53 km from L'Aquila, 60 km from Rome lies the main commercial, industrial and agricultural centre in Marsica. But also technology has its place, with the astronomical observatory of Telespazio, one of the leaders in satellite communications, and the huge
Micron Technology plant. Once on the brink of the largest lake in central Italy, the territory shows traces of the first attempts to drain the unhealthy basin: the remains of Roman walls are still extant along the riverbed of an artificial effluent. After the 1915 earthquake the town was completely rebuilt along straight, parallel streets, with wide green areas and fine liberty villas.
Altitude: 695 m a.s.l
-- Distance from L'Aquila: 59 km
-- Population: ca. 40,000 inhabitants
-- Zip code: 67051
-- Phone Area Code: 0863
-- How to reach it:
- highway: from Rome, L'Aquila, Pescara
- train: from Rome, Sulmona
- bus: from Rome, Sulmona, L'Aquila
There are two common ethimologies for the name of the town: from "Ave Jane", an invocation to the Roman God Janus and from "Ad Vetianum" which means a "to the Vetia family", domiciled in the town of Alba Fucens. The first settlements in this area began with the construction works for the lake's drainage ordered by Emperor Claudius in the first century A.D.
In the XV century Avezzano was under Gentile Virgilio Orsini, who built the castle in 1490. In the late XIX-early XX century the town, after the draining of Lake Fucino, underwent a terrific growth, but was completely destroyed in the famous earthquake of the morning of January 13: only Casa dei Palazzi and a wing of Castle Orsini were spared. More destruction was caused by air bombings in 1944. A few km away lies a celebrated archaeological site, Alba Fucens, founded in 304 B.C., once the centre of a powerful civilization, now an impressive desert of white ruins.
Sights & Excursions
- Orsini Castle, with its fine XVI-century portal
- Church of St.Giovanni
- Museo Lapidario, with remains from Alba Fucens, Ortona dei Marsi and Marruvium
- Incile, south of Avezzano, where the construction of the Torlonia emissary began, not far away from the "cunicoli di Claudio", the original tunnels for the draining of the lake in Roman times, can still be walked.
- Alba Fucens
- Mount Velino
- Parco Nazionale d'Abruzzo
Events & Festivities
- 27 April Feast of Madonna di Pietracquaria, with Via Crucis and fireworks to the sanctuary among pine trees
- July Beer Festival
- Early August Festival of "pasta e ceci", with folk games and shows
- September Potato festival
Hotels, Lodging, Restaurants
Genealogy, News & Links