Capestrano (Capəstranə in Abruzzese) is an Italian town of 877 inhabitants of the province of L'Aquila in Abruzzo. Agricultural center 43 km to the ESE of the capital, to 465 m in the upper Tirino Valley, located on the south-western edge of a vast plane of karst origin between the plateau of Navelli and the extreme southeastern offshoots of the group of Gran Sasso d'Italia: it was also part of the mountain community Campo Imperatore-Piana di Navelli. Part of the territory of the municipality falls within the territory of the National Park of Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga, constituting in fact one of the access gates in its southern part.
Founded according to tradition by the inhabitants of the three villas of Capo d'Acqua, Santa Pelagia and Colle Presciano, the first news mentioning the village called Capistrano is dated 1210.
In the Middle Ages the first news of the territory date back to the 9th century, when part of the Tritana Valley is under the jurisdiction of the Benedictine Monastery of San Pietro in Trite or Trita, then said to Aratorium and finally to Oratorium, operating in turn under the aegis of the Monastery of San Vincenzo al Volturno, on which it depended.
A feud of Matteo di Raiano in the first Angevin period, he passed together with the entire Valle Tritana to Acquaviva in 1283, when Riccardo d'Acquaviva, brother of Berardo and new lord of Capestrano, of Ofena and Castel del Monte took over from Berardo di Raiano. In 1382 Pietro II count of Celano received in captivity Capestrano, Ofena and Santa Pelagia from king Carlo III of Durazzo. In 1422 the death of the very young Pietro III count of Celano passed to his famous sister Covella or Jacovella, wife, in the order, of Odoardo Colonna, of Jacopo Caldora and of Lionello Accrocciamuro. In 1463 the Terra di Capestrano was assigned, together with those of Ofena, Castel del Monte and Forca di Penne to Antonio Todeschini Piccolomini, nephew of Pope Pius II and new count of Celano. In 1478 he gave the name to the marquisate of Capestrano (from 1584 principality), which also included Ofena, Castel del Monte and Villa S. Lucia. In 1569 Constanta Piccolomini sold the useful domain of the marquisate of Capestrano with a pact to rejoin Ottavio Cattaneo and later in 1579 ceded it to the Grand Duke Francesco I de 'Medici. The illustrious Florentine family retained the fief until 1743, when the Bourbons acquired the whole as an allodial state until 1806, the year of extinction of feudalism.
The Piccolomini Castle is the most important architecture of the center, perhaps existing as early as the twelfth century, it was enlarged by Antonio Todeschini Piccolomini in the XV. Subsequently the castle passed to the De Medici family in 1579 and became the seat of the governor. The plan is irregular, consisting of the central Norman tower, with a polygonal plan. The irregular extension of the structure is due to the difference in height of the land, with the L-shaped building, with the main side facing the square. On the opposite side there was the original entrance with the drawbridge. The entrance is protected by a moat, loopholes and bertesques. The exterior is decorated with circular corner towers with 16th century battlements.
Torre Forca di Penne: located in Scarafano, on the border between the province of Aquila and Pescara. The tower dates back perhaps to the twelfth century. It has a square plan with narrow and squat sides.
April 12th, 2018
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