ENIO HOME PAGE

 

CRECCHIO

 

ERBE

 

LANCIANO

 

RIFLESSIONI

 

CAPPELLE

 

CAMPOTOSTO

 

PADREPIO

 

INDICE RIFERIMENTO

VACANZE 2003 IN ABRUZZO

in Abruzzo

La Festa di San Rocco

 


ROCCAMONTEPIANO IN PROVINCIA DI CHIETI


The origins of Roccamontepiano are to be connected to a previous and somehow mythical urban nucleus called Balconia which had several castles belonging to the kings Pipino and  Trattullo.Before the formation of the urban centre, there existed three fiefs: Sant'Angelo, San Pietro and Pomaro.Pomaro is the present hamlet delimited by the Focaro hollow and by  the Alento river; this settlement of Longobard period was ruled later on by the Benedectines and destroyed afterwards by the village of Bucchianico, against which, in ancient times, the inhabitants of Pomaro felt a deep hate.The fief of Sant'Angelo was destroyed by the landslide of 1765 and there are no historical information about.The fief of San Pietro is attested 

 

 

by the presence of its monastery (today a ruin).Several documents prove the presence of a fortified nucleus called "La Rocca" placed as a defence of the oriental side of Mount Majella and whose principal urban structures - especially churches and monasteries - appear to be completely functionning and attested during the 14th century and belonging to the jurisdiction of Montecassino.In documents of the 14th century the village is called "Rocca de Monte Plano" or "Rocce Montis Plani".Before the big landslide of 1765 the urban nucleus of the village consisted in a castle, the  Colonna castle, built on a rock above the village at whose feet the houses, the churches and monasteries, the nobiliar buildings (Corsignani, Valenza, Centurone, Corsi…) were closed by the town walls. In this period Roccamontepiano produced wheat, wine and olive oil and all its 2000 inhabitants were country people.

 

 

THE LANDSLIDE

The landslide which destroyed Roccamontepiano took place on June 24th 1765. Starting from the Colonna castle it involved the whole village, sweeping people and houses away and killing 500 people out of 2000.There is no certainty about the phenomenon: whether it was originated all and only because of the heavy rains fallen down in the days preceeding it, or also by some earthquake shocks, or else by both of the phenomena at the same time. Anyway, the destructing process began with the detachment of a big rock from Montepiano, while around the castle a big spring of water gushed out from the ground. Later on, the castle entire began to slide downwards and broke only after the impact with the first houses of the urban centre. During the first months after the disaster, the first thing to do to feed the population was to restore the flour-mills, while the removal of rubber began only in 1840.

 



MONUMENTS

 

CHIESA DELLA MADONNA DELLE GRAZIE (Our Lady of Graces)

 

It is a church of medieval origin which was probably part of a monastery, as demonstrated by the buildings and houses annexed to it.In this one-nave church, restored after the 2nd World War, there is an ancient wood statue representing the Holy Mary and the Infant Jesus which was probably sculptured around the 13th century.This place is particularly dear to the people of Roccamontepiano not only because it was used as a graveyard until the Napoleonic period but also because it is here that on June 24th 1765, some of the survivors escaping the landslide through one of the doors of the town-walls, found refuge.

 


CHURCH OF ST. FRANCESCO CARACCIOLO

 

Situated in a wild and evocative place, at the feet of the plateau of Montepiano, a place called "the sacred rocks of Montepiano", is the interesting monastic whole of St. Francesco Caracciolo which witnesses a glorious religious past, made of heroic sacrifices and exemplary asceticism. The caverns of this wild area have been shelter for hermits and simple penitents. In 1870 the monastery underwent the confiscation of its properties; anyway there still remain a  few interesting oil paintings dating back to the 15th and 16th centuries.

 


MONASTERY OF ST. PETER

 

According to the legend, it was St. Peter Apostle who decided the place and the name of the monastery. After having appeared to St. Benedetto - who was in Roccamontepiano after a period  of wandering in this region - St. Peter told him to build the House of God on the ruins of the ancient Roman fortress, the "Vico Romano".This monastery - which is a ruin today - has an enormous importance within the history of Arts because it represents the only example in Abruzzo of "Monastery-Castle", built with the typical characteristics of pure Romanic art and using blocks of local travertine.All the other monumental churches built in Abruzzo during the Middle Ages instead, are not made of travertine but of the grey stone of Mount Maiella. The pure Romanic method consists on the repetition of the architectural features surviving in the ruins of previous Roman monuments.

 

INDICE RIFERIMENTO ENIO HOME PAGE PADREPIO