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A small Abruzzo lookout rich in history, on the border with the Marche region


22 maggio 2023

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3 min

  • Comuni d’Abruzzo


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In the province of Teramo, among the small gems of the area, find Ancarano in a privileged "lookout" position over the Tronto valley, on the Via Salaria and near the Vibrata River, 20 kilometres rom the Adriatic Sea. 
You can reach it by the Highway 16 that follows the coastline, and by a detour to the west that takes you up to the ridge where the town stands. 

You are setting your feet on very ancient soil inhabited by the Romans-whose existence is traceable thanks to the remains of a settlement found nearby-and probably frequented, even earlier, by the Italic Picenian population from nearby Ascoli.
Indeed, tradition tells that Ancarano arose around a temple dedicated to Ancaria, an Etruscan goddess worshipped by the Picenes and, from whom derives the name.

The characteristic form of a fortified village, which opens to your view, is a material reminder of the long period when it was ruled by the Franks, the bishops, and the Spanish, between demolitions and rebuilding. It was in fact destroyed by Pepin's Franks and rebuilt by Charlemagne, only to be donated to the bishop of Ascoli Piceno until the 16th century when it was conquered by the Spanish of the Duke of Alba.
The centre welcomes you through three entrances: Porta da Mare, which opens to the east, on the side of the Adriatic, with its ogival arch made of travertine blocks. Porta da Monte, perhaps the main gate of the town, which looks west toward the Sibillini Mountains, the Laga Mountains and the Gran Sasso, and from which the road to the "Passo di Ancarano" on the Tronto River to the Via Salaria started. Finally, Porta Nuova, built in 1904 inside a private house to serve water to the dwellings within the ancient walls, and later transformed into the town's access.

There you have the township, a step back in time with buildings and mansions from the 16th-17th centuries, with tiny stone portals embellished with majolica tiles depicting mostly saints, from the 18th-19th centuries, or coats of arms and decorations in the keystone. In contrast, the windows on the main floors of the late 17th- or 18th-century buildings are reframed with cornices and moldings.
Enter the Church of Madonna della Pace, which houses the gilded wooden statue of Madonna della Pace by Silvestro dell'Aquila, dated 1490 (the Child, on the other hand, is a later work); the high altar holds a gilded urn from 1759 in which are the relics of St. Simplicio, patron saint of the town.
Traditional local dishes, as well as expression of the region are the fried cheese and "scrippelle", while the typical local delicacy is called "li tailì de la Madonna," special noodles prepared on the holy day of Madonna della Pace, which is celebrated on the Sunday of October closest to the 22nd. Drop by if you are around, you will be enraptured.

What else to see:
The church of Madonna della Misericordia
The church of Madonna della Carità
The church of San Rocco
The tower campanaria
The birthplace of the scientist Giuseppe Flaiani


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  • Comuni
Last updated

19/09/2023, 18:40

Published by AbruzzoTurismo