Luigi Capasso have studied in Chieti this portrait of a middle-aged man, with his beard, long hair hidden under a large black hat, adorned with a white feather. They studied it from every corner: analysis of the type of wood used, chemical analysis of pigments, very sophisticated analysis of fingerprints, study of graphology, cephalometry of the face, etc.. According to carbon 14 dating, it would have been painted between 1478 and 1520, and this period corresponds to the time when the painter lived (1452-1519).


Professor Nicola Barbatelli, the medievalist who discovered this precious object, making an inventory of a collection, did not doubt, from the beginning, that it could be a portrait of Leonardo da Vinci. At first, he hesitated, however, between the self-portrait and the attribution to another painter of the time, Cristofano dell'Altissimo, author of a portrait of Leonardo da Vinci who is in Florence, at the Uffizi Gallery and whose model is similar to the mysterious portrait of Lucania. According to the analysis of the writing, the " pinxit mea" that was found on the back of the painting, is written from right to left as it was customary for the Tuscan artist and corresponds to his writing. And some tracks recorded by weapon officers specializing in this type of analysis, are impressively similar to those found in other works considered authentic as La Dama con l'ermellino. Also included is the fingerprint of the thumb, which sometimes replaced Leonardo's brushes.


Professor Capasso is considered the best expert in scientific examination of Leonardo da Vinci's works and he wanted the painting in Chieti also to underline the cultural vocation of the city. The research carried out in Chieti has made it possible to identify the only " biological" trace of the great genius Leonardo, the fingerprint of the fingertip, then published and patented to be used also in investigations of dubious or previously unknown works by Leonardo himself and his students.



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