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Anversa degli Abruzzi

Mountain pearl in the wild Sagittario Gorges


19 maggio 2023

Reading time:

3 min

  • Borghi più belli d’Italia
  • Comuni d’Abruzzo
  • Mountain resorts
Veduta panoramica di Anversa degli Abruzzi


Descrizione lunga

You are in the presence of one of the most beautiful villages in Italy, made even more enchanting by the surrounding landscape: Anversa degli Abruzzi, in the province of L'Aquila at an altitude of 604 metres, lies in the upper Sagittario Valley from which it overlooks the marvellous and wild Sagittario Gorges.
From Valle Peligna towards Scanno, the road route is fascinating. It crosses the Sagittario Gorges, the deep canyon carved out over thousands of years by the Sagittario river considered a natural work of great beauty. The Sagittario Gorges Guided Nature Reserve was established here in that strip of land that appeared 'fearful and beautiful' to English travellers at the end of the 19th century. The area, a WWF oasis since 1991, became a regional nature reserve in 1997.

The ancient mediaeval village is characterized by an outer wall of houses, built above cliffs on which the remains of the Norman Castle (also known as the Counts of Sangro Castle), built by the Normans in the 12th century to control one of the southern entrances to the Peligna Valley, stand out. Badly damaged by the 1706 earthquake, the ruins of the rafters of the 14th-century tower, a low connecting room among the tower, the residential complex and the lowered arch at the entrance to the building, dating back to the early 16th century, are still visible. It was here that Gabriele d'Annunzio set the tragedy 'La fiaccola sotto il moggio' in 1904.

Also noteworthy are the Case dei Lombardi, terraced buildings built by northern craftsmen active in the region between the second half of the 15th century and the end of the 17th century, a typical example of individual fortified structures, set within the walls, which also emphasised the prestige of the family that owned them.
Also worth a visit are: the Church of San Marcello, built in the 11th century, with a façade characterised by its late Gothic portal (1472), embellished with fanciful sculptures with ornamental, vegetal and anthropomorphic motifs and a lunette containing a fresco of the Madonna with Child and two Saints; the 16th-century Church of the Madonna delle Grazie, with a Renaissance limestone portal dated 1540, unique in Abruzzo for its rare iconographic motif, a magnificent rose window from 1585 with snakes twisting the compasses.

Don't miss a stop in Castrovalva: a hamlet of Anversa, an independent feud in ancient times, it is a remarkably well-preserved example of a ridge settlement. Here, the Dutch artist Maurits Cornelis Escher created a lithograph in 1929 from the so-called 'Escher circle', the last hairpin bend before the entrance to the village, where it is possible to observe the village from the same perspective as portrayed.


  • Villages
  • borghi montani
  • borghi più belli d’Italia
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  • Mountain resorts

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41.99439293136, 13.803505897522

Last updated

18/08/2023, 16:16

Published by AbruzzoTurismo