Ateleta has small and great records. It is a small town on the left bank of the Sangro River included in the Maiella National Park. It a southern municipality in the province of L'Aquila, it is "only" two centuries old, which is nothing compared to the ultra-millennial reality of Italian towns, and its name has the auspicious-held peculiarity of being able to be read from left to right and vice versa and means "without taxes" and "free and immune." Joachim Murat chose it in his role as King of Naples, who decreed its birth in 1811 and, to encourage its development, freed it from taxes on cultivated land.
These are three particular reasons that, although immaterial, may intrigue you and lead you to its discovery.
You are located at an elevation of 760 metres in a basin at the foot of Mount Secine which at 1883 meters juts out to the northwest, dominating the Sangro valley.
In such a striking naturalistic setting, formed by wooded mountains, its pleasantness stands out, giving you pleasure to observe and experience from all points of view.
Meanwhile, the climate. Lying on Colle Sisto, with a southeastern exposure, it is sunny and sheltered from cold winds thanks to the mountainous barrier of Secine and Ellera.
Then the naturalistic value of the area rich in itineraries, such as the Sentiero del Cervo (Deer Trail) which facilitates accessibility to an area marked by a beech forest and streams that feed the Sant'Antonio pond, in summer surrounded by a riot of orchids.
In the centre, which was completely rebuilt after World War II, the parish church of San Gioacchino stands out, characterized by some classical elements such as the Greek temple-like facade, the prominent cornice of the entrance portal, the skylight, and the mosaic-decorated tympanum with a gold background. The bell tower towers imposingly on the left flank. Beautiful mosaics adorn the interior nave.
On Ateleta's table there are some more goods which you must taste from first to last. Starting with the polenta gnocchetti with borlotti or cannellini beans, to the pasta alla chitarra topped with lamb sauce, where the "pittra", the pasta sheet, is rolled with a rolling pin, over the ancient tool called "chitarra". Don't leave behind the main courses, such as "brasciole", fried meatballs drowned in a tomato sauce. The pork sausages are excellent, and the truffles, of the summer and white scorsone type, are excellent. But the highlight of this area is lamb, cooked especially barbecued over glowing embers of turkey oak wood, celebrated in summer with a festival. Dulcis in fundo, fried pizzas with raisins and lemon or orange zest.
What else to see:
- The monument to Joachim Murat
- The war memorial
- The museum of rural civilization