Abruzzo and the most beautiful villages in Italy
AN ENCHANTED CHEST IN NATURE
The work of man recalls the passage of time like the sand of an hourglass.
The building has dug into the hard rock, nestled on silent plateaus, perched on the top of the hills, among perennial snows, sown fields or near waterways, small cave paintings , varying from hour to hour, with every oscillation of light, at every turn of the season, their wonder. Ancient echoing villages bucolic tales, keepers of ancient legends , mysterious stories lost in time, but re-emerging in every narrow alley of the towns, brought from mouth to mouth by the elderly of the town.
Small fortified towns , to defend against dangers, dotted with narrow streets, perched on the rock, with houses admirable for their functionality and ancient and unchanged beauty. Mysterious abbeys, long abandoned, bearers of the still beating mystical heart of the Region, of its attachment to religion. Hermitages dispersed in narrow valleys or high mountains, conservers of the memory of men who have sought God in nature, bowing to its discomforts and bad weather and eating its fruits in a loving union.
A journey into the indelible enchantment of Abruzzo, bearing the scent of Antiquity and the color of passing Time.
Anversa degli Abruzzi (AQ)
Anversa degli Abruzzi , a village of ancient origins, lies on the “Foce” of the fascinating and tortuous path of the Gorges of Sagittarius and physically connects the Peligna basin with Scanno and Villalago. Below the inhabited center, the Cavuto springs gush out, an area of great naturalistic interest, enhanced by the institution of the WWF Protected Oasis. A path “ scary and beautiful “, A canyon created by the unstoppable action of water on a multitude of layers of limestone, an ancient sea fold that disappeared 200 million years ago. The ancient medieval village of Antwerp is identified by an outer wall of houses, built close to cliffs, which circumscribe the inhabited center, called “ the houses of the Lombards “. The internal alleys and arched underpasses created between the houses are fascinating. Let’s start the visit from Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie of the sixteenth century, whose facade is enriched by a rich Renaissance portal in limestone and an imposing rosette , whose radiant columns have been lost. The interior retains ancient altars with grotesque engravings, one statue of S. Rocco in polychrome terracotta, “almost certainly a peasant craftsman”, a gilded wood tabernacle by maestro De Picchi. The reproduction of the magnificence is exhibited on the main altar Triptych of Antwerp . There Church of San Marcello , dedicated to the patron saint already in the 11th century, proudly exhibits on its facade an elegant late Gothic portal, luxuriant with fanciful ornamental sculpted, anthropomorphic, plant and animal motifs, embellished in the lunette sextured by a rare tribulus. The Norman castle , dating back to the 12th century, it was for centuries a strategic position for sighting invaders in the southern part of the Peligna Valley. Even today, the ancient tower overlooks the town below. The castle was for a long time the residence of the counts of Sangro and hosted numerous artists and intellectuals. Opposite the citadel of Antwerp, on the right side of the Gorges stands the ancient independent fiefdom of Castrovalva , whose oldest monuments date back to the eleventh century: you enter the ancient Castrum , of which there are no vestiges, through an ogival-shaped portal. To visit the Church of S. Michele Arcangelo , patron saint of the place, built on the crest of Monte S.Angelo and the Parish church of S. Maria della neve . The two villages are examples of ridge settlements remarkably preserved. Since the Renaissance the presence of workshops and master potters has been recognized ceramic in relief.
In the silence of atmospheres full of mysticism, it rises, in the barren and majestic Gorges of Sagittarius a village of ancient origins, Bugnara , on a hill at 580 meters above sea level, at the foot of the Colle Rotondo , concentrated around its historic center at the foot of the Rocca dello Scorpio , of which significant remains are still recognizable in the urban fabric. Located in one of the most beautiful and evocative areas in the heart of Abruzzo, the medieval village preserves the signs of the many noble families that have alternated over the course of its history and have enriched the vestiges with architectural signs of remarkable workmanship. According to some, the name derives from the ancient cult reserved for the goddess Ceres or Bona Ara and according to others Vignara , full of vines. The most important monuments are: the ruins of megalithic walls and fortifications, the Church of S. Maria della Neve , of ancient pagan origins, which houses inside the Statue of the Madonna della Concanella , the Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli , famous for the triptych , the ruins of Ducal Palace dating back to ‘200, the Palace of the Popes , the Palace of Baron Alesi dei Pappardelli and the 16th century Church of the Madonna of SS. Rosary , the Church of S. Francesco da Paola , the Church of Santa Maria del Buon Consiglio and the Church of S. Maria della Pac and in Torre dei Nolfi.
