Civitella del Tronto City of art
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A perfectly conserved city fortress. From the bastions, it almost seems that you can touch the sea, while the wind from the Monti della Laga National Park blows at your back. Civitella Del Tronto was the last Bourbon stronghold before the Unification of Italy, definitely one of the most representative and evocative city centres of the province of Teramo near the border of the Marche. The Bourbon Fortress is a masterpiece of military engineering, the biggest in Europe, covering 25,000m2. With its enviable panorama, the fortress will enthral you with its three magnificent Piazze d’Armi (weapons squares), the bastions and walkways, and the Museum that to this day “tells” its story. The symbols of the city-fortress are clearly visible in the rest of the town as well, in buildings and houses with thick travertine walls, in the masterfully chiselled gates, in the evocative and mysterious roads, among whi- ch “Ruetta, the narrowest road in Italy” stands out. One would be hard put to account for the many monuments that grace the city centre of Civitella: from the 16th century Church of San Lorenzo with the crypt of Blessed Angelina of Corbara and the silver and copper cross of Saint Ubaldo, to the Romanesque San Francesco, with its beautiful rose window and choir from the 1400s. Just
a stone’s throw away, there is the memorial monument of the Irish hero Matthew Wade¸ commander of the fort in 1806 when the Fortress of Civitella was placed under siege by the French. Then there is also the Convent and Church of Santa Chiara, built at the beginning of the 14th century, the Church of Santa Maria Degli Angeli, also known as “Santa Maria della Scopa”, which dates back to sometime between the 15th and 16th centuries. Just outside of the city, in the Salinello Gorge, we find the Hermitage of Saint Michael the Archangel, better known as the Cave of Sant’Ange- lo. The hermitage is full of stalactites and stalactites. Recent excavations uncovered artefacts from the Neolithic period up to the Roman Age. A visit to the Benedictine Abbey of Montesanto is not to be missed. Local cooking is very refined, combining the legacy of sophisticated Neapolitan cuisine – that of the nobility – with local traditional cooking.