Penne, Province of Pescara, Abruzzo

Penne The town was built completely in bricks on the tops of four hills, on two of which the medieval centre still rises between the valleys of the Tavo and Fino rivers, amid a landscape of green hills and woods.Penne is a thriving commercial and crafts center, especially well-known for its wrough-iron artisans.


  • Altitude: 438 m a.s.l
  • Distance from Pescara: 32 km
  • Population: ca. 15,000 inhabitants
  • Postal code: 65017
  • Dialing Area Code: +39 085
  • How to reach it: by road, s.n. 81 from Chieti or Pescara; by motorway, A25 uscita Chieti.

Administrative Division

The comune includes the following frazioni: Casale, Collalto, Colle d'Omero, Colle Formica, Colle Maggio, Colle San Giovanni, Colle Sant'Angelo, Colle Stella, Colletrotta, Conaprato, Mallo, Pagliari, Ponte Sant'Antonio, Porta Caldaia, Roccafinadamo, San Pellegrino, Serpacchio, Teto, Villa Degna.


The ancient Pinna, a name probably meaning high rock, was inhabited already in pre-historic times, as shown by a neolithic hut village found in the vicinity and dated 6000 BC. In the first century BC Roman writer and architect Marcus Vitruvius Pollio wrote marvels about the "Aqua Ventina", a spa site well known in antiquity.

In the Middle Ages the town rose to great importance as seat of a Countdom. For its loyalty to the Aragonese was sacked in 1436 by the Aquilan troops of Aquila, which were competing with Penne for the control of Farindola. In 1522 it came under the rule of Alessandro de' Medici, later on in 1539 Emperor Charles V included the town in the dowry assignment to his natural daughter Margaret of Austria for her marriage to Ottavio Farnese Duke of Parma and the grandson of Pope Paul III.

In the 19th century, during the Italian Risorgimento, the town rebelled in 1837 against the Bourbons, and was deprived of its title of District capital until 1848.

What to see

  • The ancient, well-preserved town center, a maze of narrow, steep alleys, surrounded by 15th century walls, still partly extant.
  • The church of San Nicola, attached to the tower of the ancient medieval walls.
  • The romanesque church of Sant'Agostino, re-decorated in the baroque style.
  • The many fine Palaces as the Bono-Pilotta with Baroque portal and 18th-century frescoes, and the 17th-century Castiglione De Leone.
  • The Cathedral, which contains precious works of art, such as a 15th-century holy-water basin, a 12th century altar, and a crypt dating back to the early centuries of the Christian era.
  • The Museo Civico-Diocesano.
  • The Riserva Naturale Lago di Penne, established in 1987 around the artificial lake south-west of Penne, comprises the whole lake, its coasts and a part of the Tavo river, and hosts over 160 species of birds. This natural enclave includes a Botanical Garden and an Area where sick and wounded birds are looked after and then left free in the Reserve.

Events and Festivities

  • 7 May: Feast of San Massimo
  • Late July: Trofeo Fonte Manente, a competition for players of the typical instrument called ddu 'bbotte
  • Early August: beer Festival
  • November: the Premio Penne literary prize.

Where to stay

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