two different and suggestive itineraries

Between villages and fortresses

Continue the journey in our land of Abruzzo. The sky is mischievous perhaps, the sea pulls wind and is not very well, and the clouds also threaten rain. What can we do to avoid wasting the day at the hotel, in front of tablets, PCs and mobile phones? First of all we take the car, make sure there is fuel and we leave.

Today's destination? A journey through medieval villages and impregnable fortresses, immersed in breathtaking views. Two villages, one towards the south-west, the other towards the north-west.

Let's start from Atri, a marvelous medieval village, one of the most historically and artistically significant centers of central and southern Italy. To reach it, it takes 30 minutes, passing the state road 16 towards Pineto and then turning onto the provincial road 28. Is it possible that a day is necessary to visit this village? It would be enough even half a day, but I suggest you to walk quietly and enjoy all the wonders that the village offers. The historic center of Atri is full of monuments, palaces, museums, quaint alleys and squares. Every building, even the smallest, has its own history. Its charming old town is a maze of narrow streets that have preserved the ancient medieval appearance, in some places following the model of the Roman city. The Corso Elio Adriano, for example, connects the two most important points of the city, Piazza del Duomo and Piazza Duchi Acquaviva (known as Piazza del Comune, formerly Piazza Guglielmo Marconi), which in Roman times were precisely the Baths and the Forum.

Characteristic above all the district of Capo d'Atri, that of Santa Maria and that of San Giovanni (near Porta San Domenico), with tiny streets that sometimes allow the passage of only one person at a time.

The Concathedral Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta, a national monument, was built around 1260 and finished in 1305. The church was built on the Church of Sancta Maria de Hatria (IX century), which was built on a Roman cistern that it became a crypt, built in turn on a temple of Hercules resting on very ancient cyclopean walls still visible in the crypt. And then there is the Villa Comunale, from where you can admire a wonderful view of the Adriatic. If the weather allows it then in the afternoon, perhaps after a lunch on site, tasting local products such as Atri's pecorino, oil, wine, liquorice, in 5 minutes we could reach the natural reserve of the Atri calanchi, unique, to be discovered!

The second itinerary, however, provides a few kilometers more. We will go to the north and in about 40 minutes we will reach Campli, the city of Farnese, a small town in the province of Teramo. There are many monuments of interest, starting from the "Scala Santa", built in 1776, a world rarity, represented by 28 steps in olive wood, annexed to the church of San Paolo. And then the various doors, the churches, the Farnese palace, and the national archaeological museum, of considerable interest.

At lunch we could taste the famous porchetta of Campli or savor some local products such as the "Fregnacce camplesi", handmade pasta and seasoned with simple sauce or, in the white version, with cheese and eggs, and also oil and wine. After lunch we could reach, in 15 minutes, the marvelous Fortress of Civitella del Tronto. It is a fortified work, erected as a cornerstone responsible for the control of the territory, with tactical and defensive functions. The mighty structure was built to protect the strategic area that welcomes it, rising up against the crest of rock, which dominates the urban center of Civitella del Tronto. With its 45,000 visitors per year (2016 data), it is the most visited monument in Abruzzo. And then we will visit the village, where there is the "Ruetta", one of the narrowest streets in Italy, if not the narrowest.

A different day, where we will not go to the sea, but we were lucky enough to admire the wonders of our inner territory.


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