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A castle suspended over infinity, in the province of L’Aquila


28 maggio 2023

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3 min

  • Comuni d’Abruzzo
  • Mountain resorts
Collepietro, Ph. Co gianni CC BY-SA 4.0


Descrizione lunga

In a commanding position between the Tirino valley and the Navelli plain in the province of L'Aquila, Collepietro is the gateway that leads you to both the Maiella and Campo Imperatore, which are two of the region's most picturesque places.

Why visit it? There are so many reasons why you should stop in the village, for example: the ancient cultural and religious heritage that still survives after about a thousand years; the breathtaking views of the Conca Peligna, which look like docu-films shot in 3D; the gastronomic heritage, which exalts the extraordinary local products.
Its origins are very ancient. The earliest information about ancient Collis Petri, which was part of the Valvense castaldate, dates back to the 11th century. The village grew mainly in the Middle Ages, which is told by the small historic centre through its original fortified layout, with some characteristic tower-houses and a network of narrow streets converging on the main square.

You can admire the tower, which is some 10 metres high and was built in the 11th century as a watchtower and perimeter defense. Made of rather irregular local limestone ashlars and square blocks of reinforcement at the corners, it represents one of the small jewels of the village.
The panorama that opens up over the colourful territory of the Navelli plain and the Conca Peligna is extraordinary, at about 500 meters above sea level, stretching for a hundred kilometres and characterized by the presence of extensive almond groves. If you are in the area during their flowering period, come and admire their spectacular colors. 

Near the village, you can spot the traces of the ancient Tratturo Magno, which was reorganized on behalf of the King of Naples along with a dense network of sheep-tracks that already existed in protohistoric times. These were useful in strengthening the transhumance routes, now considered by UNESCO to be an intangible heritage of humanity. The one you see popping up in the grass, also known as the King's Tracture, was the largest one and, at about 250 kilometres, connected L'Aquila to Foggia.

Visit the church of San Giovanni Battista, built around the year 1000 and renovated in 1539 in the late Renaissance style. It has twin side bell towers, a Baroque facade with a Romanesque-style portal, and a three-aisled interior. 
In contrast, the 15th-century Church of Madonna del Buon Consiglio is uninhabitable, due to earthquake damage. You will return to visit it later, when it will be resplendent again, attesting with its architecture to the period of transhumance.

Now enjoy the traditional dishes, based on lentils, chickpeas and beans, ideal for soups and stews. Be sure to taste other specialties such as polenta and various cuts of pasta, made from excellent zero-mile flours, such as those from Solina wheat. Among the arrosticini, pecorino, ricotta, cured meats and almonds, remember that the king of the area is saffron, whose production in the Navelli plain is one of the finest in the world.


  • Villages
  • borghi montani
  • Comuni
  • Mountain resorts

Location of the Destination


42.221621255032, 13.778593540192

Last updated

11/01/2024, 13:50

Published by AbruzzoTurismo