- Events: 16/03/2008 6th Contrada San Giuseppe Running Race, 16 June Pecorino Cheese Festival, 20/07 Sports Festival and Castrato Festival, Land Art that collects the works of artists who work through interviews on the natural landscape, Romantic 02 / 08/2008 Hearts under and Stars, 04/08 2nd International Florist Festival, Celebrations of S.Magno and S.Vittorino, 08/12 Feast of Taste and Solidarity and Twinning with Borgo di Tomba.
Castel del Monte
Near Campo Imperatore, inside the Natural Park of Gran Sasso and of the Monti della Laga , dominated by the barren summit of Monte Bolza, at an altitude of 1343 meters, from which dominates the Castle Tower in a panoramic position on the suggestive Tirino Valley , Castel del Monte , a town with a millenary tradition linked to transhumance . An ancient mountain center which, thanks to the purity of the air, the proximity of dense woods and extensive meadows, is a summer health resort and ski center during the winter months. The first records date back to the second half of the 13th century, when the fiefdom was annexed to the marquisate of Capestrano. The historic center is full of evocative views, covered underpasses, loggias, casetorri, remains of walls and the access doors to the ancient fortified village called “ Recipe “. To visit the Church of the Madonna del Suffragio , which inside preserves a statue of the Virgin with typical local dress, one silver cross dating back to the fifteenth century, the work of the Sulmona school of goldsmiths, the Church of S. Marco Evangelista which houses altars with Renaissance and Baroque re-enactments, the Wool Museum , warehouses and abandoned houses that have become exhibition centers of peasant traditions.
- Events: 05/08 Ovine Festival of Campo Imperatore, a fair and a party that evokes the bond of pastoral activity in the castle and transhumance, 06/08 Feast of San Donato, last Sunday of February March of Campo Imperatore, a cross-country marathon that takes place in the fascinating snowy winter setting.
- Curiosity: the sinkholes and plateaus have been made famous by the western by Sergio Leone , from the Trinity cycle, and from numerous Hollywood blockbusters set in wide steppes and vast wastelands and empty.
Castles is a small and picturesque village, located at the foot of the Monte Shirt , founded in the Carolingian era and known for centuries as capital of the Majolica . From its kilns were born between the late Middle Ages, the Renaissance and the Baroque absolute masterpieces in the art of painted ceramics. Even today the city does not betray the roots of its ancient tradition and passes it on with one School of Ceramic Art it’s a great museum , while nearby a small country church, the Cona of S. Donato , whose ceiling is adorned with ceramic tiles from the first half of the seventeenth century of considerable value and workmanship, so much so that it has been defined by admirers “the Sistine Chapel of the Italian Majolica “. To visit the House of Horace Pompeii , the Parish Church of S. Giovanni Battista , the Church of Santa Maria della Lacrima .
- Events: Living Nativity of Castelli, Christmas period
Civitella del Tronto
In the upper Abruzzo, perched on a hill 589 meters above sea level, stands the village of Civitella del Tronto , whose wide view stretches from the Gran Sasso massif to the Adriatic coast. Aristocratic town, of remarkable architectural beauty, rich in art and culture, it was in the past the most important Defensive bulwark of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies . The city is mainly known for its Fortress , one of the most impressive military engineering works in Italy. The construction extends over an area of 25,000 square meters and for a length of 500 meters on a rocky ridge. Following the natural route to visit the monument, you come across the first guard post, originally surrounded by a moat on which a drawbridge was lowered. Two other covered walkways and the first Piazza d’Armi del Cavaliere , completed the defensive structure to protect the eastern side of the fort, more exposed to enemy attacks. After the third entrenchment, you enter the second parade ground, under which the first of the five tanks that collected rainwater. Passing along the walls on the northern side you will find the third and last parade ground, the “Gran Piazza” , and the second cistern. The visitor is therefore at the highest point of the fortress that houses the Governor’s Palace and the Church consecrated to S. Giacomo . Leaving the church, you enter the main street along which you can see the ruins of the troops’ quarters. Today the ancient rooms of the kitchens and the canteen house the Arms Museum . The tree-lined avenue leads to the walkway on the west side, an unassailable and landscape-most suggestive point of the visit. From this position we have a picture of the underlying town of Civitella del Tronto and its particular urban planning, with the houses arranged parallel to the fort so as to constitute further defensive barriers. The southern walkways lead the visitor back to the Gran Piazza and finally to the remains of the Governor’s Palace. The underlying village hosts, enclosed within the walls, numerous medieval and Renaissance buildings, which overlook the narrow city road network. On the ancient door of the thirteenth century called Porta Napoli , is placed it coat of arms of the city , depicting 5 towers. Within the town, three interesting churches are worth visiting: Saint Francis , Saint Lawrence is Santa Maria degli Angeli .
