As you arrive in Santo Stefano di Sessanio, it feels as if you've been transported to a magical and timeless place: the silence, the high altitude, the enchanting landscape, the beautiful town center, all these things welcome and soothe you. Situated in the heart of the Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga National Park, the town center is built entirely of white limestone whose tone has scarcely darkened with the passing centuries, while the tiled roofs create a fine sight for anyone who gazes down at them from above. However, what Santo Stefano is best known for are its lentils. They're of extremely high quality, and rare, too, growing only in arid soil at altitudes of between 1,200 and 1,450 meters. Their delicious taste forms the basis of numerous traditional dishes that, through their flavors and the age-old rituals of the kitchen, tell the story of the region.