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Ready for an active vacation at the centre of a majestic castle and scary canyons?


25 maggio 2023

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3 min

  • Comuni d’Abruzzo
  • Mountain resorts
Celano_Castello Piccolomini, ph cdigiammarco


Descrizione lunga

You may be surprised to learn that the hill of Celano, in the province of L'Aquila, where you have just arrived, was mirrored for millennia in the waters of an extensive lake – the Fucino – until Duke Alessandro Torlonia succeeded in draining it. It was the third largest in Italy.
For this daring initiative, which ended on June 30, 1875, the nobleman spent more than 43 million old liras, gaining substantial property and a princely title.

However, on that hill where – at the behest of Count Piero Berardi of Celano – it was built, the majestic Piccolomini Castle has remained there undaunted from 1392 until 1463, when Antonio Todeschini-Piccolomini completed the monumental work.
With due remodeling and restoration, the manor continues to be one of the most distinctive in the region and the jewel of Celano.

Admire its square towers at the corners, embellished with Ghibelline-style battlements and the solemnity of the façade or the vastness of its courtyard with an ancient well-cistern. You wouldn’t think at all that it was destroyed by a terrible earthquake, that of 1915, which changed the physiognomy of the territory and communities.
Let’s visit, inside the Castle, the Museum of Sacred Art of Marsica and the Torlonia Collection of Antiquities of Fucino, too. Then, you can visit the centre, one of the most important and well-known in Abruzzo, the ancient Cliterna degli Equi, famous for being the birthplace of Tommaso da Celano, the first biographer of St. Francis and poet of the "Dies Irae". 

Try your hand at the Celano Historic Trail, a nature path crossing the Serra di Celano that leads to the point where the remains of the medieval Celano besieged and destroyed in 1223 by Emperor Frederick II of Swabia are still visible. This is the first stage of the Trail and accessible to all. A page of history, which for the first time takes shape with panels and re-enactments in memory of those events, on the path and in the city, this summer). There is a second and more challenging section that leads up to the small church of the Alpini, and finally, with the most difficult stage, you arrive at the rock fresco of St. George. It is on a rock of Mount San Vittorino, made around the 13th century by the Benedictine monks of the Celestine monastery of San Marco alle Foci, not far away, and just restored by the municipality.

If the season is right, you can explore nearby by walking, trekking and hiking the Celano Gorges, one of Italy's most beautiful canyons, halfway between Rome and Pescara. Eroded by time and water flow, the "scary" rock walls that form the gorge are in some places about 2 metres apart and at the highest point they also reach a height of 200 metres.
The crossing of the gorges ends with the arrival at the Arano valley, at the southern edge of the Ovindoli plateau

We are sure you will complete the path under the gaze of peregrine falcons, squirrels and wild boars. 
The time for lunch has come. "Tacquelòzze" with mutton sauce, lamb “cace e ove”, “gnocchetti” with chickpeas, "pecora aje cutture" and sheep arrosticini await you.
To conclude, leave a little place for Fucino potato fritters, the true stars of Celano cuisine.

What else to see:

  • The Convent of the Friars Minor Santa Maria Di Valle Verde
  • The Monument to the Holy Martyrs
  • The church of Santa Maria delle Grazie
  • The church of St. Francis
  • The church of St. John the Baptist
  • The church of St. Michael the Archangel
  • The new Paludi Museum of Celano (currently closed)


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42.085452066087, 13.545327186584

Last updated

15/02/2024, 14:51

Published by AbruzzoTurismo