The “ City of Stone “, Suggestive and ancient town immortalized eternally by D’Annunzio in Triumph of Death , whose legends tell of its foundation by Spartacus, with a glorious past, encloses within its walls the goldsmith and artisan tradition of the Region. Clinging to the buttresses of the Majella, pearl of the province of Theatine, from an altitude of 600 meters, it turns its gaze towards a bucolic landscape of cultivated fields, virgin plains and wild rocks. Known since the Middle Ages, the town retains ancient vestiges, reached its maximum splendor in the 12th century, was colonized by the Benedictines and built as a defensive bulwark, within its walls, the citadel of Greelem . A artistic town with an elegant structure, in which the wonders carved in stone meet the frenetic activity of master craftsmen, works of infinite precision created by prominent personalities of the caliber of Nicholas of Guardiagrele . Among the main religious buildings, the complex of S. Maria Maggiore , Guardiagrele cathedral, the highest testimony of the architecture of the region, which with its central position determines the image of the village, embellished with houses, churches and millenary towers . The building dates back to the 12th century and is made entirely of Majella stones. It has a tower-shaped facade, which is almost completely occupied by the quadrangular bell tower , at the base of which opens a splendid one ogival portal with a bezel featuring a niche with the statue of the Baptist , uo of the most grandiose and rare jewels of late Gothic art. On the left side of the church there is an airy loggia with pointed arches, on the right side a beautiful front porch with a beamed roof and a grandiose 15th century fresco representing the artist’s St. Christopher De Litio . The interior, in Baroque style, retains a beautiful carved walnut pulpit and the Cross , admirably worked by the distinguished artist Nicola di Guardiagrele, dating back to the twelfth century. Next to it is the Church of S.Rocco of the ‘500 , adorned with valuable Baroque furnishings including the confessional and the wooden pulpit . Near it is located the Oratory of the Madonna del Popolo is the Oratory of all Saints , with the admirably frescoed vault., today the seat of civic Museum and of Library . To visit is also the Church of San Francesco , built in the fourteenth century, with a horizontal crown facade, an example of the Abruzzo architectural taste of the time and inside interesting furnishings from the Baroque and medieval ages. The “Door of the Majella “, As this suggestive country is called, it is also the city of craftsmanship: arrived in front of the majestic Porta S. Giovanni one is dazzled by the reflections of the copper that shines in the sun and the eye is lost among the myriad of with what , vases and pitchers , among the countless objects in wrought iron showcased by master craftsmen along the streets and walls of the town.
- Events: 3rd Sunday of May, Feast of S. Nicola Grco and S. Antonio – July, Majell Feast, in honor of the war dead – July, Body Building Grand Prix – 6/7/8 August, Patronal Feasts of S . Donato and S. Emidio – August, Cinema under the Stars – from 1 to 20 August, Artisan Market Exhibition in Abruzzo, exhibition of the vast and ancient craft production of Abruzzo with bobbin lace work, wrought iron, worked stone and ceramics – August, Extemporaneous program of artistic and traditional crafts.
Ancient village of medieval origin, nestled between two streams in the green of the Peligna Valley , is characterized by its scenic wonders and wildlife rarities. The toponym derives from the fundamental role that water had in the history of the town, when the monks of the rich Abbey of S.Clemente a Casauria sent colonists to cultivate the fertile oasis between the valleys of S.Antonio and Contra and engraved on the its imposing portal the epithet “Valvam inter Aquas “, As a seal of his vocation. Introduce water it is dominated by the remains of an ancient one tower square plan with polygonal base and adjacent fortress fenced of medieval origin. On the mount Plaia the ruins of megalithic walls of Italic invoice. In the town to visit the Marchesale Trasmodi Palace dating back to the 15th century, guardian of the secrets of feudal power, bearing the two gates of the earth, equipped with heavy doors, which in the past were closed when the night came; the Castle , a “dungeon” built in the twelfth century to defend the city, the mother church of the SS Annunziata , with the bell tower in Romanesque style and the basilica interior with three naves of Armenian solemnity with works of the ‘500,’ 600 and ‘700 and the baroque altar, within which the remains of S. Feliciano . Also noteworthy are the Church of SS. Trinity, built on the ruins of S. Panfilo, a building that was destroyed during a flood; there Country church of S. Giovanni Battista , from the 11th century with some original frescoes; there Church of S. Antonio, built to defend the fire of San Antonio; there Church of the Addolorata with the statues of the Dead Christ and the Virgin of Sorrows; there Old Fountain from the first half of the 18th century, in bare stone, with a rectangular drinking trough and with the engraving of the coat of arms of the city and of the massari who favored its construction in order to supply the inhabitants, until then forced to go extra moenia to the so-called source of the witches; and the ancient Gate of the Earth with the ramparts that fortified the Old Borgo . All around the Peligni woods, rich in water, shade and coolness.
