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Montazzoli, Province of Chieti, Abruzzo

Situated between two small rivers, on a high crest, this small centre has a wealth of resources for visitors, among which a renowned sulphuric water spring, on the estate of Baron Franceschelli who allowed the population to use it since ancient times, leech woods and a mountain called Monte di Lago Negro (1350 mt) from which the Adriatic on both sides (from San Benedetto del Tronto in the north as far as the Gargano peninsula in the south) can be seen, and mountains in the distance all around.

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Info

  • Altitude: 855 m a.s.l.
  • Distance from Chieti: 97 km
  • Population: ca. 1000 inhabitants in 2010
  • Postal code: 66030
  • Dialing Area Code: +39 0872
  • Frazioni: Fonte San Giovanni
  • How to reach it: by road, Autostrada A14 (exit Val Di Sangro), take the "superstrada" (fast lane) towards Atessa - Castel di Sangro, leave the superstrada at Colledimezzo and follow the road signs; from Lanciano continue towards Atessa; from Atessa continue towards Tornareccio and Castiglione Messer Marino; by bus, Autolinee Di Fonzo leaving from Pescara, Chieti or Lanciano.

History

The tradition says that the population 500 years ago were living in a nearby place called Civita del Conte, then they moved to the present site, which was under one Count Azzo and from there the name of Monte Azzo later changed into Montazzoli. There are still ruins in the area of the pristine settlement. In the 16th century it came under the possession of the powerful Di Sangro family, then passed to the Molise countdom. The last feudal lord was Baron Franceschelli. By the end of the 19th century it was included in the Province of Chieti.

What to see

  • The historical center, rich of beautiful palaces of the 18th century with fine stone carvings.
  • The XV-century castle of the Franceschelli barons. Founded in the 15th century on a previous fortified tower had a courtyard and water tank which can still be seen. It was restored in the following centuries and mills and warehouses were added.
  • The church of San Silvestro Papa. The parish church, of the 18th century, built on the site of the chapel of San Vincenzo, became the parish church after the ancient Church of Purgatorio was destroyed in 1724. It has one nave, side chapels, and a cross in the style of Guardiagrele
  • The church of Sant'Antonio, in the Baroque style, this was the private chapel of the Franceschelli Barons, whose descendants still have the property of the castle
  • The Sanctuary of Madonna della Spugna, just outside the village.
  • The Lago di Acquaviva, partly in the nearby municipality of Roccaspinalveti, which was formed with the waters coming from the Lago Negro in 1957. The area is very rich in landscape amenities and wildlife.
  • A very fine pinewood near the town with paths perfect for walking and jogging.
  • The "Monte di Lago Negro" - In about a hour and a half it is possible to reach the summit of this picturesque mountain, all covered by a forest of beech trees, st the bottoom of which until a few decades ago there was a small lake, peculiar for the echo, a peculiar, small basin which people used to try the echo from one bank to the other. Then the waters of Lago Negro were drained through a ruinous landslide. In the area there is now a small chapel to Madonna del Pastore in whose honor a feast is held on the second Sunday in August.
  • Along the road leading to "Lago Negro" there is an area called "Fonte Gelata" with a spring whose waters are icy cold even in the hottest summer days.

Events and Festivities

  • 4 June: San Nicola is celebrated; this saint is patron of Montazzoli together with San Rocco. San Nicola's day is actually on 6 december, but due to the cold and snowy winters for many years now the celebrations have been held on 4 June.
  • 2 July: Feast of Madonna della Spugna
  • First Saturday in August: "Pasta e fagioli" (a soup made with hand-made pasta and beans) - 10 August 2000
  • Second Sunday in August feast in the mountains in honor of Madonna del Pastore near the Lago negro
  • 15-16 August: Feast of St. Rocco.

Where to stay

Genealogy and Links

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