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Teramo

Teramo (Latin: Interamnia Praetutiana, Interamnia or more rarely Interamnium and Interamna) is a city in the central Italian region of Abruzzo, the capital of the province of Teramo.

The town is situated near the confluence of the Vezzola and Tordino rivers and is a very old city, founded in pre-Roman times, though the general aspect is more recent due to many 19th- and 20th century buildings.

For a long period of time, Teramo was a border place between the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies and the Papal States, and therefore acquired a distinct identity. Largely because of the difficulty with communications to the other parts of Italy, it also remained fairly isolated. The completion of the Gran Sasso tunnel allowed Teramo to increasingly move away from this isolation.

The economy of the town is mostly based on activities connected with agriculture and commerce, as well as a sound industrial sector: textiles, foods, engineering, building materials and ceramics. Teramo can easily be reached from the A14 autostrada or, in about two hours by car from Rome via the A24 autostrada.

The name

Interamna (Greek: Ἰντέραμνα: Eth. Interamnas, Interamnātis), was the name of several cities in different parts of Italy. Its obvious etymology, already pointed out by Varro and Festus, indicates their position at the confluence of two streams ("inter amnes", Varr. L. L. v.28, Fest. v. Amnes, p. 17, Müll.) The form Interamnium (Greek: Ἰντεράμνιον), and the ethnic form Interamnis, are also found, but more rarely. The name referred to the two rivers Vezzola and Tordino, between which it lies.

The name is already corrupted in extant manuscripts of the Liber Coloniarum into Teramne, whence its modern form of Teramo. But in the Middle Ages it appears to have been known also by the name of Aprutium, supposed to be a corruption of Praetutium, or rather of the name of the people Praetutii, applied (as was so often the case in Gaul) to their chief city. Thus we find the name of Abrutium among the cities of Picenum enumerated by the Geographer of Ravenna (iv. 31); and under the Lombards we find mention of a comes Aprutii. The name has been retained in that of Abruzzo, now a region of Italy.

History

Interamna was founded by the Praetutii (who according to some ancient legends were possibly connected to the Phoenicians, although most scholars consider them related to another nearby Italic tribe, the Piceni) as their capital. The name is omitted by Pliny, but is found in Ptolemy, who distinctly assigns it to the Praetutii; and it is mentioned also in the Liber Coloniarum among the Civitates Piceni (cities of Picenum). It there bears the epithet of "Palestina" or, as the name is elsewhere written, "Paletina"; the origin and meaning of which are wholly unknown but may be related to legendary associations between the Praetutii and the Phoenicians. (Ptol. iii. 1. § 58; Lib. Col. pp. 226, 259.) In the genuine fragments of Frontinus, on the other hand, the citizens are correctly designated as Interamnates Praetutiani. (Frontin. i. p. 18, ed. Lachm.)

It was conquered by consul Manius Curius Dentatus in 290 BCE, and made a Municipium. During the Social War (91-88 BCE) it sided against Sulla, who deprived it of its municipium status. The latter was restored by Julius Caesar. Being situated in the interior of the country, at a distance from the highroads, the name is not found in the Itineraries, but we know that it was an episcopal see and a place of some importance under the Roman Empire. Vestiges of the ancient theatre, of baths and other buildings of Roman date, as well as statues, altars, and other ancient remains, have been discovered on the site: numerous inscriptions have been also found, in one of which the citizens are designated as Interamnites Praetutiani. (Romanelli, vol iii. pp. 297-301; Mommsen, I. R. N. pp. 329-331.)

The city rapidly declined after the fall of the Western Empire and, following Goth and Byzantine domination, became part of the territories of the Lombard Duchy of Spoleto. In 1156 it was put on fire by Norman Count Robert of Loretello and then rebuilt thanks to Bishop Guido II. In the 14th- and 15th centuries it was plagued by feuds between local families which finally ended under the Aragonese dominion. After that it shared the fortunes of the Kingdom of Naples – under which it was the capital of the province of Abruzzo Ulteriore – until in 1860 it was annexed to the Kingdom of Italy.

During World War II the people of Teramo rebelled against the German occupation. This deed earned the province of Teramo the Gold Medal for Civil Valour, assigned by Carlo Azeglio Ciampi on September 15, 2005. The town was liberated from forces of the Nazis and fascists of Salò on June 14, 1944.

