Castelli The art of majolica

 

Castelli rises between the mountains and the forests of the National Park of Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga, it’s a small village in the province of Teramo, known for its painted majolica, a tradition started probably by Benedictine monks.
Old streets and white stone stairways characterize the historic center of Castelli that offers a splendid view of the Gran Sasso, the highest mountain of the Apennines.

The small village is full of examples of majolica, you can admire the most beautiful in the church of San Donato with its marvelous ceiling covered by majolicas, defined by Carlo Levi, the "Sistine Chapel of majolica".
The ceiling, unique in Italy, was made with full participation of all castellan ceramists who painted it in complete liberty of art expression: the bricks represent Saints, rose windows, animals, portraits and  images of Virgin Mary.

You cannot  leave Castelli without visiting the Museum of ceramics located in the local Franciscan convent of frati minori osservanti and without tasting the good typical food, especially “porchetta” and turkey “alla canzanese”.

 

To see

Church of San Giovanni Battista - Built in the sixteenth century, the church of San Giovanni Battista has a monumental with stone staircase and a chapel dedicated to the Holy Cross.
Church of San Donato – The church was defined by Carlo Levi, the Sistine Chapel of majolica for its beautiful ceiling, built between 1615 and 1617.
Church of San Rocco – It was built in 1948 after the demolition of the old structure; it preserves the original portal and a fresco by Andrea De Lithium (15th century).
Museum of ceramics  – Housed in the convent of the Franciscan convent of frati minori osservanti, it has a priceless collection of ancient majolicas.
National Park of Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga.

To taste

Porchetta - Roasted pork with crispy skin, highly seasoned with aromatic herbs and spices, garlic, sage, rosemary and wild fennel pollen.
Turkey "alla canzanese" – Typical plate of the Abruzzo’s cuisine made with turkey meat.
Virtù - Vegetable soup made of leftovers.