(m 860 s.l.m. – 42° 03’ 05”.3 N – 13° 32’ 51”.9 E) 

"I will remember the morning in the fresh meadows at the foot of the city, circling among the tall poplar trees surrounded by the vines ... the quiet evenings, so full of pleasant events ... During the night, calm and bright was the expanse of the lake, which seemed silver, under the window of the building in the glow of the full moon; the ancient castle cast its long shadows over the sleeping city"

(Edward Lear "Travel through the picturesque Abruzzo", 1846).

Awarded with the title of City by Decree of the President of the Republic on 25 March 1998, the Municipality of Celano (L'Aquila) has about 11,000 inhabitants: it is 115 kilometers away from Rome, 67 from L'Aquila, 100 from Pescara, 13 from Avezzano. It lies at the bottom of the Serra di Celano or Monte Tino (1923 m), included in the Sirente-Velino Park and which is connected by the highway number 696.

The name of the locality inhabited by Upper Palaeolithic (about 18,000, while the swamps dating back to the Bronze Age, is made to derive from Cele or Coele (hence Celanum or Coelanum) from Vicus Caelanus, from a personal name Caelus.

The union of the town with other communities of the Marsica began in the 10th century, the County of Celano. In 1221 Frederick II granted it to the Counts of Segni, removing it from Count Peter of Celano. Passed to Berardi, Counts of Marsi, for a short period to Frederick of Antioch, son of the Swabian Emperor, it was conquered by the Angevins, and then by the Aragonese, then by Artois.

St. Francis of Assisi, after a stay in San Benedetto dei Marsi in the winter of 1215-1216 in a place called "Luogo" (i loche) among the ruins of the Roman amphitheater, returned in Marsica between 1221 and 1222 while staying at Pescina, Celano and San Benedetto dei Marsi.

His first biographer, Thomas of Celano and also St. Bonaventure da Bagnoregio, report that St. Francis had healed a knight of Celano who had hosted him in his palace. From there he would go to Pescina founded the convent near the church of St. Anthony of Padua and in Castelvecchio Subequo where he founded the Franciscan monastery, leaving a relic with his blood, still preserved there. At the time of Count Leonello Acclozamora, the Aragonese rules and decides for the transhumance on the so-called Tratturo Regio that starting from Celano reached Foggia, Celanese, crucial for the economy of the following centuries. Leonello Acclozamora and the Countess Jacovella, the last heir of the counts of Celano, supported the realization of a series of works including the completion of the second tower and the three nougat Piccolomini toll, rebuilt and restored several times, and the fortified church of St. Francis and various interventions of artistic interest in the churches.

Celano is then belonged to the Peretti family, to that of the Savelli, the Cesarini-Sfora dukes and successors, the Sforza-Cabrera-Bodavilla family, until 1806, the end of feudalism.

The most important event of the 19th century was certainly the draining of Lake Fucino with work begun in 1855 and completed in 1878 with which the banker Alessandro Torlonia, coming from Rome, improved the project of the Emperor Claudius using the emissary built by Romans, acquired the 16,507 hectares of land for the period of 99 years, leaving only 2,500 hectares to municipalities that stood on the banks of the lake. The drained lands, particularly fertile were all transformed into agricultural crops (potatoes, carrots, vegetables, beets, with the construction of roads, housing and farms, not without trade union social problems described by the writer Ignazio Silone (1900-1978) in his "Fontamara" novel.

Celano has suffered several devastating earthquakes: in 1695, in 1706 and subsequent years, up to those of 1915 (Avezzano earthquake - January 13, at 7. 52 '48 ", 11 degrees on the Mercalli scale and magnitude 7.0 Scala Richter, which caused 30,519 deaths, of which 650 celanesi – inhabitants of Celano) and 2009 earthquake (L’Aquila earthquake on April 6 - 6:32) which damage to the castle.

Among the major historical episodes worth of mentioning are the lynching by a group of citizens against Francesco Tomei, who pulled out of the Police Station, where he was taken after his arrest for the theft of the relics of saints Simplicio, Costanzo and Vittoriano, patrons of Celano, made on the night between 29 and 30 December 1923 in the church of San Giovanni Battista, giving fire to it.

Of great clamor was also the massacre of 1950. On the evening of April 30, 1950 were killed two laborers, Antonio Beardicurti and Augustine Paris, during an attack, while participating in protests for their right to work. There was a follow up on May 3 during the funeral of the two workers with a crowded rally. That tragic episode accelerated the timing for the Fucino agrarian reform that led to the establishment of the EnteMaremma and Fucino, the expropriation of land to the banker Torlonia, before the 99-year maturity. The distinguished Fucino organization established soon after had the task to reorganize into larger plots the area of ​​the lake dried up giving significant development to the agriculture of the Marsica. Between the monumental and historical artistic emergencies leading the Castello Piccolomini, started building in 1398 commissioned by the Count of Celano, Peter Berardi, it restored several times and it is now the seat of the Museum of Sacred Art of the Marsica. Worthy of mention among the civil architecture: Monument to the Martyrs Saints Simplicio, Costanzo and Vittoriano, by the sculptor Antonio Berti opened in 1971; Monument to St. Francis, built by Angelo Canevari in 1982; Monument to Fra 'Tommaso da Celano, realized by Pino Conte in 1960.

Of particular natural beauty and tourist appeal are the Gole di Celano crossed by La Foce river and known in the Middle Ages with Fauces name, about 4 kilometers long, with high cliffs up to 200 meters with narrow passages that reach up to 3 meters. The tour ends at the Source of love, waterfall in a pine forest. From here there is a path that leads to the hermitage of San Marco at the mouth with an apse in the rock. In the municipal area there are three other sources: the Holy Martyrs (Fontegrande), St. Francis and the Pago spring that fuels Ovindoli and other towns of the Rocche Plateau. Celano is also the starting point for nature trails to the Sirente-Velino Park; beyond the one of the Gorges, of great interest the path of the Griffon leading to Scurcola Marsicana, Ovindoli, Msasa d'Alba and Magliano dei Marsi.

Places of religious interest:

  • Church of San Giovanni Battista

  • Church of Santa Maria Valleverde,

  • Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie

  • Church of San Francesco

  • Church of Santa Maria in Fonte Coeli, (also known as La Madonnina)

  • Church of Sant'Angelo (former Church of San Michele Arcangelo)

  • Church of Madonna del Carmine

  • Church of San Rocco

  • Church of the Sacred Heart

  • Little Church of San Leonardo

  • Church of Regina della Pace

  • Church of Cuore Immacolato di Maria



Not to be missed:

Places of historic and artistic interest:

  • Museum of Sacred Art of the Marsica

  • Prehistoric Archaeological Museum Marshes

  • Library and Museum of Santa Maria Valleverde


Main annual events:

  • January 17: feast of Sant'Antonio Abate

  • May 1 – festival of May 1

  • Second half of May: Feast of Santa Rita;

  • June 13: Feast of St. Anthony of Padua;

  • June 24: Feast of St. John the Baptist;

  • August 15: Feast of the Assumption;

  • 24-25-26 August: Feast of Simplicio Saints, Costanzo and Vittoriano;

  • Good Friday religious celebrations and the procession of the seven brotherhoods

  • Triennial international of Sacred Art

  • Palio delle Torri



For further information