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Engines fire up in the city of the inventor of the Vespa


31 maggio 2023

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3 min

  • Comuni d’Abruzzo
Popoli, Ph. RaBoe_070


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Not sure where to go for your next vacation? Come to Popoli, in the province of Pescara. It offers a series of destinations and cultural and environmental initiatives worthy of a five-star tourist town. 
First and foremost are the thermal baths, which are the essence of the centre, at the confluence of the Aterno and Pescara rivers, at the mouth of the Peligna basin and the ancient road leading to L'Aquila through the Navelli Plain

Beneficial sulfur waters from the De Contra spring, recommended for the treatment of numerous pathologies in the fields of rheumatology, otolaryngology, pulmonology, dermatology, phlebology and gastroenterology, with different types of therapies, from mud baths to therapeutic baths, from inhalation cures to treatment cycles for rhinogenous deafness and pulmonary ventilation.

Recently relaunched by a company, the new thermal bath centre is accredited and affiliated with the National Health System as well as with the area's 300-bed hotels and B&Bs. 
Once refreshed by inhalations and mud baths, you can put on the shoes of a cultural tourist and wander around the town, which awaits you with a rich array of fine cultural assets, such as the Cantelmo palace, dating from the first half of the 15th century, the noble family that ruled the fiefdom from 1269 to 1700 with the title of dukes, and, further on, the vestiges of the castle, erected by the Valvese bishop Tidolfo in 1015 and then rebuilt later by the Cantelmo family.

Don't miss the “Taverna ducale”, one of the most unique examples of mediaeval civil architecture in Abruzzo, built perhaps by the fourth lord of the town, Giovanni Cantelmo, as a warehouse and which later became a hotel, since stagecoaches stopped in Popoli to change horses. Today its halls are used for art exhibitions, cultural meetings and concerts.
Still in the old town centre, along the main street, you can visit – in the family home – the museum dedicated to the town's most famous citizen: engineer Corradino D'Ascanio. Designer of Piaggio in the 1940s, he invented the Vespa and the helicopter (indeed, he designed the prototype of an aircraft that later became the modern aircraft).
There is also a monument dedicated to the helicopter along with a large Vespa, covered in crocheted doilies realised during the lockdown period.

The exhibition will soon move to the restored 18th-century Palazzo Villa, which will house the Museum of Motors (but the name is not yet decided), dedicated to D'Ascanio's history and memorabilia, including the wooden wings and feathers used during one of the first flights at Capo Pescara, and to the historic "Svolte di Popoli Cronoscalata," with 61 editions under its belt.
It's a winning shot for the Abruzzo city that has officially joined the Association of Motor Cities of the National Association of Italian Municipalities (Anci).

Be surprised by all these novelties, which make the small town a sparkling laboratory, on the move like its historic waters, which you find at the table, with the bottles of a well-known brand, bottled right in Popoli.
Through “tagliatelle” with trout, "fiumarola", the classic long “pasta” served with shrimp sauce, and “ravioli” served with a red tomato and raisin sauce, you can decide to extend your stay.
The wellness of Popoli thermal baths wants its time.

What else to see:

  • The Church of St. Francis
  • The Civic Tower
  • The Church of the Holy Trinity
  • The Church of San Lorenzo and San Biagio
  • The Pescara Spring regional nature reserve
  • The Gorges of Popoli
  • The Monte Rotondo nature reserve


  • Villages
  • Comuni
  • Spa

Location of the Destination


42.17190514716, 13.831234574318

Last updated

16/01/2024, 10:01

Published by AbruzzoTurismo