- Events: January, Feast of S. Antonio Abate with local fires and distribution of “renete” – Easter of Resurrection, animesante, procession and representation of the Madonna who “sails” – July, Feast of the Madonna del S. Rosario – August, Feasts of the patron saints of the town – August, Sagra della Porchetta – September, Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows and S. Rocco – November, Feast of S. Cecilia.
- Curiosity: In 1949 the film “ Little lady “, With the actors Aroldo Tieri, Antonella Lualdi and the famous opera singer Gino Bechi. The soundtrack was played by the already famous band of Introdacqua and consecrated its fame. Asinomania Association , studies on donkey milk, training in onotherapy and donkey culture, the rediscovery of the donkey as a friend of man and as a trekking companion.
Pacentro , one of the most interesting medieval towns in central Italy, stands on an ancient river fan on the slopes of Mount Miletus , on the ridge of Mount Morrone. Squeezed between the rocks, sheltered from the force of the winds, oxygenates and rich in water, the town extends from the alluvial plain of Sulmona to Monte Amaro and includes a vast and heterogeneous territory from a morphological and climatic point of view. The village offers a perfect blend of nature, history, tradition and gastronomy. A nineteenth-century writer, referring to the town, wrote “ placed on a pleasant hill at the foot of Mount Morrone, from whatever side you look at it, it shows how big it is enough and of pleasant appearance “. The toponym probably has Latin origin, as evidenced by the archaeological finds: according to the legend, the Troaino hero Pacinus , having left Aeneas on the banks of the Tiber, he went through the Sannio, and arrived at the foot of Mount Morrone, there he founded the city of Pacentro. The citadel followed the historical events of Kingdom of Naples and it was often a feud disputed in the fights between feudal lords. the historic center, dating back to the 11th century, has been preserved intact, maintaining the charm of very narrow alleys undulating between a continuous ups and downs of stairways, of houses perched on each other, of ancient portals, of carved stones. On the top of the hill are the ruins of the Castle of the Counts of Valva or Castle of the Caldora , built in the 10th century to defend the Peligna Valley, with cylindrical towers repairing quadrangular towers , enriched by an elegant battlements crowned with corbels carved with anthropomorphic figures and slits for harquebuses and bombards. To see: i Canaje , the ancient public wash house where women with their characteristic copper basins, made of stone slabs, converged; there Stone Tonna or stone of Scandal, a hollowed stone, used as a unit of measurement of wheat, on which the insolvent were seated naked and exposed to the gaze of passers-by, as a form of public humiliation; in the historic center, an artist 17th century fountain , once used as a sepulchral urn and opposite, the mestosa Mother Church of S. Maria Maggiore or della Misericordia , dating back to the second half of the sixteenth century, with a sturdy tripartite facade below in protruding pilasters, the high Bell tower well preserved, and the three internal naves decorated with stucco and the wooden door original, skilfully carved by a local artist; there Church of the Immaculate Conception of the Convent of the Observant Friars Minor, which it preserves inside priceless frescoes from the 16th century; there Church of S. Marcello ; there Church of the Madonna of Loreto ; the Gentilizi palaces and the Town Hall of the ‘500, give it beautiful portals . The village is a succession of suggestive glimpses in the internal streets, immersed in the half-light and mystery, surrounded by dense woods and bearers of ancient traditions.
- Events: Good Friday, Procession of the Dead Christ – April, Feast of the Compatron St. Mark the Evangelist and Launch of the Hot Air Balloon – May, Feast of S. Maria della Misericordia – June, Corpus Domini Procession on Flowers of Ginestro and Thuma – August, Sagra della Polta – August, Historical Re-enactment of the Rolling of the People of Arms by Antonio Caldora of the Year of the Lord 1450 – September, Feast of Our Lady of Loreto with Race of the Gypsies and Zingarelli – October, Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary and Launch of the Hot Air Balloon – November, Feast of St. Charles and Launch of the Hot Air Balloon – 30 December, Living Nativity Scene in the evocative scenery of the village streets up to the Grotto of the Nativity of Fonte del Vallone.
