In the heart of the Sirente-Velino Regional Natural Park, nestled on a spur of limestone rock on the slopes of Mount Etra, Aielli in the province of L'Aquila welcomes you in a rainbow of colours.
This beautiful medieval village, a true jewel rich in historical and artistic elements of great value, has become an open-air museum thanks to the widespread presence of colorful murals that embellish the facades of houses and buildings, the result of an ambitious initiative aimed at revitalizing the area's urban, landscape and identity heritage.
Walking through the alleys and houses of the village will be a unique experience for you. You will follow an ideal itinerary that will lead you to the discovery of extraordinary works of urban art, created by famous street artists from all over the world. Okuda, Millo, An Wei, Matlakas and many others on the occasion of the Borgo Universo event, a summer festival of street art, music, performance and astronomy that investigates the history of the village through the language of art, enhancing its views and panoramas.
Walking along the streets that radiate from the center to the top of the village, you will reach the famous Torre delle Stelle (Stars Tower), a building of medieval origin built in 1356 by Roger II of the Counts of Celano. Today it houses a qualified astronomical observatory, a planetarium, a library and, from 2019, the Museum of the Moon and Space. From the tower you can enjoy a splendid view of the Sirente mountain and the entire Fucino plain.
And deepening the link between Aielli and the stars, you will discover that the village's most illustrious citizen was indeed an astronomer: Filippo Angelitti, to whom is dedicated a sculpture depicting his face carved in bronze among the orbits of the planets of the solar system.
Medieval testimonies undoubtedly worth visiting are the three ancient entrance gates to the village, named Montanara, Jannetella and Terra (or Porta Nuova), and the square clock tower, built on the base of the medieval walls, which today houses the town clock, placed before the 1915 earthquake on another tower that was destroyed.
A village of many qualities, with some splendid testimonies of religious art, such as the Church of the Holy Trinity, dating back to 1362, which is presented in its reconstruction in a free "Byzantine-Romanesque" style. The splayed portal with round arch of the Aquilan school is from the late 15th century. The interior contains a gilded silver processional cross bearing the mark of 15th-century Sulmonese goldsmiths, a walnut choir from the mid-17th century, and numerous painted canvases and altarpieces attributable to artists of the Roman-Napolitan school of the 17th century. Also the Church of St. Joseph, whose two-tone exterior makes it one of the best examples of contemporary art from the Fascist era in Marsica. The interior, with a Latin cross plan, is decorated with polychrome marble, large stained-glass windows, and three original crucifixes with monolithic crosses made of pure Bohemian crystal.
What else to see:
The small church of S. Rocco, built in 1546 by Carlo Silverio
The Alpine Church of Monte San Pietro, built by the Alpini of Aielli between 1985 and 1988. Its charming position allows a broad and suggestive view of the Fucian amphitheatre
Aielli is part of the Authentic villages of Italy Club.