Caramanico Terme, Province of Pescara, Abruzzo, Italy
Situated at 700mt. a.s.l. near the confluence of the Orfento and Orta rivers, on a hilltop between the Monte Morrone and the Majella mountains (the second highest mountain of the Apennines), Caramanico is just 40 mins from Pescara airport, 45 mins from the coast and 20 mins from ski resorts, a paradise for cross-country skiers and excursion lovers.
Caramanico enjoys a great climate, breezy in summer and dry in winter, and has been known since the 16th century for the healthy properties of its spas. Also a destination for nature and art lovers, being in the heart of the Maiella Park, offers many itineraries immersed in the forests leading to the hermitages of St. Peter Celestine, or to admire the ancient shepheards' huts in stone called Tholoi.
Altitude: 650 m a.s.l -- Distance from Pescara: 48 km -- Population: ca. 2200 inhabitants -- Zip code: 65023 -- Phone Area Code: 085 -- How to reach it: motorway: A25, exit Alanno-Scafa
The town takes its name from either cara, meaning rock, or from arimannia, a lombard establishment in the late Middle Ages. Then the name Terme was added in 1960 because of the presence of a spa nearby (the only one in Abruzzo), with famous healthy waters. In its territory there is also a Natural Reserve, Valle dell'Orfento. In nearby Valle Giumentina paleolithic remains have been found (among the most important in Italy). The present settlement is recorded since lombard times. Then it underwent a remarkable development in the XIV-XV centuries, under the D'Aquino family, and in that period many important monuments were built. In 1706 a terrible earthquake nearby destroyed the town.
Points of Interest
- Church of S. Maria Maggiore (XV century), with a fine portal and a highrelief by Johann from Lubeck, originally almost a fortress, with high walls and a tower.
- Church of St. Tommaso, founded in the 12th century in honor of Thomas of Canterbury. with a wonderful portal with stone sculptures and 13th century frescoes; on Jubilee years the Holy Door of the church is opened by the archbishop of Chieti.
- The historical centre, with fine medieval houses
- The Eremo di San Giovanni, where Sant'Onofrio lived for seven years, in the 13th century AD.
Points of Interest: Valle dell'Orfento
The Natural Reserve Valle dell'Orfento was opened in 1971 before the institution of the Maiella National Park, of which it is today part. It is one of the wildest and most spectacular corners of the Apennine: a deep canyon created by the wild Orfento river, most times of the year covered with a thick vegetation, that rises from 500 mt to a breathtaking 2700 meters. The beauty of the landscape and the presence of rare species (wolves and eagles, gentian and peonies) make it a true naturalistic jewel. A well equipped network of paths of varied difficulty and length allows to cross the whole valley them and its many biotopes (river, forests, prairies, crests). All necessary hiking information can be obtained at the Visitors' Center "Paolo Barrasso" in Caramanico Terme, which also releases the authorization necessary to visit the Reserve.
Points of Interest: Caramanico spas
The extraordinary therapeutic virtues of sulphureous waters of Caramanico have been known for centuries. The first testimony of their use was in 1576, when Father Serafino Razzi, a Dominican preacher visiting the area, describes in his travel diary the crowd of scabies sick going to the "aqua putreda" of the spring called "Zolfanaia". The waters gushing out from the springs called "La Salute" and "Gisella" have a high content of sulphured hydrogen at a temperature of 10,5 degrees Centigrade and are channeled into the spa plants for hydropinic therapy and other treatments. Also the low-mineral water of the spring "Pisciarello" has healthy diuretic effects, and recently a center for beauty care was established. The spa season goes from April to November.
Events & Festivities
- 17 January feast of St. Antony
- 15 August feast of the Assumption