Situated in the beautiful region of Abruzzo, the town of Celano has been awarded the title of town by decree of the President of the Republic. This charming town is just over an hour's drive from Rome. If you are wondering whether this short trip is worth it, the answer is an unequivocal 'yes'.

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Its origins date back to prehistoric times, and over the centuries it has been ruled by various rulers. Unfortunately, like many other centres in the area, the town of Celano suffered serious damage as a result of seismic events. However, thanks to important restoration works, we can say that today it has regained its ancient splendour.

Celano is a typical mountain village, rich in historical, artistic and cultural treasures of great value. Its main landmark is the Castello Piccolomini.

The Piccolomini Castle

The castle, once the centre of local life, stands high above the valley.

It was originally built as a defensive structure to protect the feudal forces against the imperial troops of Emperor Frederick II of Swabia, who besieged the fortress of Celano in 1223, destroying the village and dispersing the population. The present castle was built around 1392 by Pietro De' Berardi, Count of Celano. Later, in 1451, Lionello Acclozamora built the main floor. Under Antonio Piccolomini, who received the county of Celano in 1463, the castle took on the appearance of a stately home, used to accommodate the court. Subsequently, the castle was the residence of various families, including the Sforza-Cesarini and the Dragonetti, who left the castle's layout largely intact.

Inside the castle is the Marsica Museum of Sacred Art, divided into two sections: the Sacred Art section and the Archaeology section. The first, located on the main floor, is made up of eleven rooms divided into different sections, including sculpture, painting, goldsmithing and sacred vestments. The second is the archaeological section, which is part of the Torlonia Collection and contains materials found after the reclamation of Lake Fucino by Prince Alessandro Torlonia. The collection includes agricultural implements, fishing tools, jewellery, weapons and objects used in battles, including important pieces such as bas-reliefs of which only a few fragments have survived. There are also tombs with the skeletons of men and women found with their grave goods, including jewellery, some in ancient bronze and others in gold and precious stones.

As you walk through the rooms of the castle, we suggest you look out of the ancient windows: you will enjoy an incredible view!

It is at this moment that you realise the strategic importance of the fortress, which dominates the vast territory of Fucino, made up of roads, fields and settlements, once completely covered by the waters of the lake.

Unbelievably, Celano Castle is accompanied not by a legend but by a true story, that of Jacovella.

For aristocratic-political reasons, Jacovella was forced to marry Odoardo Colonna, nephew of Pope Martin V, who was often portrayed as sick or deformed. After about three years of forced cohabitation, with the death of Pope Martin V and with the help of his mother Maria, Jacovella fled home. Jacovella asked the new Pope Eugene IV for an annulment, which she obtained, and married Jacopo Caldora, then nearly 70 years old. Three months after her second marriage, the countess was widowed. In this short time she met Caldora's nephew, Lionello Accrocciamuro, who between 1440 and 1445, not without censure and condemnation, led Jacovella to a third marriage. Widowed again in 1458, she was left to govern the county of Celano and bring up her three children.

If you want to know more, I leave you with this interesting link to a video called "The Castle of Celano has no legend, but a true story” by Viaggia Con Wallace

Il Castello Piccolomini di Celano uno dei più famosi del centro Italia castello piano superiore in giro in giro blog

The Church of St Michael Archangel

To the left of the castle stands the church of Sant'Angelo, formerly known as San Michele Arcangelo, flanked by a palace, the seat of the Celestine Fathers until the occupation of the Kingdom of Naples. It was Count Pietro Berardi, the same man who began work on the castle, who ordered the construction of the church in 1392, but it was not completed until 1451.

Il Castello Piccolomini di Celano uno dei più famosi del centro Italia mappa in giro in giro blog
Sulmona – Celano – Popoli

We only spent a day in Celano, but it is worth planning at least a week to visit the towns of Sulmona and Popoli, which are just as spectacular!

Ciao da Cris e Marco del blog in giro in giro

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