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There has always been some uncertainty and discussions among historians about Città Sant'Angelo origins. It has been proved, however, that the town was initially formed by small blocks of houses identifi ed as Angulum, an ancient town belonging to the Italic tribe Vestini. That is why Città Sant'Angelo's inhabitants are called "angolani". However, during the High Middle ages the Vestini - Roman built-up area was apparently destroyed and then rebuilt in the location by the Germanic people, the Lombards, who also left to the town the Angel worship legacy.
The existence of this worship can be found in the town's name and also in the town's coat of arms which displays Saint Michael Archangel killing a dragon. It is historically proven that Civita Sancti Angeli at the time was destroyed in 1230 by Boemondo Pissono, Frederick II's executioner, following the town's alliance with the Roman Church. Subsequently, the emperor granted the permission to rebuild the town in three different rural built-up areas. The urban development of the town took place in three periods. After 1240, Città Sant'Angelo saw the reconstruction of the fortified and semicircled part of the town, surrounded now by Strada Castello, Strada Minerva, Via del Ghetto and Via del Grottone.
Afterwards, thanks to the arrival of many monks in the fi rst half of the XIV century , the town witnessed the enlargement of its churches and the construction of monasteries. However, its final reconstruction took place in the XVIII century with the appearance of aristocracy palazzi, homes to the agrarian bourgeoisie. The town's nowadays structure was then formed through subsequent enlargements and unifi cations of pre-existing built-up areas, outlining the historic-centre as it is today. It is characterized by a long central street intersecting with a series of narrow cobbled streets ("rue") within the town walls, the gates of which are still partially preserved.
CITTÀ SANT'ANGELO, A PLACE OF ART
The age-old town of Città Sant'Angelo boasts a special charm, all of its own. Many ancient buildings and monuments stand proud in the town's historic centre, including the majestic collegiate church (la Collegiata), the magnificent buildings that were once the homes of the aristocracy (palazzi gentilizi), the historic city gates (porte d'ingresso) and many grandiose churches. Wander through the streets and you will see how these fi ne examples of art and culture blend perfectly with everyday life.
You will find the most significant buildings on the main street, which winds through the heart of the town, but even some of the smallest alleyways lead to hidden churches, monasteries, piazzas and museums. However, the landmark of Città Sant'Angelo is undoubtedly the church of San Michele Arcangelo. Built in 1353 and formed of two aisles dating from the Baroque period, the church houses several interesting artifacts such as the 14th century wooden statue of San Michele, the carved 17th century wooden choir loft and the 14th century tomb of the Bishop Amico Bonamicizia.
Completing the church's stunning architecture is a wide external arcade, divided into two atriums. Here you will find the valuable main entrance door, which has been recently restored. As you continue down the main street, you will come across many other points of interest. These include the exquisite baronial palace (palazzo baroniale) and ancient buildings that were once the homes of aristocracy, such as the 'palazzi' of Giampietro, Colamico, Sozj, Ursini and Coppa Zuccari. You will also fi nd other examples of grandiose and detailed architecture, including churches and monasteries, which are today used for other purposes.
For example, since 1809, the town hall (il comune) has been housed in the monastery attached to San Francesco church. Città Sant'Angelo also boasts some important venues for art and culture, such as the contemporary art museum (Museo Laboratorio d'Arte) housed in the old Manifattura Tabacchi building. This is a significant venue for new national and international art trends and has featured work from the Venice Biennale and the Istanbul Biennale art exhibitions and the Godart project. With its vast historic, architectural and cultural heritage, Città Sant'Angelo is a true gem to be both preserved and explored. Be inspired to discover the centuries of history etched into the heart of the town.
CITTÀ SANT'ANGELO: THE HOME OF GOOD FOOD
The landscape of Città Sant'Angelo has several flourishing crops such as vineyards and olive tree groves. In fact, there are many local businnesses producing wine and oil of an extraordinary quality. That is why Città Sant'Angelo is said to be "the town of oil", "the town of wine" or "Cittaslow". These concretely prove a quality of life which is also enhanced by the genuine local wine and food. Città Sant'Angelo's cuisine is infl uenced by the cooking traditions of both Teramo and the inland parts of Pescara, taking especially from the latter the famous "arrosticini", wether kebabs appreciated by everyone. Among the recipes of Città Sant'Angelo, one of the most known is "la mugnaia", a unique string of handmade pasta which is then dressed with a meat sauce. Among the typical second courses you will fi nd the lamb "casce e ove", which is cooked on a pan and then mixed with a broth of eggs and cheese, the "cif ciaf", a tasty pork stew and then, a real delicacy for the lovers of strong tastes. Finally, as for the typical cakes, there are two which are worth mentioning: the "pizza doce", a three-layered sponge-cake soaked with coffee and the "Alchermes" liqueur and the "tatune", handmade biscuits with honey, cinnamon, must and chopped almonds, an extraordinary mixture!
HOW TO GET HERE
BY CAR From the A14 motorway take the exit for Pescara Nord/Citta Sant'Angelo and follow the signs for Citta Sant'Angelo.
BY TRAIN The nearest train station is Pescara Centrale, approximately 18km away. From here you can take a bus direct to Citta Sant'Angelo. Visitwww.ferroviedellostato.it for train times.
BY BUS ARPA, Abruzzo's regional public bus company, run bus services to and from Citta Sant'Angelo. Visit www.arpaonline.it for timetables.
BY AIRPLANE The nearest airport is Pescara, approximately 20km away. You can also fly to Rome Ciampino (206km away), Rome Fiumicino (235km away) or Naples (196km away) then continue your journey by train, bus or car.
BY THE SEA Boats sail into Pescara's harbour Porto turistico Pescara, approximately 17km away. Visit www.marinape.com for more information.