- Curiosity: “ Gypsies “, In the local dialect, are the young people who throw themselves barefoot, in a mad rush from the Pietra Carnaia, on the sharp pebbles of the mountains, immune to pain and full of courage in honor of the Madonna of Loreto. Young people descend the steep ridge of Colle Ardinghi, passing trees and shrubs, and barefoot, walk the shining stone that leads them to the Church. The Banda Musicale opens the procession, and good wine is offered at every street corner, as a propitiatory sign of the impending harvest.
Pescocostanzo stands as a jewel of art , nature and artisan and fabulous tradition, at an altitude of 1400 m asl, suspended in the center of a system of karst plateaus known by the name of Highlands of Abruzzo . The small town, nestled between the Gran Sasso and Majella National Parks, hosts within its walls less than 2000 inhabitants and an inestimable wildlife and artistic heritage, and is surrounded by a magical aura, guardian of ancient legends and exquisite wonders of art. baroque, renaissance and neoclassical. Inevitable a walk for the streets of the town of stone slabs , through its characteristic 100 houses, known as “ vignali “, Pearls of popular architecture, with external landings and steps, which can be accessed through doors and windows of worked stone. To visit: the Franciscan Convent of Jesus and Mary , in Baroque style, with works in polychrome marble and mother of pearl; there Church of Santa Maria del Colle of the fourteenth century with his Late Romanesque portal which concludes the staircase that opens the perspective to the complex internal architecture with remarkable valuable canvases, rich in sculptures and marble frontals of the most varied shapes, and the Portal of the Renaissance of S. Maria del Suffragio ai Morti, with a coffered ceiling in carved wood, the organ with a stage in gilded and painted wood, the baptismal font of the eighteenth century in inlaid and sculpted marble, the shovel with the Caravaggesque aura of the Pardon of Assisi; the Town Hall dating back to the 16th century in stone, with rounded balconies with wrought iron railings; the Renaissance Fontana Maggiore , with elegant bas-reliefs; there Church of Santa Maria del Carmine , small and collected; the Moscow building , which since the 16th century has hosted important theological, philosophical and juridical discussions; numerous i Noble palaces with defensive turrets, churches and birthplace of artists and men of culture of all ages.
- Events: 17 January, Feast of S. Antonio Abate, with hot air balloons, popular songs and tasting of typical products in the central square; Second week of Lent, the! Forty Hours “; Carnival, Funeral at the Dead Carnival; June 13, Feast of St. Anthony of Padua
- Curiosity: The center of the village retains countless ancient texts from the 11th century, a priceless private bookseller heritage. The artisan tradition has managed to keep itself alive with exceptional works by filigree, wrought iron and bobbin lace . Typical of the place there transhumance , the movement of the flocks “beyond the earth”, along grassy paths called tratturi.
Pettorano sul Gizio
Pettorano sul Gizio stands on the “ Guardiola “, A promontory of the high Gizio Valley , naturally defended by the river of the same name and by Riaccio stream . On the slopes of Monte Genzana, it is the only center located in a nature reserve, of medieval origin, flanked by the Via Napoleonica, which has always been a crossroads of important historic centers, and has a tradition rich in art and traditions. A morphology characterized by a natural one softness of the landscape , interspersed with wide valleys of karst origin. The inhabited nucleus rises around an ancient one strut tower , positioned in the highest part of the town, a fortified enclosure built to defend the population, capable, with its majestic size, of intimidating those who passed through the Gizio Valley. The inhabited area preserves the typical medieval structure with narrow streets that intersect creating wonderful squares that open like a balcony on the surrounding greenery, e leaning houses one on the other. To see: the Renaissance Ducal Palace of the Cantelmo family, characterized by the austerity of the architecture, which reveals its original political and defensive function; the Convent of the Carmelites , which inside preserves noble tombs, a wooden madonna and a beautiful stoup; the Croce Palace , the Castaldina Palace better known as Palazzotto Barocco, with elegant Baroque forms and a refined vestibule; the Orsini Palace , the Vitto-Massei Palace , the Gravina Palace ; the Palazzo del Prete Nola ; there Church of S. Rocco ; there Church of San Giovanni , the Parish Church of S. Dionisio, of the sixth century, in Romanesque style, from the bel stone portal in ashlar blocks, with representation of natural elements, lo municipal coat of arms enclosed in the keystone of the arch, and magnificent inside Fifteenth-century crucifix and a beautiful one Madonna with Child ; there Church of the Madonna della Libera dating back to the seventeenth century, the ancient Church of S.Nicola from the 11th century; the Sanctuary of S. Maria d’Antiochia , patron saint of the town, located in the wide Frentana valley, with an ancient eremitic cell, founded on the cult of the “passing of water” which gave fertility to the territory; the Five Doors : Porta S.Nicola With the’fresco depicting St. Margaret holding the town on her right hand, Door Cencia or Porta Reale, so named after the passage of King Ferdinand II of Bourbon in 1982, Porta San Marco or door of the Stains, surmounted by one statue of St. Anthony between two pinnacles; Gate of the Mill , Door of S. Margherita o Porta delle Frescare, formerly used by woodcutters for their work.
