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Campo di Giove
Civitella M. R.
Fara San Martino
Lama dei Peligni
San Valentino Serramonacesca
Tocco da Casauria
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|Pietranico, in the province of Pescara, is an old agricultural town. Located on a hill near the Rota River, at an elevation of 1900 feet, the town overlooks the Pescara Valley. Its population is about 700 inhabitants.
The town grew up around an ancient small castle or fortress, dating from the 11th century and belonging to the Benedictine Monastery at San Clemente a Casauria. Because of its rocky inaccessible location, the castle was a perfect refuge for the monks during raids by the Saracens and Normans who made raids from the coast of Puglia in the south. Seeking security and better living conditions, people came to settle around the castle, and Pietranico was born.
The old center of the town preserves almost intact its original defensive structure, much of it dating back to the 15th century. The houses range up along the steep hillside, divided by narrow winding streets and all surrounded by a wall, through which there was only one entrance, the Porta della Terra (see photo, above left).
The most important point of interest in Pietranico is the Oratory of the Madonna della Croce (see photo, bottom center). Built in the year 1618, on the site of a miraculous apparition of the Virgin Mary, the exterior of the church is extremely simple, in contrast to the interior, which is rather sumptuous (see photo, bottom right). The interior is decorated with works in stucco, carved reliefs, gilded decorations, and is covered with 17th century frescoes depicting the life of Mary.
The most important festas in the town are on the 2nd and 3rd of May and the 14th and 15th of September, and both are dedicated to the Madonna delle Croce. The festa in May is particularly interesting. On the night of May 2nd, there is a procession of the 16th century statue of the Madonna at night, accompanied by torches, the flames of which are very high, at times reaching above the rooftops, so that the village appears to be aflame. On May 3rd, the statue is brought in procession to the Oratory to commemorate the apparition of the Virgin to Domenico Del Biondo, which, according to tradition, occurred on March 25, 1613.
To visit a very nice site about Pietranico by the pro-loco of Pietranico, Click Here.
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