Castel Del Monte

 

The small village of Castel del Monte, in the province of L’Aquila in Abruzzo, has a name that recalls a fortified center located between mountains. Hanging between the peaks of Gran Sasso and the Tirino Valley, Castle del Monte has an ancient historical center with a large bell tower. The village is characterized by steep streets and old doorway frames of ancient buildings such as the Governor's Palace, Palace Colelli and magnificent churches of which the whole region is known for and proud of. The town is so beautiful and authentic that the film The American with George Clooney was filmed here.

Castel del Monte has access to the peaks of Gran Sasso; you cannot miss the opportunity to trek in the pastoral landscapes of the Campo Imperatore plateau, considered the little Tibet of Europe. This village has old shepherd roads, it was a place of temporary migration for pasture, for this reason it preserves a high quality production of sheep products like pecorino cheese, ricotta or marcetto, a delicious cream made of fermented pecorino cheese. 

The local cuisine is greatly influenced by sheep-farming and agriculture. There is some must-try handmade pasta typical of this area (strangolapreti, laganelle, taccuzzelle), vegetable soups and simple desserts like neule, cicerecchiole, crespeglie.

 

Must-see

The Governor’s Palace- built between the 15th and 16th centuries, it has a beautiful portal from 1559.

Colelli Palace- Its grandness is only left in the lodge and tower

Church of Madonna del Suffragio – Built in the first part of the 15th century, rich of baroque decorations. It also preserves a precious organ donated to the church in 1508 and a painting by Bernandino di Lorenzo.

Ricetto – The original village of Castel del Monte.

Campo Imperatore – Pastoral landscapes of the little Tibet of Europe, a vast plateau that resembles the Asian steppe.

Archeological area of Colle San Marco – The remains an 11th century local settlement.

 

Must-try

Cheese – Pecorino cheese, ricotta, marcetto.

Handmade pasta – Strangolapreti, laganelle, taccuzzelle.

Chiaranese – Typical recipe made with sheep meat.