Itinerary: Anversa d'Abruzzo, art city, Italy
Anversa d’Abruzzo, 80 miles east of Rome, is one of the most beautiful art cities in Abruzzo, full of Medieval charm
When first traveling to the area, you will be welcomed by the village of Anversa degli Abruzzi (pic n°2), known for its art and picturesque landscape. The outer houses of the town seem to form a protective barrier to the community within. There is only one small entrance to the inside village and its historic square, Piazza Rome (Rome Square). Here is where the daily life of the local people takes place. If you look beyond Anversa degli Abruzzi, you will see the rocky peak where the small town of Castrovalva is located and the majestic Gorge of Sagittarius (pic n°4) that sinks below it.
Taking a tour through the ancient city of Anversa degli Abruzzi, you will want to start from Piazza Rome (Rome Square) and discover the town's treasures from there. Here stands the ‘Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Grazie’, (Church of Saint Mary of Grace) (pic n°3) the most important church in the village. Built in the sixteenth century, the church is famous for its beautiful portal that was made in 1540. This rectangular portal is richly decorated: you will see the symbols of a tomb from where the Redeemers rises while supported by Saint Mary. On their right side, there is St. Jerome, the first translator of the Bible and on the left side, you will see St. Onofrio, the Hermit of Thebaid.
The interior of the church is structured on three naves with a rectangular apse and contains more treasures of this small village. The statue of St. Rocco is a proud piece of the church. Made in 1530 by the potters of Anversa (pic n°6), it is made entirely of polychrome terracotta. Within the apse is a temple shaped tabernacle made of carved gilded wood. The tabernacle goes back to the sixteenth century, and its gilded painting was done in 1664 by Master De Picchi of Pescasseroli.
When leaving Piazza Rome, it is suggested you go down and along the alley of Via Cords. It will lead you to the lower and oldest part of Anversa degli Abruzzi. Here, you will almost feel the medieval presence. If you continue along Via Cave, you will come across opportunities to look at and understand the village's past, through artifacts and other historical and archeological records.
You will go down Via Grotta to get to Porta Pazziana, one of the two doors leading to the village's amazing labyrinth. This labyrinth (pic n°1) confuses and fascinates those who enter it, with its many stairs and junctions, climbs and descents, surrounded by the dark stone. Many get dazed and claustrophobic by this historic maze. At the end, you will find yourself at the spectacular viewpoint over the Gorges of Sagittarius (pic n°4).
Walking towards the top of the village, you will feel sated by the beauty these views evoke. After climbing Via Castello (Castle Street), you will reach one of the symbols of Anversa degli Abruzzi: Il Castello Normanno (the Norman Castle) (pic n°5). The castle was built by the Normans in the twelfth century for the purpose of controlling one of the southern approaches to the Valley Peligna. Subsequently, it was enlarged and strengthened by Antonio di Sangro and his family during the fifteenth century. And after the Counts of Sangro, by Belprato. Under the Belprato, the castle was embellished, making it an attraction for intellects and artists.
Some pics of Anversa d'Abruzzo:
The oldest part of Anversa d'Abruzzo (pic n°1); Panoramic view of Anversa d’Abruzzo (pic n°2); Church of Saint Mary of Grace (pic n°3); The spectacular viewpoint over the Gorges of Sagittarius (pic n°4); Castello Normanno, the Norman Castle (pic n°5); A potter of Anversa (pic n°6);