Surroundings

Silvi

Characteristic medieval village ada giato on a hill of 243 m s.l.m. overlooking the valleys of the Cerrano stream and the Concio ditch, Silvi Paese offers a belvedere with a breathtaking view of the Adriatic from Ancona to the Tremiti islands, and the Gran Sasso. The village was born in the early Middle Ages, and was founded by a group of fishermen who move from the coastal village “Macrinum” or “Silva” in the Roman age, in today’s Silvi marina, on the hill that was defined as a promontory that dives on the sea. Interesting to visit are its ancient churches, in particular the Church of San Salvatore, built around 1100 in honor of the first protector of Silvi. The Church of San Rocco, built in the sixteenth century as a rural chapel, today instead inserted in the twentieth and twentieth century, not far from the church of San Salvatore and the Chapel of the Madonna of Splendor, along the scenic road from Silvi Marina to Silvi Paes. The date of construction is uncertain, however it was elevated to the point where (legend says) in 1566 San Leone, with a torch in hand, met the Turks and made them desist from attacking the village.

 

THE DUCATO OF ATRI

Duomo di Atri

Atri Chiostro

A charming city of art close to the Teramo coast, Atri has very ancient origins (VII-V century BC). It was an important colony in Roman times, it underwent barbarian invasions and foreign dominations during the Middle Ages, only to be “reborn” definitively under the control of the lords of Acquaviva.

And it is in the center of the town that the charm of this long history continues to reveal its evocative power even today. Monuments and historic buildings, churches, museums, evocative views, these are the many pieces of the splendid mosaic that Atri offers to its many visitors.

Definitely worth visiting the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta dating back to 1285 and recently restored. The adjoining museum, which preserves precious relics, including painted majolica, crosses and pastors of ivory and silver, illuminated manuscripts, statues and hundreds of fragments and mosaics of the oldest buildings. The Episcopal Palace and the Seminary belonging to the late sixteenth century. The magnificent perfectly preserved municipal theater, the nineteenth-century Municipal Theater. The Theater, also known as the “bomboniere” due to its size (300 seats) and the enviable acoustics, traces the “Scala” Theater of Milan outside, while the interior seems to refer to the “S. Carlo “of Naples, in its three orders of boxes and gallery.

Majesty is also the Palazzo Ducale degli Acquaviva, the current seat of the municipality. It is a sort of fortress in stone, built in the first half of the fourteenth century and remodeled in the eighteenth century. The facade hides a Renaissance courtyard surrounded by a loggia with inscriptions and Roman remains.

Between art and nature, the landscape of the Atrian hills fascinates by the spectacular presence of the Calanchi, true “natural sculptures” born from the millenary erosion of the clayey soil. The landscape takes on tones and colors from Dante’s “bolgia”, the scenery becomes severe, almost “lunar”, dominated by the imposing architecture designed by these geological formations.

 

CASTELLI – The city of Majolica

Castelli stands at the foot of the Gran Sasso at 500 m. s.l.m., in apical position to the Vomano valley, is one of the most ancient villages and the Teramo Appennino. In the Roman period, the country with all the territory became part of the aagerian atrianus, essentially under the control of Atri, which in Abruzzo was the most faithful city in Rome. At the fall of the Western Roman Empire, like all the Italian populations most exposed to looting and invasion, the people of Abruzzo also took refuge in the mountains.
During the Middle Ages the country is politically registered within the county of the de Pagliara family. In 1340 Castelli, the county of Pagliara and the Valle Siciliana passed under the Roman Orsini family because of the marriage between the daughter of Count Gualtieri and the baron Napoleone Orsini. A feudal domain politically opposed to the reflexes, which the wars between France and Spain for supremacy in Italy, had in Abruzzo and more generally in the Kingdom of Naples. In a few years the valley passed, first, in the hands of Count Francesco Riccardi of Ortona, closer to King Ladislao, then those of Antonello Petrucci of the Counts of Aversa to return, then, with the title of barony, in 1500, again under the Orsini in the person Camillo Pardo. In 1524, after the definitive defeat of France, the Orsini lost the barony that went to the Duke of Sessa. In 1526, Charles V, now recognized as the undisputed emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, after elevating it to the rank of marquisate, granted it as reward for services rendered in the battle of Pavia, General Ferrante Alarçon y Mendoza and his heirs. Castelli thus became part of the Marquisate of the Sicilian Valley and remained there until the subversion of feudalism.
Under the Spanish castles opened up to Italian and European trade.

