Placid, enveloping atmospheres lead you to discover this magnificent village in the province of Pescara, clinging to a rocky outcrop on the Fosso Fonte Vecchia Valley, on the northern slopes of Maiella National Park, along the road from Scafa to Caramanico Terme.
Among the Most Beautiful Villages in Italy, Abbateggio's historic centre is a succession of narrow, intricate alleys that line the characteristic houses made of white Maiella stone, expertly handcrafted by local stonemasons. Reach the highest point of the village and stop to admire the extraordinary surrounding landscape. From here, the view sweeps from the Gran Sasso d'Italia Massif to the sea in the distance.
The first attestations of the name appears in the Chronicon Casauriense in the forms of Bateju (a. 1111) and Abbatejum (a. 1140). The origins of the settlement seem to date from the years immediately following the founding of the Abbey of San Clemente a Casauria by Ludwig II (AD 871).
The enchanting "crib village" will tell you about an ancient past and a long agricultural tradition that finds its product of excellence in spelt, an ancient food, the cultivation of which dates back to the times of the Egyptians and the Mediterranean lineages. Rediscovered among the seeds of farming families, for years this precious cereal has been the object of attention by small local producers and the Pro Loco, who seeks to encourage its reintroduction into the modern diet.
If you are looking for harmony and spirituality, a must for you is a stop at the Sanctuary of the Madonna dell'Elcina, in a short distance from the historic center. The church has extraordinary artistic and historical value and preserves a painted terracotta statue of the Madonna (a 15th-century work) as well as an elk trunk that is remembered as the remnant of the ancient tree on which, it is said, the Virgin appeared.
Has your visit to the Sanctuary fulfilled you? Then add these two gems to your tour: the Church of San Lorenzo Martire, with its Renaissance façade and portal in the 15th-century style, and the Church of Madonna of Mount Carmel, made of local stone and dating from 1743.
Five kilometres from the village, take a plunge into the Stone Age by exploring the Valle Giumentina archaeological site, rich in valuable evidence of the Lower and Middle Paleolithic in Abruzzo where you can admire tholos huts, an extraordinary universe of spontaneous architecture linked to the agro-pastoral tradition. To enhance this heritage, the Paleolithic Ecomuseum in the Giumentina Valley was inaugurated in 2013.
As experienced archaeologists, head to contrada Sant'Agata, where the monumental archaeological complex appears to be linked to the presence of a small early medieval and medieval church.
According to a very ancient rite addressed to the Italic female deity of fertility, known sometimes as Feronia, Angitia or Ceres, women used to go to the votive altar inside of this church, to ask for fertility and an abundance of milk by sprinkling their chests with water drawn from its source. From Abbateggio you can embark on a journey of discovery to the ancient hermitages of San Bartolomeo in Legio and Santo Spirito a Maiella, which welcome you, in the silence of the cliffs and woods, in a timeless atmosphere full of intangible spirituality. You can also venture on exciting hikes in the wonderful eden of the Orfento Valley.
If you happen to be in the area in July, you can attend the prestigious "Majella Park" National Nature Literature Award, a literary competition explicitly dedicated to writers of the green pen.