Main sights

The main monuments of the city are:

  • the majestic Cathedral of San Berardo, built in 1158 by bishop Guido II, in Romanesque style. Noteworthy is the great portal in Gothic style, finished in 1332 by the Roman master Deodato di Cosma. It houses a precious silver paliotto by Nicola of Guardagriele (with 35 scenes of the life of Jesus) and a polyptych by the Venetian artist Jacobello del Fiore depicting the Incoronation of the Virgin. Annexed is a 50 m bell tower.
  • the Romanesque church of ìSant'Antonio (1127), with a fine portal. The interior, with a single nave, was renovated along Baroque lines.
  • the church of San Getulio, built in the early Middle Ages on the ruins of a Roman temple, finally destroyed in 1155 by the Normans. Only the presbyterium and some Romanesque elements remain of the original building.
  • the church of San Domenico (14th century) with a fine Virgin with Child.
  • the sanctuary of the Madonna delle Grazie (also known as Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Grazie). It has a notable Romanesque cloister and a 15th century miraculous wooden statue of the Virgin, attributed to Silvestro dell'Aquila.
  • the Palazzo Vescovile ("Bishops Palace"), from the 14th century.
  • the remains of the Roman theatre (built about 30 BCE) and of the amphitheatre (about 3rd-4th century CE).

Culture

An art exhibit, Maggio Festeggiante, is held each May. The summer calendar of events is very rich, with the Teramo Literary Prize and the Interamnia Handball Cup, an international event with athletes coming from all over the world. A week in October is also dedicated to an important international photography of film show.

The region of Teramo also houses an important astronomical observatory, entitled to Vincenzo Cerulli.

Notable people

People born in or around Teramo include:

Neighborhoods of Teramo

Frazioni (Outlying Areas)

  • Cannelli, Caprafico, Castagneto, Castrogno, Cavuccio, Cerreto, Chiareto, Colle Caruno, Colleatterrato Alto, Colleminuccio, Colle Santa Maria, Forcella (located about 11 kilometers from Teramo and dominating the Vomano Valley, Frondarola, Galeotti, Garrano, Garrano Basso, Magnanella, Miano, Monticelli, Nepezzano, Pantaneto, Poggio Cono, Piano D'Accio, Piano della Lenta, Poggio San Vittorino, Ponzano, Putignano, Rapino, Rocciano, Rupo, Sardinara, Saccoccia, San Nicolò a Tordino (important industrial zone located along the axis joining Teramo to the sea), San Pietro ad Lacum, Sant'Atto, Scapriano, Sciusciano, Sorrenti, Spiano, Tofo Sant'Eleuterio, Tordinia, Turri, Valle San Giovanni, Valle Soprana, Varano, Villa Falchini, Villa Gesso, Villa Ripa, Villa Romita, Villa Stanghieri, Villa Taraschi, Villa Viola, Villa Vomano (located in the Vomano valley and an important link to the autostrada).

Sport

Teramo Basket is a young basketball team playing in Serie A, the Italian professional basketball league. H.C. Teramo Handball are two handball teams (male and female) playing in in the Serie A division: the major handball championship in Italy. Teramo Calcio is the local professional football team, established in 1913, and currently playing in Serie C2 (the 4th tier in the Italian soccer championship).

Sister cities

Gastronomy

The provincial Teramo gastronomy is known for its variety and richness. Typical ingredients include agnello (lamb), peperoncino (hot pepper), formaggio pecorino (sheep milk cheeses), and slow roasted pork. Common wines are the renowned Montepulciano and Trebbiano d'Abruzzo.

Typical dishes from Teramo and the surrounding communities include the following:

  • scrippelle - This dish is served in the throughout the Teramo province and is somewhat similar to French crepes, although typically made without milk. There are two common variations. The first is scrippelle 'mbusse - (dialect for scrippelle in brodo or broth) and consists of scrippelle rolled up in Pecorino or Parmesan cheese and served in chicken broth. A second variation is timballo - scrippelle layered with ragù, meat or tiny meatballs (polpettini), various cheeses such as scamorza, and sometimes peas (piselli).
  • maccheroni alla chitarra - a flat, stringlike egg pasta which takes its name from the wooden instrument, basically a wooden frame strung with fine metal wire, called a chitarra (guitar), used to cut the pasta.
  • mazzarelle d'agnello - lamb's lung and innards wrapped in beet greens or chard and braised in white wine or tomato sauce. Not for the feint of heart and not to be confused with mozzarella cheese.
  • le virtù - a vegetable soup typically prepared in May of each year to celebrate spiritual redemption and the bountiful virtues of the Earth. It is made with a wide variety of locally-grown vegetables and typically includes "annit" (a type of wild fennel).
  • tacchino - a dish famous in the nearby provincial town of Canzano. Made by slow baking a turkey in gelatin (and ancient method of preserving meat) and typically served cold.
  • vino cotto - a fortified wine, found also in the Marche region, produced by slowly boiling down grape juice before fermatation and aging thus producing a sweet and rich dessert-type of wine. Consumed both straight up and in cooking.
  • caggiunitti - deep fried almond fritters typically made with chocolate and almonds.

Teramo is also home to Torrefazione Adriatica, S.P.A., founded in 1942 and manufacturer of Marcafe, one of the most important brands of coffee in Italy.

Other

In 2005 the Italian Ministry of Health found that Teramo, along with Rome, had the best drinking water to be found in Italy.

References

External links


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