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In the Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise National Park, nestled on the Cerri hill


23 giugno 2023

Reading time:

3 min

  • Comuni d’Abruzzo
  • Mountain resorts
Villavallelonga, Ph. Marica Massaro, CC BY-SA 4.0


Descrizione lunga

Villavallelonga develops in the south-eastern part of Marsica, nestled on the Cerri hill and is part of the territory of the Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise National Park.

The village is home to the ancient beech forest of Val Cervara, recognized as a UNESCO heritage site in 2017, together with other Italian and European beech forests and is classified among the most important in the northern hemisphere and among the oldest in Europe, with some beech trees exceeding 560 years of age. The area is populated by protected animals such as the Marsican brown bear, the Apennine wolf and the chamois of Abruzzo.

The local traditions of Villavallelonga, linked with a double thread to nature, are collected in the Loreto Grande Museum, dedicated to the botanist and naturalist Loreto Grande. To underline this strong and indissoluble bond, the museum exhibition has been expanded with furnishings made using eco-sustainable materials. We recommend you visit Vallelonga on 16 and 17 January, when the big festival in honor of Sant'Antonio Abate takes place, a typical local representation in which you can experience firsthand the traditions of the village.

But let's see what happens more closely: in the afternoon, large fires are lit in the two squares. The designated families prepare the "Panarda", a gargantuan collective banquet in honour of the Saint with an auspicious function. Dishes that cannot be missed are chicken broth, maccheroni with egg served with sheep ragout and cheese, boiled broad beans and fritters made from leavened dough. The banquet, to which friends, relatives and acquaintances are invited, begins in the evening and goes on throughout the night, while the streets and alleys of the village are cheered by groups of singers who receive food and cash offerings in return.

On the morning of the 17th, only one family in the village is obliged to hold the 'favata' or 'festa a fuoco', that is, the distribution of cooked broad beans and bread, which takes place in the early hours of the day in memory of the hearty breakfast before work in the fields. The feast then continues with the celebration of mass, the blessing of the animals, baskets full of food and the cottora with broad beans. In the afternoon, the parade of floats opens the carnival. The celebration closes with the "bonfire of the lady", a strange creature much loved by young and old people who belongs to the world of imagination and fairy tales. An engaging party dedicated to traditions, good food and collective fun. Are you ready?

What else to see:

  • the Church of Saints Leucio and Nicholas
  • the Alpine Church
  • the Church of the Madonna della Lanna
  • the Church of the Madonna delle Grazie


  • Villages
  • borghi montani
  • Comuni
  • Mountain resorts

Location of the Destination


41.867339734662, 13.624484539032

Last updated

22/02/2024, 12:13

Published by AbruzzoTurismo