- Events: January 1st, New Year’s Serenade; Tuesday of Carnival, Carnival with the reading of the Testament of King Carnival; 12 and 13 July, Feast of S. Margherita and S. Benigno; October 30, Historical Parade in the Borgo del Principe Cantelmo; 11 November, S. Martino and Capetiempe demonstration; December, Festival of Rognosa Polenta.
- Curiosity: in the town a fragment of the edict of Diocletian and Galerius was found, in Greek “ Edictus de pretiis rerum venalium “.
The small and poor municipality rises at an altitude of 1005 meters at the foot of the Small Horn of the Gran Sasso. Of ancient origins, traceable both in the cadence of the local dialect and in the structure of the inhabited area, with architectural elements dating back to the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, the town rises in the luxurious and verdant territory of the Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga National Park . The toponym Petra , the origin of the name of the village derives from the fact that the houses were built on imposing slats brought downstream by the melting of the glaciers of Campo Pericoli or it can refer to the rock in the shape of a camel’s hump that surmounts the village. To see: the Mother Church of S. Leucio with rich furnishings, wooden organ , a curious one holy water font with aquatic animals typical of the area and two splendid ones silver crosses ; there Tower House , formerly used as a lookout area; there Church of S. Donato from the 16th century; there Church of S. Giovanni from the fifteenth century; there Church of S.Rocco built in 1530 on the occasion of the plague that raged in the village; the small one Chapel of the Annunciation ; the public wash house ; the remains of the Church of the Madonna ; the ruins of old mill at the Rio Arno. During a walk through the narrow cobbled streets of the historic center you will be able to recognize, in addition to the characteristic squares, the narrow ups and downs surmounted by arches, the balconies-barns, the fondaci dug into the rock, the ancient fountains, the Casa de li Signuritte , with mullioned windows of the ‘400 , twisted columns which bear in the architrave the symbol of the wool carders and a majolica crucifix and the Don Ioani’s house , with the civic coat of arms and inscriptions carved in stone. They are symbols of disappeared presences, of a difficult life faced with a hard heart and with all the love for the pure mountain air that the dreamy soul steeped in tradition of an inhabitant of Pietracamela keeps in his memories.
Rocca San Giovanni
The small Theatine town stands on a rocky spur among the low hills set by the mouth of the Sangro River he was born in Feltrino stream . The view of the sea, caressed by the gentle breeze that blows from the silent Abruzzo coast, opens onto the waves breaking on overflow , on the green hills scattered with gorse, orange groves, vineyards and olive groves, and inspires fascinating D’Annunzio reminiscences and ancient fishermen’s gestures. Unfortunately, the demolitions of the early 1900s have disturbed the surprising harmony between nature and architecture that has always reigned in the village. The citadel stands as a neighbor’s refuge Convent of San Giovanni in Venere and of the peasant populations scattered throughout the countryside, as the inscription of a plaque of 1076 states. Are preserved: some remains of the walls of the thirteenth century, a graceful surviving walkway ; an ancient medieval keep ; there Church of S. Matteo in Romanesque style finished with Gothic arches; the nineteenth century Town Hall ; Colizzi Palace with the large internal garden and wrought iron balconies and several similar nineteenth-century buildings.
- Events: from 9 to 14 August, the Emigrant Festival and the Accordion Festival.
- Curiosity: The composer of the Neapolitan school, born in Rocca San Giovanni, Arturo Colizzi, dedicated in 1914, to the unspeakable charm of his hometown, “Nocturnal harmonies “Whose verse reads:”Under the ray of the moon, divine music, amidst the scents of verbena, comes from the hill to the sea “, To eternalize the atmosphere of the Trabocchi coast.
