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Among gentle hills a treasure chest of cultural and sacred beauties to discover


09 maggio 2023

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3 min

  • Città d’arte
  • Comuni d’Abruzzo
Fotografia di Matteo Ciommi


Descrizione lunga

Immersed in the enchantment of the Teramo hills overlooking the Adriatic Sea and characterised by the presence of the majestic calanchi (gullies), protected by a Nature Reserve established in 1995, Atri with its monuments and historical buildings, churches and evocative natural landscapes will captivate you. An authentic open-air museum, it is one of the most beautiful art cities in Abruzzo. Thanks to its proximity to the coast, it is an excellent starting point to reach the beaches of Roseto degli Abruzzi, Silvi or Pineto where, submerged in the seabed of the Protected Marine Area Torre del Cerrano in front of the tower of the same name, the remains of the ancient port of the Roman city of Hadria are visible. 

Begin your discovery of the town, embellished by numerous sites of cultural interest, by starting from the main square where the Cathedral of Santa Maria, one of the most important examples of Abruzzo Romanesque architecture, and the 19th century theatre vie for attention. The cathedral, built between the end of the 13th century and the beginning of the 14th, stands partly on an ancient Roman cistern transformed into a crypt. Its three portals are remarkable, including a Holy Door by Rainaldo d'Atri (1305), as is its bell tower with majolica tiles. The interior has three naves with pointed arches; on the walls and pillars around the altar you can admire the cycle of frescoes by Andrea De Litio, an authentic masterpiece of the Abruzzi Renaissance.

Then let yourself be enchanted by the cloister with two orders of columns and a central well of the adjoining Benedictine monastery, whose rooms now house the Atri Chapter Museum; founded in 1912, it is among the oldest in Abruzzo. Back on the square, you will be literally captivated by the curiosity to visit the Municipal Theatre. What will amaze you is the small size, only 300 seats, for performances that enjoy enviable acoustics. Inaugurated in 1881 by architect Francesco Consorti, it is modelled on the Teatro della Scala in Milan, while the interior, with its three tiers of boxes and gallery, seems to recall the San Carlo in Naples. It also houses the Di Jorio Archive Museum, dedicated to the distinguished local musician.

Among the numerous historical monuments, the Ducal Palace of the Acquaviva, which has been the seat of the municipality since 1917, cannot fail to fascinate you. It was built at the end of the 14th century on the remains of a Roman thermal complex. It was the residence of the ducal family until 1760. The square travertine block façade leads into a Renaissance courtyard surrounded by a loggia with inscriptions and Roman remains.
Another small suggestion is the Church of Sant'Agostino, with its magnificent portal by Neapolitan masters and a bell tower similar to that of the nearby Cathedral. Inside, there is an interesting fresco by Andrea De Litio on the counter façade. 

Once you have filled your eyes with wonder, it is time to devote yourself to the beauty this area has to offer: the calanchi (gullies). Majestic natural architectures originating from a form of dynamic erosion, preserved within 400 hectares of Nature Reserve now a WWF Oasis. A lunar landscape characterised by the presence of a rich and diversified fauna and a remarkable floristic component. 

The food and wine on offer will win you over, from the famous pecorino cheese made from raw whole milk with lamb rennet to Atrian liquorice products. An area devoted to conservation and recovery that here sees the Atrian black hen as the protagonist. An ancient native breed characterised by the production of small, white, tasty eggs. 
At the end of this 'journey' among nature, art and good food, a final and unfailing discovery: the sweetness of a slice of Pan Ducale, a typical city cake whose recipe dates to the 14th century.  

What else to see:

  • Civic Ethnographic Museum
  • Educational Museum of Musical Instruments


  • Alla scoperta delle città d’arte
  • Cattedrale
  • Comuni
  • Places of culture
  • Sentiero
  • Tour cittadino
  • Urban trekking

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Location of the Destination


42.580593892604, 13.978979073437


Last updated

31/07/2023, 14:57

Published by AbruzzoTurismo