Guardiagrele

Guardiagrele

Guardiagrele is a town and commune in the province of Chieti, part of the Abruzzo region of central Italy. It is situated in the foothills of the Maiella mountain at an elevation of around 576 metres. Its population numbers about 10,000.

Captivated by the beauty of the panoramic views of the mountains and valleys of the Maiella visible from some points in the town, the poet Gabriele d'Annunzio nicknamed Guardiagrele 'la terrazza d'Abruzzo'' ("Abruzzo's terrace").

Guardiagrele is the seat of the Maiella National Park, and is part of the club "Borghi più belli d'Italia" (Most beautiful burghs in Italy).

Main sights

The biggest church in Guardiagrele is Santa Maria Maggiore of which it has been written,.
The façade presents a splendid 14th-century gothic portal, among the most elegant in the Abruzzi Gothic style. The Coronation of the Virgin sculpture group in the portal lunette is also magnificent, attributed to the school of Nicola di Guardiagrele. Under the colonnaded portico, next to the lateral door, is the splendid fresco by Andrea De Litio (1473) portraying Saint Christopher. In the interior, completely rebuilt in the 18th century following an earthquake, crumbling stucco-work in the Baroque style and a shrine of the same period set off a 15th-century fresco representing the Madonna of the Milk.
In addition to Santa Maria Maggiore, there are several other churches and palazzi or mansions of various ages which are of architectural interest, including La chiesa di S. Nicola di Bari (Founded in the 4th Century), Il Convento dei Cappuccini (1599), Palazzo De Lucia (16th century), Palazzo Elisii (15th-18h century), Chiostro del Palazzo Comunale Piazza San Francesco (17th century) .and Palazzo Marini (1391)

Museums include:

  • Museo Civico (Civic Museum)
  • Museo del Costume e della Tradizione della Nostra Gente' (Costume and Folk Museum)Chiostro del Palazzo Comunale Piazza San Francesco.
  • Museo del Duomo ("Cathedral Museum"), in Santa Maria Maggiore.
  • Museo Archeologico ("Archaeological Museum").

Culture

Known throughout Abruzzo for its wrought-iron craft, copper craft and gold-work, Guardiagrele was the home of the great goldsmith and sculptor Nicola da Guardiagrele, who was born there in the late 15th century.

The patron saints of Guardiagrele are Saint Donatus of Arezzo and Saint Emidius. Annually between the 6th and 8th of August there is a festival celebrating these saints in which the effigy of Donatus is paraded around the streets of Guardiagrele. It is traditional to eat porchetta (oven or spit roasted suckling pig flavoured with pepper, rosemary, garlic and other seasonings) at this time.

In the 11th century Archimandrite Saint Nicholas the Greek led a group of monks fleeing the Saracens who had occupied Calabria. In 1338 his body was moved to Guardiagrele and interred in la Chiesa di San Francesco (14th century). His saint's day is celebrated on the third Sunday of May.

Notable Guardiesi

External links

References



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