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The Three Abruzzi

Anciently Abruzzo was not a political or ethnographic entity; it was inhabited by various populations (Sabines, Equi, Peligni, Marsi, Vestini) who maintained their name even after they were conquered by the Romans.

Octavianus Augustus, the first Roman emperor, transformed the Abruzzi territory into the "Quarta Regio", that under Hadrian took the name of "provincia" (the Roman Empire was divided into Provinciae). After Constantine (313 AD) the Roman Empire was divided into an Eastern and a Western part. The Western Roman Empire then in 476 AD was occupied by the Goths and Abruzzo was divided into principalities, dukedoms and countdoms.
In 1234 Frederick II of Swabia, King of the two Sicilies, reestablished for Abruzzo the ancient name of "Provincia". At that time the term Aprutium first comes into use (derived probably by the Pretutii inhabiting the area of Teramo). In 1273 Charles of Anjou divided the "Iustitieratus Aprutiensis" into two parts setting the Pescara river as boundary: the province of Aquila, called Aprutium Ultra ("ultra" meaning beyond the Pescara river, as seen from Naples) and the province of Chieti, on the right, or Aprutium Citra ("citra" meaning this side of the Pescara river).

Only in the 1684 Charles II of Spain organized Abruzzo in three separate provinces: Abruzzo Citra (Chieti), Abruzzo Ultra I (Teramo) and Abruzzo Ultra II (Aquila). With the unity of Italy in 1861 the three provinces were called province of Aquila, province of Teramo and province of Chieti. Each province was divided into "circondari"; every circondario into "mandamenti" and every mandamento into "comuni".

The Province of Aquila

The Province of Aquila, Abruzzo Ulteriore II, was divided into four circondari.
The Circondario of Aquila included the following mandamenti:
  • Aquila,, with the communes of Aquila, Bagno, Ocre, Roio Piano;
  • Barisciano, with the communes of Barisciano, Calascio, Castel del Monte, Poggio Picenze, San Pio delle Camere, Santo Stefano di Sessanio;
  • Capestrano, with the communes of Capestrano, Bussi di Tirino, Caporciano, Carapelle Calvisio, Collepietro, Navelli, Ofena;
  • Castelvecchio Subequo, with the communes of Castelvecchio Subequo, Acciano, Castel di Ieri, Gagliano Aterno, Goriano Sicoli, Molina Aterno, Secinaro;
  • Montereale, with the communes of Montereale, Campotosto, Capitignano;
  • Paganica, with the communes of Paganica and Camarda;
  • Pizzoli, with the communes of Pizzoli, Arischia, Barete, Cagnano Amiterno;
  • San Demetrio Nei Vestini, with the communes of San Demetrio, Fagnano Alto, Fontecchio, Fossa, Prata D'Ansidonia, Rocca di Cambio, Rocca di Mezzo, Sant'Eusanio Forconese, Tione, Villa Sant'Angelo;
  • Sassa, with the communes of Sassa, Lucoli, Preturo, Scoppito and Tornimparte.

The Circondario of Avezzano included the following mandamenti:
  • Avezzano, with the communes of Avezzano, Capistrello, Magliano dei Marsi, Massa d'Albe and Scurcola;
  • Carsoli, with the communes of Carsoli and Pereto;
  • Celano, with the communes of Celano, Aielli and Ovindoli;
  • Civitella Roveto, with the communes of Civitella Roveto, Balsorano, Canistro, Civita d'Antino, Morino, San Vincenzo Valle Roveto;
  • Gioia dei Marsi, with the communes of Gioia dei Marsi, Lecce nei Marsi, Opi, Ortucchio, Pescasseroli;
  • Pescina, with the communes of Pescina, Bisegna, Cerchio, Cocullo, Collarmele, Ortona dei Marsi;
  • Tagliacozzo, with the communes of Tagliacozzo, Cappadocia, Castellafiume and Sante Marie;
  • Trasacco, with the communes of Trasacco, Collelongo, Luco dei Marsi and Villavallelonga;
  • Carsoli, with the communes of Carsoli, Oricola, Rocca di Botte.

The Circondario of Cittaducale included the following mandamenti:
  • Cittaducale, with the communes of Cittaducale, Cantalice, Lugnano di Villa Troiana;
  • Amatrice, with the communes of Amtrice and Accumuli;
  • Antrodoco, with the communes of Antrodoco, Borgo Velino, Castel Sant'Angelo and Micigliano; Borbona, with the communes of Borbona, Cittareale and Posta;
  • Borgocollefegato, with the communes of Borgocollefegato and Pescorocchiano;
  • Fiamignano, with the communes of Fiamignano and Petrella Salto;
  • Leonessa, con Leonessa.

The Circondario of Sulmona included the following mandamenti:
  • Sulmona, with the communes of Sulmona, Campo di Giove, Pacentro, Pettorano sul Gizio and Rocca Pia;
  • Introdacqua, with the communes of Introdacqua, Anversa and Bugnara;
  • Castel di Sangro, with the communes of Castel di Sangro, Alfedena, Barrea, Civitella Alfedena, Scontrone and Villetta Barrea;
  • Pescocostanzo, with the communes of Pescocostanzo, Ateleta, Rivisondoli and Roccaraso;
  • Popoli, with the communes of Popoli and Roccacasale;
  • Pratola Peligna, with the communes of Pratola Peligna, Pentima, Prezza, Raiano and Vittorito;
  • Scanno, with the communes of Scanno and Villalago.

