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An old-fashioned "bio-cultural" heritage to be protected and enhanced


26 maggio 2023

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3 min

  • Comuni d’Abruzzo


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Have you ever seen houses built with earth? In the province of Chieti, visit Casalincontrada and you will be satisfied.
About 10 kilometres from Chieti, the town lies on a spur between the Pescara and Alento rivers, amid valleys, gullies, ditches, woodland oases, olive groves, vineyards, fruit trees and hills.
A natural setting of yesteryear, where peasants built their houses with the materials that nature offered. In past centuries, as well as in other parts of the region, they mostly used the clay from the hills, straw from the pastures, and spring water. 

Humble dwellings, "back in fashion" because they are totally "green" and environmentally friendly, now protected by the permanent Documentation Centre on Raw Earth Houses. It is based in the village and can be visited by appointment. The centre encourages the rediscovery of earth, a material with interesting properties for eco-friendly building (excellent for thermal and acoustic insulation, resistant to earthquakes, and completely recyclable).

You can arrange a visit to some of these constructions kneaded only with water, earth or clay and straw by contacting the City Hall of Casalincontrada, co-founder of the International City of Raw Earth Association, and enter a workshop house – where various raw earth techniques are taught – and Teresa's house, named after the lady who previously lived in it and now owned by the municipality
As you can see, the doors and windows are small and often stained with verdigris, on the ground floor is the kitchen with a large fireplace, and upstairs are the bedrooms. 
If you would like to know more about this topic, you can attend the annual "Earth Festival", which is held in the village usually in September, with architectural experts, teachers, designers and enthusiasts of the subject.

In the city centre, you can visit the church of Santo Stefano Protomartire – with its typical Baroque charm – and the 16th-century chapel of Santa Maria delle Grazie, with a beautiful portal surmounted by a triangular tympanum. 
You can also observe the pointed arch entrance (formerly "Porta da Capo"). It is made entirely of brick, dating back to the 14th century. In the San Domenico district instead you can admire a 16th-century cistern and, close to the parish church, the remains of an 18th-century ice house, intended for storing snow and ice.

At lunch, give it a go with traditional “arrosticini”, cod with peppers and sweet “fiadoni”, typical of the area. 
And if you are lucky, you may even come across some band parades, practicing for competitions. Indeed, Casalincontrada is also known, in Italy, as "the town of music" for its well-established band (dating back to 1841) and orchestral tradition (since 1961).

What else to see:

  • The Caracciolo-Del Giudice-De Felici baronial house
  • The church of San Domenico
  • The birth house of Cesare de Lollis 


  • Villages
  • Comuni

Location of the Destination


42.290119790758, 14.133825302124

Last updated

10/01/2024, 16:56

Published by AbruzzoTurismo