CIVITELLA DEL TRONTO, Province of Teramo, Abruzzo, Italy
Civitella del Tronto is an ancient medieval village, which developed around a Bourbon fortress built during the Spanish domination between 1564 and 1576. The fortress was built on the northern border of the ancient Kingdom of two Sicilies at the boundaries with the Vatican State. Today Civitella is in the Abruzzi region, 15 km from Teramo and 18 km from Ascoli Piceno in the Marche region. The area offers landscapes of unparalleled beauty among the North-Eastern edge of the Monti della Laga and the Monti Gemelli, in the natural Reserve of the Gole del Salinello.
Altitude: 589 m a.s.l -- Distance from Teramo: 21 km -- Population: ca. 5500 inhabitants -- Zip code: -- Phone Area Code:
At nearby Ripa di Civitella, and in the grottos of Sant'Angelo and Salomone Paleolithic and Neolithic findings witness the human presence since prehistoric times. In 1069 there's a mention of the castle of "Tibitella" being donated to the Ascoli bishopry. The medieval citadel dates back to the early XI century, and had its highest splendour under the Aragonese. It was famous in history for the resistance to many invading armies. In 1557 it withheld a long siege by François of Lorraine, then in 1798 it was attacked by French armies and the Fortress Spanish Commander, Juan Lacombe, surrendered without opposing any resistance. Later on, in 1806, Irish Commander Matteo Wade, resisted courageously before finally surrendering with all military honors. In 1861 the long Piedmontese siege ended after a massive bombing and mining the fortress.
The local restaurants and hotels - as Hotel Zunica which is listed in the world's top gastronomic guides (Michelin, Gambero Rosso, L'Espresso, Veronelli, BMW and Panorama) - offer Italian cuisine, Teramo specialities, as well as delicacies from the Marches region. Historical menus derived from traditional medieval and Bourbon cuisine are revisited by award-winning chefs. The proximity of the sea, rivers and mountains offers a diversity of ingredients, fowl and game and fish, exquisite variety of truffles and wild honey, make the cuisine of this area uniquely delicious. And to accompany the meals the nearby hills provide the grapes for the Controguerra wine, one of the four DOC wines in Abruzzo (the other being the Trebbiano, Montepulciano and Cerasuolo).
Points of Interest: Art and Architecture
- The majestic Fortezza, the medieval fortified borough towering above the village surrounded by walls, a unique example of medieval military architecture in Abruzzo, which with a surface area of 25000 square km di superficie is one of the largest in Europe. The northernmost Borbon citadel in Italy, and the last to surrender to the armies of Vittorio Emanuele I offers from the top a 360 degrees view encompassing the Montagna dei Fiori, Campli, Monte Ascensione and the Adriatic.
- Chiesa di San Francesco, in the Romanesque style, built in XIV century near the ancient convent, which is now the seat of the Townhall. The facade ot the church has a wonderfully decorated rosewindow and, inside, a wooden choir
- Chiesa di San Lorenzo of the XIII century, with the crypt of Beata Angiolina di Corbara, and a copper and silver processional cross, the Croce di S.Ubaldo.
- Fontana degli Amanti (Lovers' Fountain) along the walk leading to the Fortress
- Porta Napoli, built in large stones and probably dating back to the XIII century, with a vaulted roof, and on top the town's emblem with five towers
- Monument to Matteo Wade, built by Francesco I in 1829, in honour of the Dutch commander of the Fortress, who led the resistance of the town to French armies in 1806.
- The Romanesque Santuario della Madonna dei Lumi, outside the town walls, with a wooden, XV-century sculpture probably by Giovanni di Blasuccio
- Abbazia di Montesanto, on a hill between Abruzzo and Marches, founded according to the tradition by San Benedetto da Norcia in 542.
Points of Interest: Natural Sites
- Grottos of Sant'Angelo, near Ripe di Civitella, and Salomonella in the Montagna dei Fiori, near the Gole del Salinello, where traces of prehistoric man were found
- The Monti della Laga, a large mountain group in the North of Abruzzo, almost attached to the Gran Sasso range from which is separated by the valley of the Vomano river, but totally different for its geological and morphological features. In these mountains there is a dominance of sandstone formations, whereas the Gran Sasso is mainly limestones; that is why this range has rounded outlines and are so green, without the rugged rock walls and steep, impervious summits typical of the Gran Sasso. Besides, the compactness and the impermeability of the sandstone rocks has determined an abundance of torrents and of numerous, spectacular waterfalls, often hidden deep among magnificent woods of beeches and fir trees. The highest top is the Monte Gorzano, which reaches a height of 2455 meters.
- The Monti Gemelli, that is the Montagna dei Fiori and the Montagna di Campli, (1676 e 1720 m.), two characteristic summits of calcareous rock at the edge of the Laga mountain range, very similar in altitude and morphology, (1676 and 1720 meters), separated by the famous Gole del Salinello, a canyon of wild beauty, certainly one of the most spectacular landscapes in the National Park Gran Sasso - Monti della Laga.
Events & Festivities
24-26 July: International Festival of popular music
13-16 August "A la corte de lo Governatore", re-enactement of a medieval banquet inside the walls of the fortress.