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San Valentino in Abruzzo Citeriore, Province of Pescara, Abruzzo

San Valentino Perched on a hill between the Orta and Lavino rivers, the small centre is included in the Majella National Park, and still preserves important remains of the medieval fortified borough.

Info

  • Altitude: 457 m a.s.l
  • Distance from Pescara: 36 km
  • Population: ca. 1900 inhabitants
  • Postal code: 65020
  • Dialing Area Code: +39 085
  • Frazioni: Olivuccia, San Giovanni, Solcano, Trovigliano
  • How to reach it: by motorway, A25 exit Alanno- Scafa.

History

The foundation of San Valentino goes back to about the year 1000, although it seems that on the site an ancient Roman settlement existed. In 1040 it is mentioned as Castel della Pietra (Castel of Stone) and took the name of San Valentino when were translated in situ when the bodies of St. Valentine, bishop and martyr of Terracina, and San Damiano.

The name San Valentino is connected to Valentino, bishop of Terracina, who, with his disciple Damiano, on the death of emperor Constantine, began his pilgrimage that led him to Abruzzo. Here he converted and baptized the local people, built new churches and ordained new priests. But a number of pagan priests led the majority of the population against Valentine and his disciple St. Damiano, who were captured, carried to a nearby forest and beheaded. Here they were buried with no worship until the Norman period when, between 1075 and 1078, king Trogisio found the remains of the martyrs, and ordered to bury them in the Oratory located in Castel di Pietra, where countless miracles started to take place. Probably at this time Castel di Pietra changed its name to San Valentino.

Over the centuries it belonged to the Acquaviva family, the Orsini, the de Frigis and to Margherita Farnese of Austria, whose family retained possession until the abolition of feudalism. Since 1863 the words "in Abruzzo Citeriore" were added, to distinguish the place from other comuni of the same name.

What to see

  • The Palazzo dei Conti di San Valentino.
  • The parish church, with the sepulchres of Saints Valentine and Damiano. Located high on a flight of steps, the church was designed by architect Luigi Vanvitelli (18th century), and has an interesting stucco decoration by Alessandro Terzani.
  • The Parco Nazionale della Majella.

Events and Festivities

  • 17 January: Feast of Sant'Antonio Abate
  • April: Festival of the omelette
  • 10 September: Feast of St. Nicola
  • 11 November: Feast of the "horned", in honor of St. Martin, with a parade of waggons.

Where to stay

Genealogy and Links

Map