This coastal and mountainous land has an amazing array of art and monuments to delight it’s visitors and residents alike. Some are well-known but there are dozens of less famous wonders all across Abruzzo, just waiting to be visited. Abruzzo’s heritage of castles is extensive in number and variety, making this region an outright permanent open-air museum of architecture.
Medieval churches in the middle of solitary plateaux, hermitages hidden in the nooks of mountains, impressive abbeys and daunting castles: Abruzzo’s many centuries of history is still visible, thanks to successful preservation of so many original characteristics.
Whether you wish to visit the national museum of archeology in Chieti to see the 6th century BC statue of the Warrior of Capestrano, or the Museum of Modern Art in Pescara, you are sure to find something of interest in this eclectic region of Italy.
ART AND ARCHITECTURE
Abruzzo is an area rich in art, architecture and history. Everywhere you go, you will come across a town or village with art treasures and monuments of interest. There are far too many to mention and too many to see in one trip.
However, a visit to the cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta in Atri should not be missed. You will see Andrea Delitio’s famous cycle of 15th century frescoes, which still look vibrant today. Pass through the beautiful 13th century cloisters to go under the cathedral and wander around the unique Roman cistern, which is always refreshingly cool even on the hottest of days. The medieval crypt is decorated with priceless frescoes.
Loreto Aprutino still has the feel of a medieval village, with buildings of remarkable architectural standing. But, it is the church of Santa Maria in Piano, near Loreto, that retains the most inportant artistic legacies, with one of the foremost examples of 15th century art in Abruzzo.
The richness in Abruzzo in terms of history and faith means that the year is full of traditional feasts and festivals. All the towns and villages have their own ‘festa’, where you can join in with the celebrations.
One of the most famous in the region takes place in Cocullo, on the first Thursday in May. Here, live snakes are paraded through the streets, as part of the procession, celebrating the life of San Domenico, patron saint of snake bites.
Every month of the year, there will be festas held throughout Abruzzo and the wonderful natural scenery acts as the perfect backdrop to these events.
ARTS AND CRAFTS
Traditional arts and crafts are still practiced in the area around and can be purchased at very reasonable prices.
For ceramics, the town to visit is Castelli. Whilst there, make sure to look inside the wonderful church of San Donato, to see the delightful ceilings made with painted majolica tiles. For leather goods, go to Pescara, where the quality of the materials and the mastery of the craftsmen result in high quality goods, which are sought worldwide.