Pacentro, Castles and mountains


In Pacentro, a small village in province of L’Aquila in Abruzzo, the mountains predominate; they shelter the village from the fury of the winds. The village stands between the mountains, its profile is unmistakable, characterized by tall towers of the castle Caldora-Cantelmos (XI-XIII century), one of the most interesting castles of Abruzzo.
Many elements that remember Pacentro’s history are preserved in the village: the "Canaje", the ancient public wash built with stone slabs was a meeting place for all women of the village or the "tonna preta", the stone of the scandal, on which insolvent debtors were forced to sit naked in front of passers-by, as a form of public humiliation.

Pacentro is full of palaces, splendid portals and ancient churches such as the parish church of Santa Maria Maggiore with its portal of 1603 and the magnificent Baroque wooden pulpit. Just outside the walls of the village, there is the church of SS. Concept which houses a magnificent painting of the Immaculate made by the Flemish painter Spranger. You can’t go away from Pacentro without seeing the cave paintings of the Cave Colle Nusca where unknown hands sketched drawings depicting men armed with bows and arrows.

Pacentro boasts a delightful variety of traditional handicrafts, but it’s known for its gastronomy which has sober character and reflects the traditions of a simple life based on local products: meat and cheese are excellent.


To see

Castle of the Caldora – The original structure dates back to the tenth century and it was part of the defensive system of the Peligna Valley.

Cave of Colle Nusca – It contains rock paintings of hunting scenes.

Church of Santa Maria Maggiore

Church of SS. Concezione –The Baroque style building contains a painting by the Flemish painter Spranger.

To taste

Maccheroni alla chitarra - Homemade pasta served with sauce and meatballs.

Pecora alla cotturo - Typical recipe made with sheep meat.

Ravioli with ricotta cheese

Gnocchi with mutton sauce

Polta - A rustic dish based on simple ingredients: garlic, hot pepper, extra virgin olive oil, cabbage, potatoes and boiled beans.

To enjoy

Festival of Polta – Every year on August.