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Castelvecchio Subequo

The guardian of the ancient Superaequum, one of the three most important cities of the Peligni


08 giugno 2023

Reading time:

3 min

  • Authentic villages
  • Comuni d’Abruzzo
  • Mountain resorts


Descrizione lunga

Perched on a rocky spur of Mount Putano, straddling the Marsicano, Peligno and Aquilano territories, stands Castelvecchio Subequo, a tiny village but one of great artistic, historical and cultural wealth. 
Floors decorated with mosaics, a temple dedicated to Hercules, amphorae, jewellery and the countless archaeological testimonies demonstrate the ancient Roman and early Christian origins of this charming perched village.

You can admire many wonders dating back to the first spread of Christianity in Abruzzo in the Catacomb of Superaequum, one of the three most important cities of the Peligni. Discovered in 1943, the graffiti found inside the Catacomb confirm the link with the Christian cult. Of particular note is the hypogeum, consisting of two tunnels dug directly into a limestone bank. The grave goods found, related to clothing and personal adornment, allow us to date the use of the catacomb between the 4th and early 7th century. You really cannot miss this opportunity. 

Like a high guardian, Palazzo Castellano dei Conti di Celano dominates the village. The building is a small jewel with a variety of architectural features that hint at the different periods of its construction. On the outside, you will immediately notice a tower to which, over time, a building with a characteristic loggia has been attached.

At the foot of the village, the Medieval fountain testifies to the city's medieval past. The fountain was fed by a copious spring and, together with the two Roman aqueducts – the remains of which are still visible –, it carried water throughout the area. The composition of the structure would suggest the presence of a thermal complex in Roman times.
Opposite the fountain, you can enjoy the lovely Church of Sant'Agata from 1114, most probably built on the remains of an ancient pagan temple dedicated to the cult of Hercules and falling within the area of the ancient civitas of Superaequum.

A village steeped in history that will brighten your day and leave you with unique vibrations of ancient times. To round off the experience, you cannot miss the local cuisine: among the “archaic” dishes you can taste the “miscischia”, boneless sheep or goat meat seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic, fennel and chilli pepper, rolled up and dried. This is accompanied by “marro”, a very elaborate dish made from lamb entrails. 

Typical of Castelvecchio Subequo is the “Sant'Agata pagnotta”, a sacred bread and expression of tradition and popular faith, linked to the cult of milk and to the figure of the patron saint of childbirth. On 4 and 5 February, these breast-shaped loaves are baked and taken to the rural church dedicated to St Agatha to be blessed and bathed in the water of the St Agatha Spring, considered miraculous. Both savoury and sweet, they are kneaded with stone-ground soft wheat flour of the local “Solina” variety, potatoes, natural sourdough, olive oil, sugar (or salt), eggs, aniseed and boiled potatoes.
Castelvecchio Subequo is part of the Italy's Authentic Villages Association.


  • Villages
  • borghi autentici
  • borghi montani
  • Comuni
  • Mountain resorts

Location of the Destination


42.131744268502, 13.729047775269

Last updated

15/02/2024, 14:39

Published by AbruzzoTurismo