Santo Stefano di Sessanio
The ancient feud of the Medici , entirely built in white limestone , rendered black and opaque by the imperturbable and merciless flow of time, it preserves its original beauty and mysterious aura intact. A suggestive village, dating back to the fourteenth century, which stands out as a fortification carved in stone in the Gran Sasso National Park , whose view opens onto the Tirino and Pescara valleys . A landscape, historical and architectural heritage, in which the sand of time continues to flow although the eye of man is unable to grasp the current temporal dimension, pleasantly alienated in silent rue and naturalistic wonders. Interesting is the intact architectural profile and the stylistic homogeneity of the town, which preserves the original spindle structure with spiral streets, the narrow and winding medieval streets interrupted by sudden and steep steps, surmounted by covered passages to protect from the snow. and from the cold winter winds, simple stone houses with roofs covered with tiles, blackened by time and winding cobbles that creep into them, Renaissance palaces, tower houses and palaces adorned with valuable architectural elements. Florentine lords planted a significant seed of their refined civilization in the Abruzzo mountains: the huddled with an elegant line, i arched portals with flowery tiles, the stone windows, finely worked by expert hands, the marvelous mullioned windows and balcony shelves. The village does not have a wall, as the houses themselves were ideal in such a way as to constitute a natural fortification. To see: lo Medici coat of arms on the south-eastern entrance door; there Captain’s House ; the cylindrical crenellated tower of the fourteenth century, improperly called Medici; there Church of S. Stefano Protomartire , dating back to the 15th century, a hall with five bays with an unusual presbytery area and a semicircular apse; extra-moenia la Church of Santa Madonna del Lago , from the 13th century, which stands on the banks of a small lake.
- Events: 2 and 3 August, Feast of S. Stefanto and S. Isidoro – September, Lentils Festival.
Perched on a rock spur of the Monte Carapale , at 1050 m above sea level, overlooks the Gorges of Sagittarius , an environment of luxuriant landscape wonder, the town of Scanno and its homonymous lake. The town is mentioned for the first time in a document of transfer of the Valle del Lago to Montecassino in the year 1067, however numerous findings of tombs, coins and idolets in Hercules and of a consular road suggest the existence of the village already in Roman times . Scannum was the term used to indicate the border that divided the centuries in which a land, conquered by the Roman troops, was divided and assigned to property. In the Middle Ages Scanno was enfeoffed by the most important land families of the South. A country pervaded by an ancient aura of mystery, where the artisan tradition has survived the advance of modernity, where it is possible to admire silent glimpses in which women still appear in their austere and elegant black costume, a cluster of houses, of alleys and stairways surmounted by majestic arches, beautiful fountains and stately palaces with rich portals, inscriptions, of churches supported by a profound sense of faith and respect for the unknown, carved into the dark stone and enriched with finely finished plasters. A citadel of high architectural quality, a nativity scene abandoned by shepherds, in which Gothic and Renaissance elements prevail, frivolous ornaments that stand in contrast to the austere mountain life. To see: the Saracco Fountain of the fourteenth century and the Source of the Pisciarello , excluded from the celebratory function, but important meeting places for the local population, not devoid of artistic interest, performed an important aquifer function, fed by springs of Capodacqua , indispensable for farming purposes and for wool carders; the Moscow Palace above which the coat of arms of the family of Salvo, in memory of the notarial art exercised by the family, and a female figure who carries in her hands a shield and a chalice surmounted by a host, to indicate the religious vocation of the place, the friezes, frames and shelves in the shape of winged angels, the stucco cornice with dancing cherubs; the Rienzo Palace , a classical building in which the imposing stands out portal and the monolithic columns in granite that support the balcony crowned by a triangular tympanum, inside original draperies from the late nineteenth century, the painting “The Orphans “, The facade with atypical openings that give it anthropomorphic aspect with the window on the left side to act as a guide to the owner opposite; the Serafini-Cianciarelli Palace , come on balconies baroque alternated by others of rectilinear cut; the Colarossi Palace or “little house “, With the stone portal and the zoomorphic wooden shelves which refer to fine Pescolani stylistic features; the De Angelis Palace , with the asymmetrical portal, surmounted in an arch key by the family crest and two defensive slits on the main facade, with interiors enriched with stucco and wood decorations and the coffering carved wood; there Tarturri House , with elegant straight-cut windows and rudent jamb, a cherub and a mask of apotropaic character; there Antonio Silla House , with the portal-balcony with round arch; the Serafini Palace , with an elegant stucco frame and stone portal; the Palazzetto Nardillo , with freestone window with fine a seashell and baroque portal with curved transom window; the arches , some belonging to the walls, the others underpasses with a connecting function, the Gate of the Cross and theArch of S.Eustachio , the Arco della Nocella is the Arco della Zazzarotta ; there Church of S. Eustachio , from the portal of pagan influences, inside it preserves a wooden statue of the Brown-faced Virgin , S. Agata holding a cushion bearing the breasts cut off during martyrdom; S. Maria from Loreto; St. Mary of Constantinople , of medieval origin; the parish church S. Maria della Valle in Abruzzo Romanesque style with three doors dominated by as many rosettes , and with traces of frescoes, a polychrome altar it’s a wooden choir inside; S. Maria delle Grazie ; Madonna del Lago , whose eastern side rests on the rough rock not worked, on the altar there is one statue like a puppet to depict the Madonna del Lago, on the corners of the church there are drawings a trompe l’oeil of biblical prophets; St. Anthony of Padua ; San Rocco , to a single navana, with a dated and signed organ , statues of S.Rocco, of the Addolorata and of S.Rocco.
