Do you want to experience a special day surrounded by the silence of lonely towers, small rock churches, wineries and roads carved into the rock?
Come with us to the territory of Acciano, in the province of L'Aquila, nestled in the Sirente-Velino Regional Park.
The town, embraced by ancient walls at an altitude of 600 metres on a ridge sloping down toward the Aterno River, is a treasure chest of stories and visions, attractive like a magnet, sucking you in at one of its gateways -Porta Torrone, Porta Martino and Porta dell'Aia - witnesses to the time when the fortified village controlled the underlying border territory between the "kingdoms" of the Italic populations of the Vestini and Peligni.
Bewitched by its stone buildings with golden-hued facades, which explode with magical reddish lights at sunset, proceed in discovering this tiny medieval soul surrounded by oak forests, which still preserves architectural signs from the 14th to 16th centuries, which escaped the bites of the 2009 earthquake.
Intact and legendary, its intangible heritage remains, boasting the passage in 1294 of Celestine V who, on his way to L'Aquila for the papal coronation, miraculously healed a local resident.
Step by step, in the silence of the lonely alleys, penetrate into the cellars dug into the limestone rock: these are ancient cavities that bear witness to the winemaking tradition of the area blessed by its climatic exposure and soil type, ideal factors for the production of a special grape from which refined wines are still born; in those that can be visited, you can admire the so-called "pinnerone", a large cylindrical stone used to press the marc.
Leaning against a building outside the centre, a public fountain pops into your view, with an inverted L-shaped basin and two stone masks with floral motifs, suggesting the date of its construction around the first half of the 15th century.
Also unearth an old water mill with an oil mill and sawmill, dating from the 10th-11th centuries, and now home to the Water Museum.
You cannot miss the small rural church dedicated to the community's beloved patron saint, Santa Petronilla, built starting in the 12th century, among the first to be restored after the earthquake. It is located in an elevated position above the built-up area and preserves inside a shrine a 16th-century fresco of the L'Aquila school depicting the "Madonna col bambino e Santi". If you are around the end of May you can participate in the festivities dedicated to her.
A way to learn about and experience local traditions and religious feeling. Don't miss the hamlet of Beffi, with its watchtower, defensive walls, access gates and dwellings, a medieval double-arched bridge over the Aterno River and a rock-cut road, while at San Lorenzo di Beffi discover an Italic temple, evidence of an ancient frequentation of the area.
In Roccapreturo - another hamlet of Acciano - an imposing medieval tower from the 13th-14th centuries rises 10 meters in front of you on a rocky ledge set to defend the small town below.
Look into the distance at the green and brown plains, running from one valley to another. Among the stones, the outlines of the plants and the shadows of the clouds on the ground, don’t you feel like catching a glimpse of warriors, monks and farmers, who lived here so many centuries ago?
Lunch or dinner time puts you at peace with yourself with dishes based on local products, such as truffles, saffron, legumes, local sausages, and lamb meat.
And if you are in the area after Ferragosto (but also at other times of the year), you can taste the Pizza fritta (a typical product of the south-central region), here prepared in all sauces, sweet or savory, by the most experienced local women.
What else to see:
SS. Pietro e Lorenzo Church
Church of the Madonna del Rifugio in Beffi
Church of San Michele Arcangelo in Beffi
Church of San Sebastiano in Roccapreturo
Church of Sant'Antonio Abate in Succiano