La Civitella Fortress, Civitella del Tronto (TE), Abruzzo, Italy

The majestic Fortezza, a medieval fortified borough towering above the village surrounded by walls, is a unique example of medieval military architecture in Abruzzo.
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The fortress of Civitella of the Tronto, extending more than 500 metres, with a surface area of 25000 square km, is one of the largest in Europe, and among the most imposing works of military engineering in Italy.

Its great history is tied to the strategic position that, for some centuries, it had as Neapolitan garrison along the northern borders of the Kingdom.

It was built between 1564 and 1576, during the Spanish domination; its structure was later modified but without altering the outside perimeter walls. Before the fortress was built, the town of Civitella, situated below, was surrounded by a powerful enclosure with five towers.

The fortress 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.
In 1806 Dutch Commander Matteo Wade, instead, resisted courageously before finally surrendering with all military honors. In 1861 the long Piedmontese siege ended after a massive bombing and mining the fortress with the surrender of the fortress on 20 March 1861, the last bourbon outpost to surrender to the armies of the newborn united Italy. Since 1985 the fortress has been restored and brought back to life, and is open to the visits of the tourists.

Paolo Caucci von Sauchen has organized for 30 years now a meeting of Bourbon descendants and followers. The hotels in the re-enactment days have the lily emblem of the Kingdom of the two Sicilies. Civitella was the last Southern fortress to surrender to the Savoy troops in 1861. Traditions of the ancient kingdom were re-enacted, also in memory of the last descendant od the King of Naples, Princess Urraca di Borbone, who passed away last year.