Sant'Egidio alla Vibrata, Province of Teramo, Abruzzo
Situated on the border with Marche in the northern part of the Val Vibrata, named after the river flowing through it, it is divided into an old fortified part, Faraone Vecchia, now abandoned, one of the most ancient medieval settlements, dating back to Lombard times (VII-IX centuries), and a new modern, populous centre. Sant'Egidio is a prosperous industrial centre with factories producing jeans, shirts, confetti, furniture, etc. Its factories and markets are visited by a great number of people in search for quality and low prices.
- Altitude: 237 m a.s.l
- Distance from Teramo: 29 km
- Population: ca. 8000 inhabitants
- How to reach it: autoroute: A14 exit San Benedetto del Tronto; by road, S.S. 81 from Teramo.
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In the Val Vibrata there have been findings of human settlements of the Paleolitic, Neolitic and Bronze Age, as well as the Roman period. At Ripa Quarquellara an ancient prehistoric necropolis is being studied. Plinius, the famous Greek historian, says that Ilium, an Hellenic centre which was situated in the area of present Sant'Egidio, was famous for its decorators and weavers, specialists in the use of the "porpora" dye. The medieval borough rose probably around a Benedictine monastery, and was for a long time under the Bishopry of Ascoli Piceno. Until 1860 the place was a busy frontier post between the Kingdom of Naples (to which Abruzzi belonged) and the Church State. After the Second World War Sant'Egidio has undergone a remarkable commercial and industrial development, especially in the fields of textiles and confetti-making.
What to see
- The church of St.Egidio Abate, founded in the late XII century probably on a pre-existing Byzanthine church, which has now a Gothic-Romanesque structure, still clearly visible on the left side, while the facade was rebuilt in 1524 with a portal by architect Cola dell'Amatrice (the author also of the facade of San Bernardino, L'Aquila). Also very interesting is the belltower, with an 8-sided pyramid-like roof.
- Faraone, an ancient borough, now abandoned, probably of Lombard origin (VI-VIII century), with an entrance door and remains of the city walls.
- In the vicinity there is a European-level kartdrome, where competitions are frequently held, and which hosts the national championship each year.
Events and Festivities
- Carnevale Sant'Egidiese, with parades of allegorical waggons and people in costumes and a prize to the best waggon.
- 1 May, big fair
- 15 August, celebrations for the Assuption, with a big fair
- 1 September, Feast of Patron Sant'Egidio
- First decade in September, Festival of typical foods
- November, "Fiore d'oro" Festival of children's songs.