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Must Visit Attractions in Rest of Italy

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This abbey has been attributed to Benedictines since the 8th Century. It suffered a fire in 1168, and the present architectural structure dates from 1280. The four arched portico is a Renaissance addition. The bell tower is built on a medieval tower and is crowned with little arches. The frescoes that used to cover the walls mostly date from the 14th Century. There is the Judgement by an unknown painter, which is a vision of the hereafter, mixing classical platonism with Islamic culture in a literary and artistic vision of the 12th Century. In the back are the naked souls crossing a narrow bridge, some helped by an angel, others having a fatal exit in the river of boiling pitch. The fortunate souls enter into a rich house where they dress and dance. This is outside the town. From Piazza Garibaldi, take the road for Penne and then the panoramic route with the Convent of the Cappuccini. From Pescara, take the 16 road, then 151 in the direction of Penne.

This church dates from 1607 and has an oval shape. The ornate facade has a distinctive, triangular front. There is a simple, classic portal. The interior has one nave with a discontinous perimeter and lateral altars. The walls are concave and there is a pulpit. There are Baroque, stucco decorations made mostly by Ambrogio Piazza in 1669. On the vault are frescoes of scenes from the book of Esther. The back wall has paintings of S. Cristoforo, and there are paintings on the altars and works of wood and a wooden choirbox. There is also a reliquary of the saint. Services: Weekdays: 8a, 6.30pm Weekends: 9a, 11a, 6.30pm.

This monastery was built on the ancient Tiburtina Valeria, in an area which was popular for trade and where travelers stopped (Kasaura was the name of a nearby tavern-brothel). It is one of Italy's most significant examples of Benedictine art. Ludovico II had it built in 871; it was then improved between 1176 and 1182 by workers brought from the south. It is more significant that the monastery at Montecassino. The monks who lived here wrote the Chronicon Casauriense which is an important document for Italian history. The portico has three arches and features a sequence of ornaments and figures celebrating of the power of God, of the monastery and of the people who funded the monastery. Representations of the evangelists, the apostles and other biblical characters are featured together with patron emperors of the monastery and the abbot Leonate, who was in charge of the re-foundation in the 12th Century. The relief on the lintel explains the birth of the church.

At the foot of Maiella, surrounded by woodland is one of the most ancient proofs of the Benedictines in Abruzzo. It certainly existed since 884, but it was rebuilt after the earthquake in 990, to a more grandiose design by the monk Teobaldo. The facade is made from local stone and has semi columns. The central part is highest and there are three rounded arches and a circular window in the center. On the right is a square bell tower. The interior has three naves, with seven arches on pillars. At the beginning of the right nave are 16th-century frescoes, of San Benedetto, Carlo Magno who legend links to the Benedictine order and Bobaco Olivesi. The middle area has an opus floor and there are three semicircular apses in the presbytery. Frescoes from the twelfth or 13th Century have been found as a result of restoration in the middle apse, which were previously covered by a sixteenth century strata. The church is in San Liberatore, outside of Serramonacesca. From Piazza del Popolo take Via Roma and go to the right.

This is one of the few examples of civil, medieval architecture in Abruzzo. It was built in the 14th Century for Giovanni Cantelmo. Built as a house-workshop for collecting and selling feudal, agricultural products, it became an inn and a hotel for people who stopped at Popoli to change horses. In 1574, Ottavio Cantelmo had a new tavern built next to this one, called the University. The old building has two floors, divided by a cornice which goes round the whole facade. The workshop was on the ground floor and had a large, pointed portal. The coat of arms of the Cantelmo family and other families are on the facade, as well as fantastic and allegorical subjects. Call for timings.

Part of an old convent, this church dates back to the 8th Century. Between the end of the 16th Century and the beginning of the 17th it was renovated, and the facade was rebuilt around the middle of the century. A stone Madonna with Child remains from this facade from the 15th Century, which can be found in a niche above the portal that was restored in 1667. The interior has one nave, a large dome and is full of Baroque pieces, including golden cornices, stuccho and various ornaments. On the lateral altars are paintings of value, such us the Martyrdom of Santo Stefano, attributed to Taddeo Zuccari and the Madonna by Giambattista Ragazzini, from Ravenna. The wooden choirstall is by Fernando Mosca and Venanzio Bencivegna. In the chapel next door is a monumental altar in golden wood with columns.

This reserve is between Gran Sasso and Maiella, and occupies an area of 150 hectares (370 acres) in the Penne area. It is managed by the Cogecstre cooperative and the WWF, among others. The lake is artificial, stemming from the Tavo River, but is nonetheless a true oasis of nature. It is home to such rare species as the field maple and the black birch. Herons can be observed from here, as well as the symbol of the reserve - a splendid great white egret. There is a museum here that holds a diorama representing the environment here in the 1950s. Under the water is green algae as well as fish. Hedgehogs, moles, foxes, badgers, weasels and stone martens also can be seen. Call ahead for timings.

This name comes from lucus or 'wood,' and can be explained by the presence of a temple at the back of the church, built in the 12th Century. It is said that the baptismal font on the meadow in front of the church was the cup of Orlando, head of the legendary group of paladins who liked to come here. The facade preserves its Medieval origins in the stone portal with a rounded arch. On the walls are little arches decorated with motifs. The interior has three naves separated by two rows of four columns with a central pillar. On the left pillar is a stand by Nicodemo, from 1159. It is richly decorated and surrounded by arches with four columns. Biblical scenes are painted around the structure, that is a work of stucco. On the columns along the nave are some traces of remaining frescoes. In the apse is the scene of universal judgement dating from the thirteenth century. To reach the church take the Moscufo exit at the north east, and take the right road at the crossroads. Soon after you will reach the church.

Dedicated to San Panfilo, a bishop and martyr, this church was originally built on the remains of an ancient pagan temple and was rebuilt in 1795. The facade has a curved portal and the interior has one nave in the shape of a Latin cross with lateral chapels. These are in Baroque style with stucco, cornices, and festoons. A large, central dome is illuminated by circular windows. To the right of the altar is a wooden Madonna sitting on a throne, which comes from the wooden sculpture of medieval times. There are notable, holy furnishings such as the reliquary of S. Panifilo and a processional cross from the 15th century. The four-sided tower of the bell tower is surrounded by blackbirds with swallows' tails.

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