As in between the sky, the mountains, and little charming villages. We drove up to the mountains of the National Park of Abruzzo under a grey sky and soon it was raining….you can’t see it from my photos taken from inside the car, but at the Mount Godi Pass (1630 mt) there was snow with the rain! Too bad the weather (and the cold, it was just 5°C) because the scenary in a sunny day must be really amazing.
Going down, the sky was a little better and the rain just a light spray, and we had a couple of nice encounters…..
We decided we needed a coffee break so we had a quiet walk through the village of Villetta Barrea. We don’t known about the origins of the village, but we do know that around the second half of the 700, a group of Benedectine Monks founded here a monastery dedicated to St. Angel of Barreggio ( thus “Barrea”). The first written mention of a “villa” (as in city) near Barreggio (Villetta of Barreggio) ) was in a legal document in 1426 about some land sold and in 1427 concerning a census ordered by Alfonso of Aragon.
The Church of St. Rocco (also known as Church of the Purgatory) was probably built in 1700 and inside there are two little treasures, a wooden statue of St. Michael Archangel (mid 1700) and the painting “The Purgatory Souls” (Filippo Canciano – 1752) but what intrugued me the most was the skull with the crossing bones above the portal….
Next destination was the village of Pescasseroli (sorry guys for the difficult names….) a summer and winter resort, it is today the headquarters of the Abruzzo National Park. It is located in the heart of the Monti Marsicani. In 1866, the philosopher Benedetto Croce was born there.
The name most probably comes from the latin “Pesculum Serulae” (enclosed rock on the peak). The first mention of the place it’s from 302 BC by romans sources, then around the year 1000 again associated with the St Paul Abbey that was to be built there. The first time with its current name was in 1115 in a papal Bull by Pope Pasquale II. The territory changed many dominions from medieval times till the 1700 when the Sipari family took over for more than a century. Erminio Sipari in 1922 founded here the Abruzzo National Park Association and gave it as its symbol, the marsican brown bear. Benedetto Croce’s mother was a Sipari and in the family historical palace gave birth to his famous son.