Campli - History

stato dei farneseEven today, the beautiful monuments are evidence of the town's glorious past. It is believed that, the town was built sometime between the VIII – IX century AD, but only later experienced a period of expansion and growth. The most important expansion period came with the Farnese family, feudal lord of the city from 1538 to 1731. Thanks to this noble family, Campli acquired many privileges , including the establishment of the diocese of Campli and Ortona and the title of City. In light of this Campli soon became an important political and cultural center of Abruzzo, but by the end of the Farnese's reign , Campli began its slow and inexorable decline, in large part due to the numerous disasters (such as earthquakes and epidemic diseases). GO UP

The Town Hall

palazzo dei farneseAlso know as the Farnese Palace,the Town Hall is one of the oldest civic buildings in
Abruzzo. It was built (in Lombard gothic style) at the end of 1200. Initially, its
architecture was different from today :the building was flanked by a tower and there
was an additional floor. In 1520 the tower was demolished, however, in order to
widen the walkways to the square. The second intervention was made to amend and
strengthen the structure of the building, following the earthquake of 1703: they
pulled down the second and the third floors and the pillars were rebuilt. GO UP

The Holy Staircase

scala santa campliThe Holy Staircase was established in Campli thanks to a papal privilege of Clemente XIV (January 1772). The Staircase consists of 28 wooden steps that you must be climbed on one's knees while praying, in order to receive absolution from sins. This sanctuary has an enormous religious and artistic value : through the metaphorical interpretation of the images painted on the side walls of the two sets of stairs, the penitent can empathize with the highlights of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Christ. On the top of the Staircase there is a grate that leads to the Sancta Sanctorum, the true heart of the sanctuary where inside are preserved some
fragments of Christ's Cross. The entire cycle of paintings was commissioned to the skilled hands of Vincenzo Baldati.GO UP

Cathedral of St. Maria In Platea

The main religious monument of our city is the Cathedral of St. Maria in Platea. The exterior of the Church shows two different aspects of architecture : the Romanesque style of the bell tower and the Neoclassical one of the facade. The bell tower, 42 meters high, was decorated in 1474 with an octagonal spire by Antonello Da Lodi, who also did those of Teramo and Atri. The bell's tone is uncomparably smooth and pleasant and althought it broke in 1847,in 1853 it was fused with the jewels of the
town's noblewomen. The origins of the Church are ancient, with the original
building, now a Crypt, dating back from before the year 1000. The architectural structure of the Crypt is comprised of a series of small aisles entirely frescoed. The top of the Cathedral dates back to 1293. Especially beautiful is the wooden ceiling of the master Teodoro Donati. Also of great artistic and architectural value is the shrine of the SS. Sacramento, built in 1532 by Sebastian from Como, in which the whole carved stone houses a wooden Madonna, attributed in 1493 to the famous master Silvestro dell 'Aquila.. GO UP

Church of St. Francis

chiesa san francesco campliThe construction of the Church dates back to 1227, following the passage of the Saint in Campli. It is done in Romanesque-Franciscan style, in accordance with to the canons of poverty and simplicity dictated by the order of St. Francis. Indeed, its construction began right after the passage of the Saint Francis of Assisi through Campli. The portal has decorative zoomorphic and tipped elements as a symbol of hostility to Paganism. The material used for decoration is the white stone Ioanella. At the entrance there are two chapels, one with a round arch in the Romanesque style
that represents the Passion and Death of Christ (on the left) and another in the Gothic style with a pointed arch representing the Birth of Jesus (on the right) . Both are beautifully decorated with paintings by Giotto's school of 1300. On the left of the Triumphal arch there is a great depiction of the Pieta in Giottesque style, considered one of the oldest frescoes in this area.. GO UP




The National Archaeological Museum

museo di campliThe museum is located in the convent belonging to the Franciscans, adjacent to the
Church of St. Francis. It houses artefacts from the necropolis of Campovalano,
discovered in 1963. Excavations have brought to light more than 600 tombs, most of
which date back to the twelfth century. The cemetery belonged to the ancient
population "petruziana" that lived in these places thousand years before Christ,
until the advent of Roman imperialism.. GO UP

The Angevin Door

porta angioinaIn the fourteenth century, the City was formed by three quarters : Nocella to the
west and the two districts of Castelnuovo and Campli to the east. They were
fortified by city walls, and sole access to the town was allowed by ten solid gates.
The only door still in existance is the "Angevin Door" which was built around 1371
and is located in the district of Castelnuovo. To improve the defensive strategy of
the City, an artificial ditch was dug and the door was equipped with a drawbridge.
On the facade that faces east, above the pointed portal, there are three coats of
Anjou, in honor of the noble house of the feudal City.. GO UP






Church of St. Peter - Campovalano

san pietro in campovalanoBuilt on a Roman temple dedicated to a god, along the ancient salt route, is the
Church of St. Peter, which dates back to the eighth century and is probably the
oldest religious building in our area. The church has three naves, and clearly visible
on its walls are some zoomorphic and anthropomorphic elements, while on the wall
of the right aisle there is a fragment of an inscription in stone dedicated to Julius
Caesar, which dates back to 40 AD.. GO UP

Nocella and the tower of Melatino

Previously mentioned Nocella, one of the three districts of Campli, is still almost intact in its medieval urban form, admirably flaunting its portals, badges, ornaments and arcades. On the main square stands an imposing tower with the coat of the
Melatino family, dating back to 1394. The tower, originally belonging to the ancient collegiate Church of Saints Marian and
James, was destroyed in the mid-1800. The present church consists of a nave with a wooden ceiling painted in the Baroque style, representing "Our Lady of Carmel" handing the scapular to Saint Albert, founder of the Carmelite order. GO UP

Campli Local events

During the summer there are various events, but the most famous is the "Sagra della Porchetta Italica" (the festival of roasted pig), which usually takes place during late August. Each butcher tries to cook the meat in the best way possible, in order to win a coveted trophy in a cooking competition.. GO UP



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