Manoppello, Province of Pescara, Abruzzo

Manoppello On a hill along the right bank of the Pescara river, this ancient town is a favourite destination for pilgrims and art lovers, for the presence of the Basilica of the Holy Face, preserving a mysterious veil with impressed the face of Christ, and the fine medieval architectures of Santa Maria in Arabona.


  • Altitude: 257 m a.s.l
  • Distance from Pescara: 31 km
  • Population: ca. 6000 inhabitants
  • Postal code: 65024
  • Dialing Area Code: +39 085
  • How to reach it: by road, S.S.N. 5; by motorway, A25 exit Alanno-Scafa
  • Frazioni: Manoppello Scalo, Ripacorbaria, Santa Maria Arabona.


Inhabited since pre-Roman times, in 874 was donated by emperor Ludwig II to the monastery of St. Clemente in Casauria. Throughout the Middle Ages it was a key centre in the landscape of the Pescara valley and, because of this, suffered heavy destructions during the Braccio da Montone campaign in 1423. The great condottiere was defeated and killed the following year near L'Aquila.

In more recent times, the population was heavily hit by the tragic accident in the Bois du Cazier mine, Marcinelle on 8 august 1956, where among the 262 victims were 60 emigrants from Abruzzo, of them 22 from Manoppello alone.

What to see

  • The Santuario del Volto Santo, a favourite religious destination for the presence of a miraculous image of Christ's face on a veil, the "veronica" (=true icon), which has been shown to have an astounding similarity with the face traits of the Turin's Holy Shroud.
  • The church of Santa Maria in Arabona, one of the great examples of the austere Romanesque architecture in Abruzzo, rich in precious frescoes and sculptures.
  • The church of San Nicola, with a surviving 14th century portal.
  • The church of San Francesco, originally a monastery, with 15th-century belltower, and the church of the 18th century with elliptical dome.
  • A number of Palaces built between the 17th and 19th centuries, among them the de Tiberio, Marinelli, Verratti, Pardi, Palazzone and Blasioli.
  • Near Piano Santa Maria d'Arabona prehistoric remains of the lower paleolithic age.

Events and Festivities

  • Second Sunday in May: Feast of the Volto Santo
  • August: Pecorino (sheep cheese) festival.

Where to stay

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