There is on the El Camino di San Tommaso a fountain of free-flowing wine. It spills wine all year long. Yes, it is free for the drinking. Is there another such fountain anywhere? Historically there have been some in Spain, but this is the first permanent wine fountain in Italy, located in Ortona. Unlike other wine fountains, this wine fountain is continuous and free of charge.
The town of Ortona is in the region of Abruzzo in Central Italy. Abruzzo is perched on the edge of the Adriatic Sea before the Apennine Mountains. Its claim to fame is its Basilica di San Tommaso which holds some of the relics of the Apostle Thomas. He was the Doubting Thomas who wouldn’t believe in the resurrected Jesus until he touched his wounds.
Ortona is the destination of the Camino di San Tommaso, a 196-mile pilgrimage from Rome’s St. Peter’s Basilica to the Basilica in Ortona. This journey is similar to the journey in Spain along the Camino di Santiago, better known as the Camino de Compostela. There is a difference between them, though.
Back to the Wine
Pilgrims have walked the Camino di San Tommaso for years. Wanting to keep this tradition alive, Dora Sarchese Vineyard built a fountain of free-flowing wine as reward for those who made the long journey from Rome. That journey is no easy feat, so the winery thought they merited a treat. Tourists are also welcome to partake of the wine. Whether you walked or drove, just bring your glass or cup and help yourself to the Montepulciano red wine.
The fountain is located inside a massive wine cask. For an armchair visit, see here. The Vineyard’s Facebook page say “the fountain is not for drunkards or louts. Take heed.
A Burgundy Waterfall
Take an organic compound like tannic acid which is derived from the roots of trees bordering a creek and the end result is a waterfall of burgundy color. The water falling over the cliff appears to be red in color. The taste is not that of wine, of course, but the waterfall is beautiful to look at.
Add that to the Barbeque Mountains and you have a wonderful cookout. Where is this visual, savory treat? This will make your day if you visit Dinira National Park in the Barbeque Mountains in the eastern region of the Venezuelan Andes. This is practically an untouched area, keeping the fragile ecosystems intact. The rugged terrain is without real roads, resulting in low numbers of tourists. For the intrepid, see the story of a trip to the waterfall here. It is only on the religious holidays of Carnival and Holy Week that the indigenous flock to the waterfall. This attendance can soar to 2,500 people, presenting some ecological problems. Otherwise, it’s a fairly deserted area.
Whether you walk the Camino di Tomasso or traverse the rugged roads to La Cascada de Agua de Vino, you will not likely forget these trips.
Fact: “Traveling tends to magnify all human emotions” – Peter Hoeg
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