The Province of Teramo

The Province of Teramo, or Abruzzo Ulteriore (Ultra) I, was divided into two circondari.

The Circondario of Teramo included the following mandamenti:
  • Atri, with the communes of Atri, Castilenti, Cellino Attanasio, Montefino, Mutignano and Silvi;
  • Campli, with the communes of Campli, Bellante, Rocca Santa Maria and Valle Castellana;
  • Civitella del Tronto con il comune di Civitella del Tronto; Giulianova, with the communes of Giulianova, Mosciano Sant'Angelo and Tortoreto;
  • Montorio al Vomano, with the communes of Montorio al Vomano, Cortino and Crognaleto;
  • Nereto, with the communes of Nereto, Ancarano, Colonnellla, Controguerra, Corropoli, Sant'Egidio alla Vibrata, Sant'Omero and Torano Nuovo;
  • Notaresco, with the communes of Notaresco, Castellalto, Montepagano, Morro d'Oro;
  • Teramo, with the communes of Teramo, Canzano and Torricella Sicura;
  • Tossicia, with the communes of Tossicia, Castelli, Castiglione della Valle, Fano Adriano, Isola del Gran Sasso and Pietracamela.

The Circondario of Penne included the following mandamenti:
  • Penne, with the communes of Penne, Farindola and Montebello di Bertona;
  • Bisenti, with the communes of Bisenti, Basciano, Bacucco, Castel Castagna, Castiglione Messer Raimondo, Carmignano and Penna Sant'Andrea;
  • Catignano, with the communes of Catignano, Brittoli, Carpineto della Nora, Civitaquana, Civitella Casanova, Cugnoli, Nocciano and Vicoli;
  • Città Sant'Angelo, with the communes of Città Sant'Angelo, Castellamare Adriatico, Elice and Montesilvano;
  • Loreto Aprutino, with the communes of Loreto Aprutino, Collecorvino, Moscufo and Picciano;
  • Pianella, with the communes of Pianella, Cepagatti, Rosciano, Spoltore;
  • Torre dei Passeri, with the communes of Torre dei Passeri, Alanno, Castiglione a Casauria, Corvara, Pescosansonesco and Pietranico.

The Province of Chieti

The Province of Chieti, Abruzzo Citeriore, was divided into three circondari.

The Circondario of Chieti included the following mandamenti:
  • Caramanico, with the communes of Caramanico, Musellaro, Roccacaramanico, Salle, Sant'Eufemia a Maiella;
  • Chieti, with the communes of Chieti, Bucchianico, Casalincontrada, Fara Filiorum Petri, Forcabobolina, Torrevecchia Teatina, Villamagna;
  • Francavilla al Mare, with the communes of Francavilla al Mare, Ari, Pescara, Ripa Teatina and Vacri;
  • Guardiagrele, with the communes of Guardiagrele, Casacanditella, Filetto, Pennapiedimonte, Pretoro, Rapino and San Martino sulla Marrucina;
  • Manoppello, with the communes of Manoppello, Lettomanoppello, Roccamontepiano, Serramonacesca, Turrivalignani;
  • San Valentino in Abruzzo Citeriore, with the communes of San Valentino, Abbateggio, Bolognano, Roccamorice, Tocco di Casauria;
  • Tollo, with the communes of Tollo, Aielli, Canosa Sannita, Giuliano Teatino, Miglianico, Villarielli.

The Circondario of Lanciano included the following mandamenti:
  • Lanciano, with the communes of Lanciano, Fossacesia, Frisa, Mozzagrogna, Rocca San Giovanni, Santa Maria Imbaro, Treglio;
  • Casoli, with the communes of Casoli, Altino, Roccascalegna and Palombaro;
  • Lama dei Peligni, with the communes of Lama, Civitella Messer Raimondo, Fara San Martino, Taranta Peligna;
  • Orsogna, with the communes of Orsogna, Castelfrentano, Sant'Eusanio del Sangro;
  • Ortona, with the communes of Ortona, Crecchio and San Vito Chietino;
  • Palena, with the communes of Palena, Colle di Macine, Gamberale, Lettopalena and Pizzoferrato;
  • Torricella Peligna, with the communes of Torricella, Fallascoso, Gessopalena, Montenerodomo;
  • Villa Santa Maria, with the communes of Villa Santa Maria, Borrello, Buonanotte, Civitaluparella, Fallo, Montelapiano, Pennadomo, Quadri, Roio del Sangro and Rosello.

The Circondario of Vasto included the following mandamenti:
  • Vasto, with the communes of Vasto, Cupello, Monteodorisio, San Salvo;
  • Atessa, with the communes of Atessa, Casalanguida, Tornareccio;
  • Bomba, with the communes of Bomba, Archi, Colledimezzo, Montazzoli, Monteferrante, Perano and Pietraferrazzana;
  • Casalbordino, with the communes of Casalbordino, Pollutri, Scerni, Villalfonsina;
  • Castiglione Messer Marino, with the communes of Castiglione Messer Marino, Castelguidone, Fraine, Roccaspinalveti, Schiavi d'Abruzzo;
  • Celenza sul Trigno, with the communes of Celenza sul Trigno, Carunchio, Palmoli, San Giovanni Lipioni, Torrebruna, Tufillo;
  • Gissi, with the communes of Gissi, Carpineto Sinello, Guilmi;
  • Paglieta, with the communes of Paglieta and Torino di Sangro;
  • San Buono, with the communes of San Buono, Dogliola, Fresagrandinaria, Furci, Lentella and Liscia.
Map of the mandamenti