Outlying village of Pretola the monastery of Santo Spirito is the only extant example of Cistercian fortified architecture in the Abruzzi; it was founded by the hermit Placito from Roio who settled in a cave on Monte Circolo and in a short time received by the Counts of Ocre a donation intended for the building of a monastery in the surroundings of Pretola, near-by his former hermitage.
The Romanic church of Santa Maria del Lago (Holy Mary of Lake), built probably over Roman ruins, rises outside Moscufo, and is the only extant part of a twelfth-century abbey.
The foundation of the Benedictine monastery of Santa Maria ad Praetutiarum (later Propezzano), under the jurisdiction of San Salvatore Abbey in Rieti, is related to an apparition of the Holy Mary, occurred in 715, in that place. Today the aspect of the building is approximately the same that it was in the thirteenth century, with the addition of the fifteenth-century belfry. The faade of the church is divided in two parts of different height, both with horizontal coping adorned with brick arches.
The Cistercian Abbey of Arabona was most probably founded when, in the year 1197, Gentile and Manerio of Palearia bestowed a donation on the monk Pietro from Sant'Anastasio alle Acque Salvie and on Bartolomeo, procurator of the church of Santa Maria in Monte Vitulo. The golden age of the eleventh and twelfth centuries is followed by years of crisis, which hindered from accomplishing the area. At the end of the sixteenth century a Franciscan community settled in the monastery and remained there until the end of the eighteenth century.
The church of Santa Maria in Porclaneta Valley dates back in the time, though the earliest attestations refer to the XI century, when the monastery passed under the jurisdiction of Montecassino Abbey. The plan of the church consists of a single hall concluding in an apse; before the entrance there is a pronaos, which used to lead to the monks' rooms, now collapsed.
The existence of the monastery, supported by documentary evidence since the eleventh century, is attested as from1091, when the Abbey of San Vincenzo al Volturno donated it to the church of Saint Peter of Loreto. The dispute about its property continued in the following centuries, and finally in the fifteenth century the monastery was declared under the authority of Saint Peter; in the same period Queen Giovanna of Naples instituted a fair which had to take place in the square in front of the church.
San Giovanni in Venere Abbey, founded on the ruins of a Roman temple consecrated to Venus, was re-built with the addition of a monastery in1050 by order of Trasmondo I. The abbot Oderisio II gave it its present aspect in 1165 and provided it with a magnificent portal on the eastern side decorated with precious bas-reliefs. The church plan consists of a nave and two aisles with apses and a raised presbytery. Below it there is the crypt: two aisles with five cross-spans and frescoed apses.
The church rises on the main square of the town and was built at the end of the sixteenth century (the portal is dated 1601), reusing parts (the entrance staircase, two columns and a stone pulpit) of the ancient Benedictine San Salvatore's Abbey, situated in the surroundings of Castelli. On the faade it is possible to see a stone tile representing a griffin, the only extant part of the pulpit, which was originally located before the faade and then removed and took to pieces and set inside the church. It is carved with images of the evangelists and their symbols.
The church of San Pietro ad Oratorium, put under the jurisdiction of the wealthy Abbey of San Vincenzo al Volturno in Isernia, was founded in the eighth century by order of King Desiderius and entirely re-built in the twelfth century in Romanic style. The plan of the church consists of a nave and two aisles divided by two rows of round arches with three extrados apses; the faade, made up of regular stone blocks, is the original one as far as the lateral naves and has a big portal decorated with flowers and spirals.
The original church was built in the eighth century, upon the tomb of the Syrian Saint Pellegrino, whose relics had been brought to Bominaco between the third and the fourth century. The present structure is the result of a thirteenth-century reconstruction, which replaced the former church.
The building has three entrances: the main one, provided with a pronaos, dates back to the XVIII century; the others are respectively on the back and on one side.