LogoLogo

Abruzzo Ulteriore I in the early 20th century

The province of Teramo, or Abruzzo Ulteriore I extended from the left bank of the Pescara river to the mouth of the Tronto river. The adjective Ulteriore derives from "ultra" and mirrors the position of this territory in comparison with Naples.

Anciently the area of Teramo, whose history begins still before the arrival of the Romans, was divided into four "agri" (=territories): the Ager Hadrianus had as capital Hadria (today's Atri); the ager Palmense had as capital Castrum Truentinum at the mouth of the Tronto; the ager Pretutianus with Interamnia Praetutia ( Teramo); the ager Vestinus with Cutina as its capital (perhaps today's Civitella Casanova ) and Angulum (Città Sant'Angelo).

The territory of the province is characterized by the presence of very few plateaus and by numerous valleys, through which rivers and streams flew. From the mountains of the Gran Sasso two secondary chains depart: one that leaving from the Camicia mountain extends eastwards reaching the springs of the Pescara and separating the basins of the Pescara from that of the Vomano and the Tronto rivers; the other extends northwards following the course of the Tronto and separating it from the Vomano river.

"Of waters the province doesn't suffer shortage... the hydrographic network however does not always bring to the countryside the benefits of irrigation and there are traces of overflows and floods".

Next to the mountainous landscapes and to the cultivated to vineyard hills, the Teramo province included the coast of the Adriatic, long about 55 km and, excluding the small harbors of Giulianova and Martinsicuro and the fishing boats that went up the mouth of the Vomano, did not have important inlets that were able to serve as sure mend for the ships.

The climate of the Teramo province was healthy, but variable as it happens in mountainous places. Cold in the mountains where the winter was long and snowy. Milder in the valleys and on the coast. The average daytime temperature of the month of January was about the 5°centigrade, in the month of July 24°C. The rains were abundant during the winter.

The economy of the province founded primarily on agriculture. The lands of the valleys and of the coast were very fertile, less fertile those of the hills where the abundant rain did not favor the penetration of fertilizers. Of great importance was the cultivation of fruit trees and legumes; less developed that of vineyards and olives: "agriculture progresses slowly and the rural economy is badly practiced, because while fertile plains able to give rich harvests are left uncultivated, they sow on mountainous soils that are able to give only poor harvests and that, once bared of trees, are subject to the violence of the rains that strip them of tillable lands and cause landslides".

The abundance of waters favored the excellent quality of the vegetables and of the ever more numerous fruit trees: greatly renowned is the top quality of the dried figs of Sant'Omero, chestnuts from Valle Castellana, citrus fruits from Giulianova, the hard wheat of the coastline areas, the olives of Penne.

Particularly flourishing was sheep farming thanks to the high quality pasture-lands and the production of wool and cheese was consequently abundant.

Industry, scarcely developed in comparison with the wealth of raw materials offered by the territory, showed in the late 19th century some signs of rebirth: in Teramo there was a factory of match, a tannery and a typography; in Penne, tanneries and fabric factories; in Castelli the ancient majolica workshops; a few mines of chalk, magnesia, clay and marble quarries: notable bituminous coal at Ripa, travertine at Civitella del Tronto, alabaster, the sandstone and chalk at Montorio al Vomano, quartzite limestone at Pietranico, marble at Isola del Gran Sasso.

The population that in 1788 was 151366 inhabitants reached 254806 in 1881 and 312186 in 1901. 85% were illiterate. In 1885 there were 277primary schools, with 388 classrooms and as many teachers. Among the high schools there was also a provincial institute for girls and a state school for boys in Città Sant'Angelo.

Follow ItalyHeritage on Facebook: