Caracciolo Castle: an abandoned jewel in the heart of Abruzzo – Italy

Tocco da Casauria loses its origins between history and legend. The first information of an inhabited place in this territory is in the year 872. It was the primitive village of Tocco, so called because the term probably would mean “village on the rock”. A favorable and particularly strategic position then allowed that over time this small village became one of the most important social and cultural centers of the region. The epithet Casauria, on the other hand, will be added only much later, in 1862 to seal the link…

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Scanno, Italy: A heart surrounded by mountains

The village ef Scanno appears like small stone houses embracing each other with their tiny roofs. These roofs, so perfectly spread, have inspired hundreds of photographers and artists from all over the world who, using different techniques, have tried to represent these characteristic views. In fact the village offers a unique and characteristic atmosphere with its secular architecture immortalized by distinguished photographers such as Cartier-Bresson, Giacomelli, and Scianna. The little town is spread across a hill and it is divided by many small streets that go up and down between…

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Ortona, Italy: Moro River Canadian War Cemetery

Near Ortona, in the region of Abruzzo, Italy, there is a place that links Italians and Canadians: the Moro River Canadian War Cemetery. The Battle of Ortona was Canada’s bloodiest battle in the World War II Italian Campaign. A deep water port on Italy’s east coast, the town of Ortona’s capture by the Canadians was strategically important but also very dangerous. It was a key German command centre and Hitler ordered troops, seasoned from years of war, to defend Ortona at all costs. For eight days, soldiers clashed in hand-to-hand…

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Rocca Calascio: the highest castle in Italy

Rocca Calascio is considered one of the most fascinating places In the world and is immersed in an unique landscape telling the tale of a territory that is still largely to be discovered. Its story starts in the Middle Ages near the Gran Sasso, the highest mountain in central Italy. The castle is located in the municipality of Calascio, in the province of L’Aquila and lies within the National Park of the Gran Sasso and Mountains of the Laga. Perched atop a rocky peak 1,460 meters above sea level, Rocca…

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Former Sangritana railway: the abandoned station of Crocetta – Castel Frentano.

The former station of Crocetta was a railway station located on the Sangritana railway, and point of origin of the route to Ortona. This served the inhabited center of Crocetta, part of the municipality of Castel Frentano, and the station dates back to 1922. The line from here forked towards Guardiagrele on one side and towards Casoli-Atessa-Castel di Sangro on the other. The trains movement was progressively suspended between 2003 and 2006, so that the line is still armed, even if in a poor state of maintenance. Until a couple…

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Abruzzo, Italy: the ruins of San Pio delle Camere Castle

The castle of San Pio delle Camere, today a ruin, is clinging to the slopes of Monte Gentile, looking out from the mountain to control the valley below and the area corresponding to the famous Tratturo Magno, which connected L’Aquila to Foggia. The fort was located upstream of the village and initially served as a refuge for the surrounding populations and for their livestock, in cases of greater danger. The first information about the castle dates back to 1173, when it was a fiefdom of the barons from Poppleto. The…

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Crecchio Castle, history, legends and Byzantines!

The castle, of Norman-Swabian origin, was built around a watchtower around the 11th-12th centuries. The original tower, called “normanna” and “dell’ulivo”, part of a territorial defensive system, was visually connected with other towers in the surround, like the Mucchia tower (on the coast) and with the city of Lanciano and Guardiagrele inside. To it are linked many legends related to the cruelty of one of its owners who, ruling these places with terror, beheaded its opponents on the highest tower, that of sighting. The tower became a symbol of terror…

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Buonanotte Vecchio!

Inside its streets it is not easy to walk, going through the grown plants and the collapsed buildings on the old pedestrian streets, but some of the old houses, the furniture, the fireplaces, the still remained beds maintain their charm in the midst of so much nature and silence. Abandoned following a landslide in the early 70s, the village dates back to the twelfth century and in the beginning its name was “Malanotte”. There are several legends about the origin of the name. A curious story tells that, at the…

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The sad (short) story of the Ortona’s funicolar.

Around 1863/1864, with the opening of the Adriatic railway and the creation of the first craft activities followed by a silent urban development, in Ortona there was a need to connect the sea area with the historical center more effectively. Towards the end of the 19th century, technicians and administrators oriented towards the construction of a mechanism on an hypothetical inclined plane to go up the side of the hill from the bottom (port) to the top (city): the funicular system, already operating in other Italian cities, like Biella, Mondovì,…

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L’Aquila: the images 9 years after 2009 earthquake.

On April 6, 2009 a severe earthquake that occurred near the city of L’Aquila in the Abruzzi region of central Italy. The magnitude-6.3 tremor struck at 3:32 AM local time, extensively damaging the of L’Aquila. The earthquake resulted from “normal” faulting on the northwest-southeast-trending Paganica Fault. For more than three months after the main earthquake, there were thousands of aftershocks. In all, more than 300 people died, and an estimated 60,000 were left homeless. In this exclusive photogallery, photographs taken in the capital city of Abruzzo in July this year, 2018,…

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Witches from Abruzzo: popular legends in Roccascalegna’s area.

In the territory of Roccascalegna, according to the popular tradition, there are numerous places linked to legends of various kinds. It is said, for example, that the ruins of a house, still located on a plateau and known as “the fairy house”, are visited by some flying entities defined by some witches, by others fairies. In the popular tales, in fact, these two figures are similar and are often confused. Of true, there is that in that point, after the Italy’s unification, in 1861, there was a bloody battle between…

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Roccascalegna: history and legends from the medieval castle in the heart of Abruzzo.

Roccascalegna is a small town situated at 455 meters above sea level, in a valley right of the Rio Secco, a tributary of the Aventino river, in the inner mountains of the province of Chieti, midway between the mountains and the sea; its 1400 inhabitants are called roccolani. In all likelihood, the founders of Roccascalegna were the Longobards who, since 600 AD, permanently occupied the actual Molise and southern Abruzzo, after having descended from northern Italy. Consequence of this was the alignment of the Byzantine garrisons on the shores of…

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Basilica of Saint Bernardino da Siena: the Saint is guarded here.

This church was built, with the adjacent cloister, between 1454 and 1472 in honor of St Bernardino of Siena…. In the year 1400, a twenty-year-old man came to the door of the largest hospital in Siena, while a terrible plague was raging through the city. Every day died at least 20 people, and many of them were those who were needed to tend the ill. The young man had come only because he wanted to help the others, and for four months Bernardine and his companions worked day and night…

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L’Aquila: the Fountain of 99 Spouts

The Fountain of 99 Spouts (in italian Fontana delle 99 Cannelle), is an icon in the city of L’Aquila, and one of the most impressive and famous monuments in the center/southern Italian region of Abruzzo. Historically, the number 99 seems to have been associated to the city and the Fountain some time after the construction. Built in the 13th century, it is shrouded in legend, and the true meaning of its 99 sculpted stone faces is still today a mystery. The name “99 spouts” started to be used only decades…

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Photostory of Alkimia Club: what’s left of a pizza restaurant with live music.

Since three years, but certainly since many and many more, on the trunk road Adriatica SS16, between the italian sea localities of Francavilla and Ortona, there are the remains of this abandoned building. Once it was a pizza restaurant, where on Saturday evening you could dance or listen to live music during dinner or after dinner. Musical revival, rock, pop, Latin American, commercial, hip hop or r & b for all tastes. Nothing else is known about this place. There are no ratings, reviews, photographs or memories on the web,…

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