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The village and the imposing Piccolomini Castle, a historic fortress protecting the valley


26 maggio 2023

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3 min

  • Authentic villages
  • Comuni d’Abruzzo
Balsorano, Castello Piccolomini, Ph. R. Amerighi CC BY-SA 3.0


Descrizione lunga

For years, Balsorano was the stronghold controlling access from the south to Marsica and the Roveto Valley.

A village with a modern appearance, dominated by the imposing 15th century Piccolomini Castle that is one of the few surviving manors in the area and a destination for Italian and foreign tourists since ancient times. With circular towers at the corners and a rear crownwork, the characteristic irregular pentagonal plan emphasises its ancient military function. The Piccolomini Castle and the 17th century St Martin's Fountain are the most important historical landmarks of Balsorano.

In Balsorano, the Hermitage of Sant'Angelo is a place to visit. It is the most famous cave sanctuary in the Roveto Valley, whose first official mention appears in a Papal bull of 1296. Until the mid-18th century, the monastery consisted simply of a natural cave used as a place of worship. Small rooms were set up at the cave entrance to accommodate the hermits, which were later replaced by the larger modern building.

The Convent of St. Francis is of artistic-religious significance, too. It probably dates back to the 17th century. Completely destroyed in the devastating earthquake of 1915, inside, it was possible to relocate the marble high altar – dating back the early 18th century and with a mother-of-pearl-decorated antependium – a beautiful crucifix from 1725 and the wooden statue depicting San Pasquale, dating back to the 15th century. All provide evidence of the convent's long history. 

In addition, you cannot miss a visit to the lovely Church of the Holy Trinity. It is divided into three naves and the central one is wider and higher than the side ones. The apse – as wide as the nave – is very simple and adorned with a majestic wooden crucifix depicting the suffering Christ. In the centre of the apse area, the marble altar is raised above the surrounding plane. 

The Church of San Rocco in Balsorano Vecchio and the Museum of Sheperding are also worth a visit. The altar of the church is set in a circular niche and adorned with two side paintings, one of which depicts San Rocco. The museum is located in the old railway station and houses tools and utensils used over the centuries by the people of Marsica, with a numismatic section and one dedicated to trains and railways.

The culinary tradition offers a variety of delicacies, including a cake called “piccillat” and made mainly of flour, sugar and lard, flavoured with orange and a double leavening; “calascinetti” that are ravioli filled with different types of cheese and pepper and “Pizza dolce”, made of sponge cake and cream.
Balsorano is part of the Italy's Authentic Villages Club.


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  • borghi autentici
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Location of the Destination


41.810303157935, 13.559437999611

Last updated

11/09/2023, 16:02

Published by AbruzzoTurismo