Ateleta, Province of L'Aquila, Abruzzo, Italy

Province of L'Aquila, Abruzzo region Ateleta lies on a hill called Colle Sisto, in a valley situated on the left side of the Sangro River, along the boundary which divides Abruzzo from Molise. In the vicinity there are the important tourist resorts of Roccaraso, Rivisondoli and Pescocostanzo and the national Park of Abruzzi, while the rugged territory of Ateleta is included in the Majella Park. The area is also known for the "tartufo bianco" (white truffle) very delicate and largely requested from all over Italy and Europe.
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Chieti | L'Aquila | Pescara | Teramo


Altitude: 760 m a.s.l -- Distance from L'Aquila: 115 km -- Population: ca. 1500 inhabitants -- Zip code: 67030 -- Phone Area Code: 0864 -- How to reach it: A25 from Sulmona, then road to Castel Di Sangro
Autosole from Rome or Naples, exit Venafro


In 1100 on a high rock near present-day Ateleta there was a castle called "Carceri" and its feifdom was probably the origin of most of the Ateletesi. Ateleta rose in 1811 thanks to Giuseppe de Thomasis, encharged High Commissioner for Abruzzo Ultra by Gioacchino Murat, king of Naples in 1808, to give the lands previously of the aristocracy to the peasants who worked them. De Thomasis wanted to create a free place and so the name Ateleta was chosen from the Greek words "a thelé" which meant without taxes, and included the territories and inhabitants of Roccapizzi and Carceri, previously under the barons of Pescocostanzo. From 600 inhabitants in 1810 Ateleta grew in one century to over 3400. Then emigration hit heavily, and the Ateletesi left in huge numbers for the Americas. Then came the German bombings in November 1943, which nearly completely destroyed the place, and the Germans before withdrawing exterminated all those they could find, even old men and children, in a tragically famous place nearby called Pietransieri. After the War the village was completely rebuilt, then an earthquake hit the place also in 1984, so that now most of the houses are modern and recent.

arrowPoints of Interest

  • The remains of Castello Carceri, abandoned after a terrible earthquake in 1456.
  • Gioacchino Murat Museum
  • Museum of Civiltà Contadina
  • Aremogna
  • Maiella park
  • Parco Nazionale d'Abruzzo
  • Molise

arrowEvents & Festivities

    17 January Feast of St. Antonio Abate, with bonfires and sausage festival
    Second Sunday in August Sagra dell'Agnello (Lamb Festival)

arrowHotels, Lodging, Restaurants

arrowGenealogy, News & Links