- Events: March 13, Orme di Donna, Photographic Exhibition by the German artist Hilde Lotz Bauer; July 16, “the torchlight procession”, fireworks on the lake of Scanno.
- Curiosity: The dress of the women of Scanno , elegant and richly worked, it developed in an indigenous guise with respect to the surrounding villages, creating elaborate characteristics, unable to deal with the advancing fashion, due to the isolation of the country. The flowering of herding activity and the consequent comfort determined the evolution of the increasingly voluminous skirt, of heavily worked cloth in very narrow folds that fall adhering to the body until falling on the heels and a bodice with wide sleeves that narrow in minute folds on the wrists and shoulders. Interesting is the headdress, a very precious veil woven in silk, silver and gold, which women wore tied on the head like a common handkerchief. Important goldsmith craftsmanship and the bobbin making .
Tagliacozzo , whose earliest records date back to the 11th century, it stands on the northern slopes of the Simbruini Mountains , in a cleft that divides the mountain, as indicated by the toponym meaning “ cut in the rock “. In 1410 the village counted five doors and its castle , now completely in ruins, it defended the place. Nowadays, out of the Roman arch , there is the ordinary mediocrity. The throbbing center of the citadel is Obelisk square , formerly known as Piazza da ‘Piedi , a harmonious center, surrounded by elegant buildings , graceful mullioned windows , a loggia with round arches and Renaissance windows. In the past it was surrounded by arcades, closed by Gioacchino Murat, King of Naples, and in the center, in place of today’s fountain with obelisk , bore the pilozzo , a stone seat on which insolvent debtors exposed to public pillory were seated. To see: the Talia Theater , an ancient Benedictine convent, with a sober and elegant facade and three tiers of boxes inside; the Ducal Palace , pearl of the artistic heritage of the village, includes two successive phases of construction, during the fourteenth century, beautiful stained glass windows, mullioned windows, ornamental rooms, paintings, staircases, Chapel with the late-Gothic frescoes of abstract elegance, depicting the life of Christ; there Church and the Convent of Saint Francis , with a beautiful facade and an ancient portal, the Gothic rose window with Orsinian friezes, it hosts many inside bronze works is wooden and the tomb of the first biographer of the Poverello of Assisi; there Church of Santi Cosma e Damiano, from the eighth century, in Romanesque style, is the oldest and the richest in memories, despite the numerous looting and plundering to which it has been subjected over the years, it preserves the facade with the portal and the rose window, the bell tower and the central altar and in the austere cloistered monastery a painting depicting the Veronica del Cristo ; there Church of the Misericordia , territorial seat of the Knights of Malta , from the interesting tympanum; the neighbour Sanctuary of Santa Maria Santissima d’Oriente , with valuable decorations in the apse, in the nave and in the dome.
- Events: from 3 to 6 July, “ The sky of Argoli “, With nocturnal observations of the sky, theatrical performances and scientific conferences.
- Curiosity: The history of Tagliacozzo includes among its events the defeat of Corradino of Sweden by Charles of Anjou: the event is also remembered in the XVIII Canto of Dante’s Inferno – “What seems so member and who agrees, singing, with the man with the male nose, of each valor he carried the rope around ”.