Nereto, Province of Teramo, Abruzzo
Situated in the centre of Val Vibrata, one of the 12 municipalities of this Valley an one of the smallest in Italy (its area is only 7.04 square km), among hills covered with olive trees, sunflowers and green fields, this fine village is rich in art, history and traditions. There are many theories on the ethimology of the name, maybe the best is that which says it comes from the Greek "neritos", which means beautiful, rich in forests.
- Altitude: 163 m a.s.l.
- Distance from Teramo: 30 km
- Population: ca. 4,400 inhabitants
- How to reach it: by road, S.N. 259 from Alba Adriatica; by motorway, A14 exit Martinsicuro; by bus, from Teramo.
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A large neolithic settlement existed in the pre-historic age, and in the early Christian era there was a lively community which left its traces in the monuments and traditions. Then with the fall of the Roman empire almost everything was destroyed, until the Lombards rebuilt the centre as a castle on the hill where it still rises. After the VIII century nereto came under the rule of the Duchy of Spoleto. An important period in the history of the territory began in 1004 with the foundation of the nearby Benedictine monastery of San Nicolò a Tordino. The monks introduced the cult of San Martino, whose image on a horse, giving his cloak to a poor man, is the symbol of the municipality. Another beautiful moment is when on 22 December 1798 the Napoleonic armies were going to invade Nereto: an old, lame woman climbed up miraculously the stairs of the belltower and rang the bells; the French troops suddenly saw a celestial army in front of them, and abndoned the town hurriedly. The miracle is represented in a fresco inside the Parish Church of the Madonna della Consolazione.
What to see
- The church of Madonna della Consolazione, with a fine terracotta statue of the Virgin, dating back to the XV century
- The church of San Martino (XII century), dedicated to the Patron Saint of the village and located at a little distance from the centre, with a fine high-relief showing the scene of St. Martin donating its cloack to a poor man.
Events and Festivities
- Mid-May: Broad Bean festival and folk games tournament
- First Sunday in June: Cherry festival
- September: Festival of "Capra alla Neretese" (a special dish made from goat meat)
- 11 November: San Martino Fair.