Avezzano, Province of L'Aquila, Abruzzo
53 km from L'Aquila, 60 km from Rome lies the main commercial, industrial and agricultural centre in Marsica, once on the brink of the largest lake in central Italy. Also technology has its place, with the astronomical observatory of Telespazio, one of the leaders in satellite communications, and the huge Micron Technology plant.
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- Altitude: 695 m a.s.l
- Distance from L'Aquila: 59 km
- Population: ca. 40,000 inhabitants
- Postal code: 67051
- Dialing Area Code: +39 0863
- Frazioni: Antrosano, Caruscino, Castelnuovo, Cese dei Marsi, Paterno, San Pelino
- How to reach it: by motorway, from Rome, L'Aquila, Pescara; by train, from Rome, Sulmona; by bus, from Rome, Sulmona, L'Aquila.
History - Antiquity
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. 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.
History - Modern Times
In the 15th century Avezzano was under Gentile Virgilio Orsini, who built the castle in 1490. In the late 19th and early 20th century the town, after the draining of Lake Fucino, underwent a terrific growth, but was completely destroyed in a devastating earthquake of the morning of January 13, 1915: only Casa dei Palazzi and a wing of Castle Orsini were spared. More destruction was caused by air bombings in 1944. After the 1915 earthquake the town was completely rebuilt along straight, parallel streets, with wide green areas and fine liberty villas.
What to see
- The Orsini Castle, with its fine XVI-century portal.
- The church of St.Giovanni.
- The 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.
- A few km away lies a celebrated archaeological site, the Roman town of Alba Fucens, founded in 304 B.C., once the centre of a powerful civilization, now an impressive desert of white ruins.
- Mount Velino.
- The National Park of Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise.
Events and 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.
Where to stay
- Hotels: Bianchi | Creati | Dei Marsi | Nuovo Italia | Olimpia | Principe | Velino | Motel Belvedere | Motel Salviano.
Genealogy and Links
- The Serianni Spallone Website
- People researching ancestors in Avezzano
- Newspaper articles on Avezzano.