(m 580 s.l.m. – 42° 01’ 29” N – 13° 51’ 44” E)

The City of Bugnara (in the province of L'Aquila) is part of the circuit of “I borghi più belli d’Italia” (The most beautiful villages in Italy) from the summer of 2007. It has about 1,190 inhabitants. It is at the bottom of the Monte Rotondo (912 m) and of the Monte Genzana (2000 m), at the mouth of the Peligna Valley and bordering the gorges of Sagittarius. The village round the ducal castle built in the 12th century by the Di Sangro family.

There are three hypothesis about the origin of the name. According to the first one, Bugnara comes from "Bonae Ara", referring to a pagan temple with an altar – of which a floor in opus spicatum and a plaque with the depiction of a priestesses – came to light dedicated to the goddess Bona (Cerere) just as Maria Arabona in Manoppello. The second hypothesis explains that Bugnara comes from "Vineae Ara" referring to the presence of vineyards in the municipality. The third one, then, supports the idea that Bugnara comes from bunion (greek) or bunium (Latin), a term that indicates a kind of turnip or wild swede, from which came buniaria and then Bugnara, that is Bugnaram, as quoted in the Catalogus Baronum (1150-1168) at the number 1079.

The town is triangular shaped with stone houses nestled in each other with narrow and steep alleys that climb towards the fortress that dominates the area, with adjacent “tratturi” very traveled in the past. After the disastrous earthquakes of 1706, 1933 and 1984 (which made churches uninhabitable for a long time), it was also heavily damaged after the L'Aquila earthquake on April 6, 2009 (there were entire collapse of century-old houses (obviously uninhabited) and the collapse of 500 square meters of the Palazzo Ducale floor, already heavily damaged by the 1984 earthquake and never restored by municipalities). For this reason it is also in the so-called "seismic crater", unique location of the Peligna Valley to take advantage of the Decreto Terremoto" (Decree earthquake) for the reconstruction after the L’Aquila earthquake.

Already inhabited before the 6th century, in Bugnara there is the church of the Madonna delle Neve (Our Lady of the Snow) which dates back to the year 1000. In 1079 it became a fief of Simone - belonging to the Di Sangro family - until 1759, when the family wiped out with Vittoria Mariconda. The same family has rebuilt in 1361 the church of Our Lady of the Snow. The village acquired then, economic importance establishing in 1447 the Regia Dogana della Mena delle Pecore di Foggia, which lasted until 1806, attracting rich revenue in Bugnara through the herds grazing. The development of the railway station on the path of Rome - Avezzano - Sulmona - Chieti - Pescara dates back to 1891.

Places of historic and artistic interest:

  • Church of Madonna della Neve (or church of Concanelle)
  • Church of Santissimo Rosario
  • Church of Madonna degli Angeli
  • Church of Madonna delle Grazie
  • Church of San Francesco da Paola
  • Church of Santa Maria della Pace
  • Church of Madonna del Buon Consiglio
  • Palazzo Ducale dei Di Sangro
  • Palazzo Alesi Villapiana
  • Palazzo Papi.

In località Santo Stefano, individuati da Antonio De Nino nel 1887, attraverso scavi archeologici è venuto alla luce  un centro abitato con cella vinaria ed un’iscrizione latina. Altri scavi compiuti nel 1980-1981 hanno permesso il ritrovamento di muri in opus incertum, colonne, anfore, pavimenti in opus spicatum, sette recipienti (doli) provenienti da una villa rustica.

Main annual events:

  • Romantica, Festival Internazionale dei Fiorist', cuori sotto le stelle"
  • Sagra del Formaggio Pecorino di Bugnara
  • la Sagra del Grano
  • la Fiera del Gusto e della Solidarietà

Prodotti tipici e specialità eno-gastronomiche: il pecorino di Bugnara


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