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  • ARTS E CULTURE

    VILLAGES AND CASTLES

    Avezzano

    Castello Orsini-Colonna

    The Orsini-Colonna Castle is situated in the municipality of Avezzano. It was commissioned in 1490 by Gentile Virginio Orsini who had it built around the remains of the derelict Gentile tower by Palearia, a lord of Manoppello. Following the completion of the renovation works carried out throughout the 1990s, on the ground floor of the castle, an auditorium has been introduced where congresses and shows can be held, while on the first floor, there is the Museum of Modern Art of Avezzano. An element that characterises the castle is the position of the four angular towers that are perfectly aligned with the cardinal points of the Earth’s magnetism.

    Carsoli

    Borgo di Pietrasecca

    Once you have left Carsoli, after several wide hair-pin bends, the view opens onto the hamlet of Pietrasecca. It is situated on the top of the Vena Cionca resurgence, above the Marino Valley and its original use for defence purposes becomes immediately evident. Its origins date back to the early Middle Ages, a period in which the merging of the inhabitants of the valley area with those of the ancient settlement of Luppa took place; the ruins of Luppa can still be seen, at a height of over 1000 metres, not far from the current hamlet. A trip focusing on the historic and architectural aspects of Pietrasecca takes you beyond the modest external expansion to the historic town centre, through narrow, suggestive covered underpasses where carved stone arches can be seen. Here, the 19th century palazzi with stone portals are a fine sight to behold and, at the corner of via Palazzo, it is possible to admire a building with its portal in pitch-faced stone, decorated with stone-framed windows dating back to the late Renaissance period. Once you have left the town, you immediately come to a crossroads from which you can take a convenient little road that, after about 2 Km, takes you to the Luppa castle walls. Not much remains of the castle, however, the panorama that you can enjoy from here is breath-taking.

    Celano

    Castello Piccolomini e Museo Nazionale della Marsica

    The Castle in Celano rises on the highest part of the town, which dominates, due to its spectacular position, the Fucino Valley. Due to its compact size and elegance as well as its stylistic characteristics, it is a building that is one of a kind in the Abruzzo region, representing a combination of the Medieval castle having marked military features blending with those of a Renaissance style noble residence. It was built around 1392 by Count Pietro Berardi who also constructed the town walls as well as the elevation up to the second floor cornice. The construction was continued by Count Leonello Acclozamora who, in 1451, had the main floor and the four corner towers built, which give the structure its current appearance, with its protruding complex and characteristic battlements. As from 1463, Antonio Todeschini Piccolomini, nephew of Pope Pius II, made a great architectural contribution to the castle structure, transforming it into a Renaissance-style residential building. Piccolomini Castle hosts the National Museum of Marsica, which is divided into two valuable sections: on the main floor there is the "Sacred Art Collection " which includes important examples of Marsican art dating back from the 6th to the 18th century, while on the first floor, there is the "Torlonia Archaeological Collection of Fucino Antiquities ", which contains the material that was discovered during the draining of Lake Fucino carried out by Alessandro Torlonia, as well as many interesting temporary exhibitions. Moreover, inside the Museum there are educational services that have been especially established for schools and groups of visitors.

    Fontecchio

    Le Pagliare

    On the plateau that dominates the valley, Le Pagliare - that can be reached both on foot and by car - is a small summer settlement, where part of the inhabitants spent the summer to cultivate mountainous varieties of solina wheat and pulses, to cut leafy branches and hay for the animals, to cut wood and to extract lime. This is an extraordinary place among the woodlands and breath-taking views.

    San Pio di Fontecchio

    A small, compact, oval-shaped hamlet which still preserves its open galleries and its towers, with a sober and “bourgeois” style that is almost in contrast with the imposing noble residences in Fontecchio, which are only a couple of kilometres away.

    L'Aquila

    Castello Forte Spagnolo

    This is one of the most representative examples of a 16th century castle in Italy. Its construction was commissioned by the Spanish government, represented in Naples by the Viceroy Don Pedro of Toledo, and entrusted to Don Pirro Luis Escribas of Valencia, a great master of military architecture of that time. The construction works started on 30th May 1534 and they were personally directed by the architect-designer for an entire year then afterwards he left this task to a succession of professionals ranging between Gian Gerolamo Escribas (1541) and Gian Giacomo dell’Acaia. Also the works were discontinuous. They were interrupted in 1554, following the insistence of the L’Aquila inhabitants due to the heavy taxes they had to incur, yet the works were resumed several times between 1606 and 1698. The Forte Spagnolo (Spanish Fortress) of L’Aquila has a square plan with a central courtyard and ramparts on the corners oriented towards the cardinal points. It has an imposing portal dating back to 1542 created by Pietro Di Stefano from L’Aquila with the emblem of Charles V who is overlooking onto the stone bridge that rests on high arches that rise up from the bottom of the moat. It is a location that is dedicated to art with the National Museum of Abruzzo which develops throughout the large castle building where the various sections illustrate the extremely high level of the Abruzzo artistic culture: from the Medieval icons and sculptures to the masterpieces of the Italian Renaissance. Elements of significant historical interest are kept in the archaeological section. The main part of the Museum was built in the 1950s in the reception rooms of the Castle where the artistic heritage of the former Civic Museum and Museum of Sacred Art of the city merged. The most prominent attractions include, close to the castle entrance, the fossilised skeleton of a giant elephant (Mammoth), which lived in the Early Pleistocene Era about a million years ago and it belonged to the Archidiskodon Meridionalis Vestinus species. Before the 2009 earthquake, the Castle was also the venue for important international musical events to host the “B.Barattelli” Concert Society. To overcome this serious lack of space dedicated to music, in the Castle park, a new Auditorium has been built designed by the prestigious architect Renzo Piano.

    Ovindoli

    Borgo e Torre Medievale - Santo Jona

    In the ancient hamlet there are still wide stretches of the wall, characterised by doors, corner towers and slits which can still be seen. In the old town centre, with breath-taking views, there are also the remains of the mother church, built in a Medieval style which collapsed following the 1915 earthquake. Within the context of the defence system of the Marsica area, the watch tower in San Iona was introduced as a connection point between the castle in St. Potito and that in Celano. The tower was built in the 13th century by the Counts in Celano on a hill around which the historic town centre was established. It is a circular plan isolated tower built on a rocky bank made of two overlapping environments: the lower one has a circular plan covered by a hemispherical stone vault with a lookout hole, framed by ashlar stone at the top and the upper level was used as a guard house and has an octagonal plan.

    Borgo medievale

    There are the remains of a Medieval hamlet in the historical town centre of Ovindoli represented above all by the Gothic arch gateway called Porta Mutiati close to the Palazzo of the legendary “Re Zappone” (King Zappone).

    Castello medievale - Castellum Sancti Potiti

    In the highest part of the hamlet, there is the Medieval Castle (which also belonged to the Counts Berardi) linked to a small hamlet, now abandoned. Both date back to the 11th century A.D. Moreover, today remains of a larger building, probably a noble residence can still be seen.

    Secinaro

    Longanum, chiese medievali

    At the foot of the town, there are several medieval constructions with adjacent “pagliare” and the Church of Our Lady of the Valley, of which only ruins remain. These represent a different hamlet compared to the central nucleus with a radial internal road network situated at the foot of the castle. Moreover, in this municipality in 1223 there were a total of nine churches: St. Marie de Rosis, St. Nicolai, St. Egidii, St. Juste, St. Quirici, St. Johannis, St. Gregorii, St. Theodori, St. Marie.

Via XXIV Maggio, snc

Rocca Di Mezzo 67048 (AQ)

 

C.F. 01894910668

 



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