MANTERA” is a term derived from the old technique of wool manufacturing. Exactly, it referes to a mantle made of boiled wool, used by shepherds in the mountains of Abruzzi. It was a valuable piece of clothing for sheherds, as it protected well both from heat and cold (wool is an excellent insulator). So it was a helpful tool both in summer and in winter, during the long days spent on the pasture.

Form this old tradition, ARPO decided to protect the old crafts from oblivion and to promote such a valuable raw material as wool, which today is suffering from the concurrence of synthetic fibers. In the 80’s, one kilogram of freshly sheared wool could reach a market value of 2.50 euros, whereas today it does not reach 50 cents!

In order to support wool economy, we have to slow down the dramatic decline of sheep breeding. Several studies have shown that where sheep breeding desappears, the upper and lower rings of the food chain disappear too. A lot of birds flight, as in the fields left neglected they can no longer find seeds, and the same happens with large predators. With this project, ARPO has achived one big result: the role of sheep breeding for the environment balance was recognized as essential.

Also, it is essential to create added value on all chains of cattle-breeding (milk, meat, wool) for at least two reasons: economic convenience will become more appealing; job opportunities will increase, together with a preservation of the rural structure and an overall development of the region.

THE WOOL ROUTES are a network of roads used to transport the wool fleeces until they are transformed into finished products. Also, they include a thick web of cattle paths, i.e. the signs marked through decades and centuries by the ancient cultures.

From this perspective, this is not a mere commercial operation but a project for territorial development, aimed at the protection of a whole cultural legacy (history, crafts, knowledge). It is also a project of environmental didactics and a tool for tourism development in a marginal but pure region as that of Abruzzi mountains. La Mantera is a part of this whole project: finished produts made of pure new wool (100% organic and dyed with natural colors) are offered as products connected with the history and traditions, the emotions and gestures of ancestral crafts. This heritage can be experienced by our guests, who will be welcomed in our premises with a range of diverse types of accommodation and a rich series of farm workshops.

This post is also available in: Italian

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