Popoli, Province of Pescara, Abruzzo
This ancient centre of the Peligni rises near the gorges of the Pescara river, below Mount Morrone, a little distance away from the junction of the Aterno and the Pescara rivers. Partly lying on the plain, partly on the hillside, it offers in its territory many natural resources and is the starting point for fascinating excursions. Nowadays it is an important industrial centre, and the springs of the Pescara offer a wonderfully clear and healthy waters, used also to make beer and mineral water, as well as for the therapy of rheumatic pains.
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- Altitude: 254 m a.s.l
- Distance from Pescara: 53 km
- Population: ca. 5500 inhabitants
- Postal code: 65010
- Dialing Area Code: +39 085
- How to reach it: by road, s.n. 5 Tiburtina; motorway: A25 exit Bussi.
The history of this large centre has always been dependent on its strategic position along main communications routes in the region from the Adriatic coasts of Abruzzi to Naples along the so-called "Via degli Abruzzi". Originally called Castrum Properi, name recorded since 1016, when it was the property of Girardo, son of Roccone. Charles of Anjou in the latter part of the XIII century entrusted Popoli and its territory to the Cantelmos. In those years the centre was fortified thanks to the bishopry of Valva, and became an important strategic centre at the entrance of the Tremonti gorges. Among its powerful lords after the Cantelmo there were the Tocco from Montemiletto.
What to see
- The Taverna Ducale and Palazzo Ducale (XIV century), one of the most important medieval buildings in Abruzzo, with its remarkable facade full of emblems and decorations.
- The old Historical Centre, situated just below the Cantelmo castle, in the north-east.
- The church of San Francesco, rebuilt in the XV century, which stores a wooden crucifix and an altar in Castelli ceramics.
- The church of Saints Lorenzo and Biagio, with a small church nearby called Santissima Trinità.
- The Monastery of San Domenico (now the seat of the Town Hall), of the XVIII century, in an "extra moenia" position.
- The Riserva Naturale Sorgenti del Pescara.
- The Riserva Naturale Orientata Monte Rotondo.
Events and Festivities
- 15 August: Trout festival and Cronoscalata "Svolte di Popoli", a car race opened to all categories on a circuit from the plains of Popoli to the top of a 10 km winding road leading up to the mountain, which every year is a popular event for professional and amateur drivers.