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In the centre of the Abruzzo Highlands, a renowned tourist resort and natural stage of Italy's oldest “Living Crib”


21 maggio 2023

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2 min

  • Comuni d’Abruzzo
  • Mountain resorts


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Immersed in a environment of great suggestion, Rivisondoli is your ideal destination for a typical mountain holiday, whether you are an adrenaline and sport lover or a relax seeker. In the winter season, the town becomes a focal point for ski enthusiasts thanks to its facilities, recognised as among the most important in Abruzzo. 
But between one sport and another, a thrill and a hot chocolate, enjoy a walk through the narrow streets and stairways of the ancient village, immersing yourself in the 17th-18th centuries. Passing through the historic gates, of which the 15th-century Porta Antonetta and the gate near Palazzo Sardi are still visible, you arrive to the cosy urban core, which has retained its original reticular and compact structure.

The Church of San Nicola di Bari stands out in the town centre. Built in 1912 on an earlier place of worship, the church has a characteristic red brick façade with white stone trim. We invite you to admire the splendid polychrome stained-glass windows by Haynal, dating from 1991, that adorn it. After this first exterior view, let’s go inside and be captivated by an 18th century crucifix and two 17th century works, a marble inlay altar and a wooden triptych.

Now, leaving the fortified village, let’s proceed to the Santuario Romitorio di Maria SS della Portella, a destination for hermits seeking meditation and prayer. The portal of the church features two Baroque art depictions of cherubs. Inside, there is a raised presbytery separated by a marble balustrade with ornaments of plaster angels. On one of the two shorter walls is a balcony with a 20th century masonry parapet and a door leading to what once was the loggia. Hear what tradition has to say about this place of meditation: built at the end of the 16th century, it seems that this specific spot was chosen because an effigy of the Virgin, transported from distant lands, became so heavy here that it could no longer be removed. Popular tradition or something else?

If you are organising your weekend in Rivisondoli in the winter season, we suggest that you include 5 January in your dates to attend the living crib, an event with great popular participation, uniquely framed by the beautiful mountain. 
You don't want to go hungry, do you? Enjoy the delicacies that Rivisondoli has to offer. We give you a few small suggestions: “spaghetti alla chitarra”, “cazzarielli” with beans, chestnut flour gnocchi with porcini mushrooms, the famous Rivisondoli scamorza cheese, caciocavallo, mozzarella, pecorino, caprino, ricotta.


  • Villages
  • borghi montani
  • Ski Resorts
  • Comuni
  • Mountain resorts
  • Presepi

Location of the Destination


41.870359762199, 14.066705703735

Last updated

16/01/2024, 10:33

Published by AbruzzoTurismo