ATRI

VISITING ATRI: INFORMATION AND SMALL GUIDE

 

Atri, with its maze of narrow streets with an ancient medieval appearance, which follow the model of the Roman city, lying on a hill at an altitude of about 450 m, the ancient Hatria was an important pre-Roman city of Piceno, a historical-geographical region of central Italy overlooking the Adriatic Sea and roughly corresponding to the current provinces of Ascoli Piceno and Teramo.

AtriThere is a hypothesis that Emperor Hadrian was born here in Hatria and not in Italy (near Seville). Certainly the family of the future emperor was originally from this city. Developed in Roman times as a shopping centre where the ancient streets Cecilia and Valeria were headed, Atri was erected as a bishop's seat by Innocent IV in 1252, about thirty years after the consecration of its grandiose cathedral, one of the major religious monuments of Abruzzo. Atri is one of the oldest cities of art in the region, and is located in the tourist area of Terre del Cerrano, the so-called "Costa Giardino". We are in the province of Teramo (which is about 25 km away) and a little less than 200 km from Rome and the sea is only a few minutes away.


If art is one of the reasons why you have visited this city, you won't be disappointed as Atri is one of the places with the most museums in the region.

 

AtriThe majestic building of the Church of Santa Maria Assunta was completed at the beginning of the fourteenth century. It rises on the remains of a church dating back to the 9th century, in turn founded on the ruins of a Roman spa complex, still partly visible in the square in front of it, which also included the mosaics that appear in the floor of the presbytery. Entirely built in Bisenti stone (pietra di Bisenti), a material responsible for its particular golden veining, the church is announced by a severe Romanesque facade. The façade opens up a beautiful portal, designed by the founder of the local school, Rainaldo d'Atri, surmounted by a large rose window and a niche in which there is a madonna with the child.
 

Commiato di Maria - Andrea di Litio - Duomi di AtriThe portals, whose refined workmanship will be imposed as models for the whole of the 300 Abruzzo region, are the leitmotiv also of the right side, to which Rainaldo and Raimondo of Poggio worked between 1288 and 1305. The interior, of unexpected Gothic style, houses in the choir the most important Renaissance pictorial document of the region, a precious cycle of frescoes by Andrea De Litio (in the photo) about 1481, whose imaginative and naturalistic language, of late Gothic inspiration (he collaborated with Beato Angelico, Piero della Francesca and Domenico Veneziano in Florence, among others), reveals clear references to the flower lesson.

 

AtriInteresting example of civil building, the fourteenth-century Palazzo Acquaviva, a short distance from the cathedral, reachable from Piazza del Duomo following the main street of the city. The church of Sant' Agostino is beautiful, with the portal of Matteo da Napoli from 1420, which merges motifs of the flowering Gothic style under the influence of the early Neapolitan Renaissance. The palace shows an eighteenth-century façade in Renaissance style, while the memory of the original features is entrusted to the porch of the inner courtyard. The visit of Atri is completed by the Church of San Domenico, of fourteenth-century origin but reworked several times, with a portal dating back to around 1330 that echoes those of Rainaldo.


There are several things to visit if you have the opportunity to come here, we point out the page What to see in Atri where you will find details about the attractions of the town. We also recommend a stop for lunch or dinner in these areas, on this page you will find tips on local dishes and restaurants where to eat well in Atri. Try the cuisine of local holiday farms!

 

AtriLocal festivals and traditions have ancient origins and are very much felt. In addition to religious festivals, we remember the Feast of Santa Reparata on the first Sunday after Easter. In August there is the Pesto Casolano festival, the Atri a Tavola (12/13 August), the Festival of flavours of Abruzzo (12/15) the Festival of Pecorino and Arrosticini. During the days of August, the ancient Atrian traditions are celebrated. The festival lasts for a few days and culminates on August 15 with the opening of the cathedral's Holy Door and the parade of floats drawn by white oxen. The floats are decorated with festive decorations and carry storytellers and musicians who evoke the country festivals. Renowned the "Fire of the Faugni", high bundles of reeds that at dawn on December 8th are carried in procession through the streets of the center, with the accompaniment of the band. The city comes alive at a party, all the clubs remain open and so many people on the streets enjoy this special atmosphere.

Atri can be reached by car, train and bus; the nearest airport is Pescara, see how to get to Atri.

 

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