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A mosaic of history, nature and churches in the province of L'Aquila


22 maggio 2023

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3 min

  • Comuni d’Abruzzo
  • Mountain resorts
Barete, ph Pietro CC BY-SA 4.0


Descrizione lunga

Among the destinations that the Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga Park offer you, don't forget to pay a visit to Barete, tiny center that spreads out on the edge of the protected area in the upper Aterno Valley, on the road from L'Aquila (about 13 km away) that leads to Lake Campotosto. 
Think of the fact that this area was once rich in thermal waters so dear to the Romans, who built a spa (salus per aquam) in their fashion, calling it Lavaretum (hence the name) and also loved by the inhabitants of nearby Amiternum, a Sabine centre, later Romanized.

Today, although the area is rich in springs, there is no trace of hot water and the beneficial spa on which the town was founded in the 13th century, with a fortress built on a hilltop to dominate the villas below. The same ones that, together with the castrum and castles in the area (tradition counts 99), contributed to the foundation of L'Aquila.
Go immediately to visit in the area of the municipal cemetery, the church of San Paolo, whose restoration for earthquake damage has been completed. This is the first religious monument of Barete that castellans built together with a the temple of the same name in the new city, the future capital of Abruzzo, in 1254, with one of its Gates, westbound (Rome), named after Lavareta.

You are in a very old church, which dates back to the 6th century and was erected on a Longobard Ostrogothic necropolis, as evidenced by some decorations and findings at the cemetery. During restoration, the foundations and ancient medieval flooring were found, as after 1703 the interior had been stuccoed and painted in the Baroque style. 
The structure has a rectangular masonry plan with a wooden truss roof and a reconstructed, very bare facade that probably had a Romanesque portal; the only original element is a small Romanesque statue of St. Paul placed in the center of the top. The side bell tower is a slender tower with a Gothic arch, while at the back, in an asymmetrical position, is located a small apse. Inside, you can admire two stoups carved from Romanesque capitals.  

Located on the outskirts is the parish church of San Vito and San Paolo. Since the 13th century it has been uninhabitable, like the remaining religious cultural heritage scattered in the hamlets (Colli, San Sabino - Basanello, Sant'Eusanio, Tarignano, Teora, Campo Imperatore), among the hills and mountains of the territory, waiting for interventions that will restore their fruition once again.
If you love walking or trekking, the area offers country lanes and woods that allow long walks with more challenging routes for hiking enthusiasts.


  • Villages
  • Comuni
  • Mountain resorts

Location of the Destination


42.449301428415, 13.281784057617

Last updated

20/09/2023, 11:08

Published by AbruzzoTurismo