THE FORTRESS OF CIVITELLA DEL TRONTO

The last bastion of the Bourbon empire, before the unification of Italy, the Fortress of Civitella del Tronto rises majestically above the promontory of the cities from which it takes its name. It is one of the largest and most important military engineering works in Europe characterized by an elliptical shape with an extension of 25,000 square meters and a length of over 500 meters … The Aragonese fortress, built on a probable medieval pre-existence, was completely transformed into a starting from 1564 by Philip II of Hapsburg – king of Spain, he ordered the construction of the Fortress, a safer structure as we see it today. In 1734, the rule of the Habsburgs passed to that of the Bourbons who made major changes to the military structure and they valiantly opposed the siege of the French in 1806 and that of the Piedmontese in 1860/61.

 

SCANNO- Art, Culture and Nature

 

Inserted in the Club of the Hundred most beautiful Villages of Italy, it is undoubtedly the queen of the Valley of the Sagittarius, whose entrance to the South guards.

Landscape, art, handicraft, folklore make it one of the most visited mountain villages in Abruzzo. Scanno is visited for its environment, for its lake, its churches, its palaces, its medieval streets and for the clothing of its women.

Scanno appears to the visitor, perched on a mountain spur, just left the lake. The road after two kilometers leads to Piazza Santa Maria della Valle, with the church of the same name, with a beautiful Renaissance façade and precious works of art inside.

A CONCENTRATE OF TRADITION AND MODERNITY, CULTURE AND NATURE

Clear waters, wide beaches enriched by numerous and comfortable chalets, a tourist offer now renowned for the hospitality and quality of services offered.

All of this is Silvi, a seaside resort on the Teramo coast at the foot of the Atri hills and Città Sant’Angelo.

The village was founded in Roman times with the first settlements, especially coastal, linked to the ancient Municipium of Atri. In the following centuries, vicessiutidini political and social determined the migration of the population towards the hilly area, where it was founded the medieval village of Castrum Silvi, the current Silvi Paese.

Supported by round-arched walls, the town has largely maintained its original urban layout, with a single central road from which the dense network of streets that make up the city’s fabric develops. The ancient parish church of San Salvatore, dating back to the 11th century, overlooks the main square. Worthy of note is a fourteenth-century fresco inside.

Walking along the enchanting internal streets of the village you come across the graceful and well-kept belvedere. From here there is an enchanting view that extends from Monte Conero (Marche) to the Tremiti Islands (Puglia).

For lovers of Abruzzo flavors and folklore, the “Arti e Mestieri” summer event is unmissable.

A real journey through time that, every year in July, allows you to discover and appreciate the most ancient expressions of the Abruzzese tradition, from food and wine to local crafts, from costume to the deeper aspects of “material culture”.

LU CIANCIALONE

A tradition born in the sixteenth century, linked to the terrible vicissitudes of the Turkish raiders, is that of the “Ciancialone”. It is celebrated on the last Sunday of May in the village of Silvi Paese (or also called Belvedere di Silvi) and commits the whole country.

After having picked up reeds, on the day of the festival the young drag them to the square, in front of the church of S. Salvatore carrying them both on the shoulder and pulling, among the many incitements by those present at the sides of the road.

Once in the square begins the ritual that consists of assembling the pipes up to form a long pipe that can reach up to 10 meters in length and must be balanced with opposing ropes, because each heel can be fatal even for the safety of the operators.

Once hoisted and anchored, a young man climbs to the top and sets fire. And around this flaming pyre, the bold crowd unleashed singing and dancing, until the bonfire called lu ciancialone was completely extinguished.

A rite, this, which has its roots in the fourteenth century. A legend tells that at the time the Turks disembarked in the port of Cerrano (the ancient port of Atri and Silvi) and, after having ransacked everything that was useful, they headed for the city Silvi.

While the population was preparing to defend itself, it is said of a young man, named Leo, who came down, who came down from the hill with a torch in his hand and faced them. The more he ran and the torch emanated an ever more intense and incandescent light, so that the invaders believed that an entire army was waiting for them. For fear of losing the already conquered booty, they retreated.

So once the danger was averted the whole city celebrated the courage of the young Lion, proclaiming him a citizen hero.

But besides being the symbol of the expulsion of the Turks and besides evoking the courage of the legendary Leo, lu ciancialone is also a solstice and propitiatory fire that binds itself to the purification rites practiced in the countryside and in front of the churches to dance around it.

A ritual, the one practiced by the peasants, which based on the identification of the sun with God, aimed to celebrate the vital rhythms of nature in close contact with the changes in solar power, and to pray to God to protect the harvest, sowing and agricultural activities .