Medieval and Renaissance Alpine splendor in Pescocostanzo, Abruzzo

Pescocostanzo, Abruzzo, ItalyI’m a big fan of the rugged mountainous region of Abruzzo, a region east of Rome. As an avid hiker/skier/mountain-biker, I bought a weekend home there over a decade ago, and have been doing my best to explore the region.

I’ve heard often about the beautiful ‘citta’ d’arte’ of Pescostanzo, at the edge of the Maiella National Park (one of three national parks in the Abruzzo region).

Pescocostanzo, Abruzzo, ItalyBut it was only this summer, when my son attended a tennis camp in the area, that I managed to get to this pretty town to visit.

Since my son is already anxious to return to his camp next summer, I’m hoping that this will be  a good excuse to return on an annual pilgrimage to this pretty mountain town…

Pescocostanzo, Abruzzo, ItalyPescostanzo is a town on Calvario Mountain, in the region of Abruzzo at the border of the Maiella National Park. The first documentation dates back to 1123, when it was known as Peschus Constatius. The Latin name was later changed to the Italian Pescocostanzo, and it was important center on the so-called ‘ Wool route’.

Like China’s Silk Route, Abruzzo was (and still is) a shepherding region, producing great quantities of wool.

Pescocostanzo, Abruzzo, ItalyMany Italian noble families – including the Medici family- grew wealthy from trading in this commodity in Abruzzo. Many of the beautiful palazzi in town can be traced back to merchant families whose wealth depended upon wool.

Pescocostanzo, Abruzzo, ItalyIn the 14th Century, Pescocostanza was an important stronghold of the Colonna noble family, later to be followed by the Silveri and the Testa families.

During World War II, the Germans occupied the town, expelling all its residents. The residents returned eight months later, to a badly damaged town that they then began to rebuild.

Pescocostanzo, Abruzzo, ItalyToday, the town is a beautiful place to wander. In the summer, it’s ideal as a cooler base for Italy’s hot summers, and a perfect base for exploring the many trails of the nearby Maiella National Park. In the winter, it’s a stone’s throw away from the Roccaraso ski resort.

Decked with flowers or covered with a dusting of white snow, you’re bound to love exploring this beautiful mountain town when your travels take you through beautiful Abruzzo to explore the towns of the Apennines.


  1. ledrakenoir on August 4, 2015 at 8:43 am

    Yeah agree the Abruzzo area is wonderful – for me “too long no see” – but the nature, food and the architecture “hit” the viewer just between the ears – through eyes, ears, nose and mouth… 🙂

    • kimberlysullivan on August 4, 2015 at 12:51 pm

      So glad to learn you love Abruzzo, too. It’s one of those (unfairly) overlooked regions when tourists come to Italy, even though it has so much to offer. See you out on the bike paths next time!

  2. […] Medieval and Renaissance Alpine splendor in Pescocostanzo, Abruzzo. […]

  3. […] more ideas of what to see in Abruzzo, see my earlier posts on visiting medieval Pescostanzo, summertime in mountaintop Ovindoli or winter in Ovindoli . And if you’d like to read one […]

  4. […] more ideas of what to see in Abruzzo, see my earlier posts on visiting medieval Pescostanzo, summertime in mountaintop Ovindoli or winter in Ovindoli […]

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