Ortona dei Marsi

(m 1003 s.l.m. – 41° 59’ 54” N – 13° 43’ 44” E) 

The City of Ortona dei Marsi (L'Aquila), which has about 550 inhabitants, is situated on a spur of the Valley Bullock, river which originates from Mount Stone Gentile. then it splits into three branches: one flows into the channels of the Fucino plain, the other two do they go through a sinkhole in the Liri River, in Valle Roveto. The name Ortona is considered an attribute of land overlooking the rivers or high and traced back to the Akkadian terms "arittum" meaning "slope, ride down, down, slope, perpendicular, straight" and "nu" "River source. the country is considered one of the gateways to the National Park of Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise (PNALM).

Its history is linked to the ancient fortress of Milionia (or Milonia), where in 294 BC They found refuge during the Third Samnite War, to escape the Roman armies under the command of the consuls Lucius Postumius and Marcus Regulus, who managed to conquer the city. In this territory he claimed the Gens Poppedia, including emerging Quintus Poppaedius Silo, known for becoming commander of the Italic peoples united in the League of Corfinio in the Social War of 91-88 BC to get recognition "civesromanus". Nell'Aia of Avezzano Museums houses a headstone with female burials, which are considered his wife's daughter Silone. The writer SecondinoTranquilli (1900-1978) from this character has derived his pseudonym the official name of Ignazio Silone.

Pope Paschal II, in a bubble of 1115 and the Pope Clement III, in another of 1185, mention of a church dedicated to Sancti Quirici in Melogne, likely linguistic alteration of ancient Milionia name. In the same papal documents have named the churches of Sant'Abbondio, St. John the Baptist and St. Onofrio, around which and the feudal tower, which dominates the cole, has developed the settlement. OrtonadeiMarsi, in 1187, is Rainaldo feudal possession of the Count of Celano based on a survey done play by William II the Good, King of Naples.

About three hundred years later, in 1454 Alfonso of Aragon, king of Naples, gave to Gianpaolo Cantelmos the castles Carrito Ortona and the title of count. County which in 1579 was bought by Fabio of the Afflicted of Alfedena. The bishop of Pescina, Matthew Hills, in 1594, speaking in one of his pastoral visit to the Church of St. John the Baptist of Ortona, elevated to Collegiate, reports that in mountain areas there were numerous violent gangs composed of robbers who prevented the passage. Another change of ownership in 1602 when the county was bought at auction by John Eagle large buckles, which immediately resold it to Francesco Paolini of MaglianodeiMarsi, in conditions of great misery of all the parishes, especially in the Valley of Bullock , or as alleged in the reports of the bishops of Pescina, to the said decision of the bishop Lorenzo Massimi 1639 to merge benefits and redite of all rural parishes in the Collegiate Church of St. John the Baptist, then recognized 29 October 1734 by Bishop Giuseppe Baroni. The situation is made even more tragic by the plague of 1656 which cost the lives of 4,080 people in the territory, but from which the people of Ortona remained almost immune. The same population in 1756 presented a petition to the Pope to be able to pick up the relics of a saint martyred in the Roman catacombs of St. Sebastian, answered prayer by Pope Clement XIII and so September 19, 1759 were transferred to Ortona the relics of St. Martyr Generoso, all 'era of Diocletian.

The eighteenth century due to repeated natural disasters saw many inhabitants of Ortona forced reach Frascati and Marino in the Castelli Romani to work there as seasonal laborers, improving economic conditions, which led to an increase of the inhabitants: 1178 to 2,214 at the beginning of the nineteenth century in 1866, and 3,436 in 1874 in the country including the village of Aschi, which, however, urged in 1887 to be aggregated in Gioia de Marsi, but to no avail. It dates back to 1888 Council's decision to commission the fountain in Piazza San Giovanni (cost 23,330 lire). October 10, 1908 with the inauguration of the power plant, then no longer used, it was among the first Italian town to make use of this energy. Few the damage and casualties in the Avezzano area of ​​13 January 1915. Significant rural schools built between 1930 and 1939, finished all abandoned because of the depopulation of the II World War; and in 1948 the Asylum of the Sisters Apostles of the Sacred Heart that worked until 1975.


Places of historic and cultural interest:

  • The Collegiata of San Giovanni Battista (where there are the altar of San Generoso Martire and his relics)

  • Curch of Sant'Onofrio

  • Curch of Sant'Antonio Abate

  • The circular feudal tower (XIII century)

  • San Pasquale Palace ù

  • The remains and the megalithic walls of Milonia, near Rivoli dei Marsi

  • The Castel of Lions (Aia di Castiglione)

  • The remains of the Carrito Castle

  • The National Park of Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise

  • The natural reserve of the Monte Genzana and Alto Gizio

  • The path of the Carrito’s springs, where there are also the Fonte Majora’s fountains

  • The cycling way along the Giovenco river

  • The "Centro verde" (Green center) of the National Park of Abruzzo


Main annual events:

  • January, 17th: feast of Sant'Antonio Abate

  • January: the “Sagra” (typical festival) of the sausage

  • May, 8th: feast of San Generoso Martire

  • Second and third Saturday of July: feast of Sant'Onofrio

  • August, 14th and 15th: feast of Madonna of Sulla Villa at the Santuario of Sulla Villa

  • August, 12th: “Festa dell’Anziano” (feast of old people)

  • September, 6th: feast of Sant'Antonio from Padova

  • September, 7th: feast of San Rocco

  • September 8th: feast of Madonna delle Grazie

  • October: apple, honey and typical products of the Giovenco Valley, exhibition and market



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