CHIETI: INFORMATION AND SMALL GUIDE
is a rather small centre (it has less than 60 thousand inhabitants) but it is a
concentration of art, culture and history. A charming small town situated on a
hill, to the right of the river Pescara and a few kilometres from the
Adriatic Sea, which can be seen in the distance. The blue sea in the background
of the landscape contrasts with the green and brown mountains of Maiella
and Gran Sasso (both national parks). On the legendary origins of Chieti
there are different versions, but the most widespread legend goes back to his
foundation to Achilles (or his companions), who called the city Teati in
memory of his mother (Teti).
civic coat of arms shows Achilles on horseback, holding a shield with
his left hand, on which appear the four keys symbolising the city gates.
Chieti is the capital of the province and, in addition to being a renowned
tourist centre, it has industrial activities especially in the metalworkers,
glass, paper, food and agricultural sectors (grains, cereals, tobacco above
all). But we know the city in detail with its squares, monuments,
Vittorio Emanuele II is the main square of Chieti and the highest point
of the city. The square houses the Cathedral, the Municipal Palace
and the Courthouse. The view runs through the massive and imposing
square; stories of distant times make their way into the mind, the view
opens up onto the Maiella and goes as far as the sea. The ancient Piazza
Vittorio Emanuele II gained importance from the ninth century, when Bishop
Theodoric I ordered the rebuilding of the early medieval cathedral.
The structure of today's church, dedicated to the patron saint of the city,
S. Giustino, dates back to the 11th century. Practically rebuilt in the
1300s and then remodelled several times, the Cathedral of S. Giustino was
completed in the 20th century (façade and right side on Piazza Vittorio
Emanuele II). The fourteenth-century bell tower of the Cathedral, by
di Giacomo completed at the end of the 15th century by Antonio da
Lodi, dominates the city panorama. The church is accessed from the
portal, preceded by a beautiful staircase. The interior is a Latin cross,
with three wide naves covered by vaulted ceilings, transept and raised
presbytery. On the high altar, St. Justin was represented here and hermit
who received the episcopal insignia (18th century). Two staircases lead into
the crypt, where the restorations have brought fragments of 12th to 13th
century frescoes to light. From the crypt you can access the Suffrage
Chapel adorned with seventeenth-century stuccoes.
The neoclassical Town Hall and the Palace of Justice overlook
the square and, as mentioned above, it is the ideal point to enjoy a
fantastic view of Maiella and Gran Sasso.
centro di Chieti è tagliato da Corso Marrucino, strada
dedicata al passeggio, in parte porticata. Lungo il corso s'incontrano la
chiesa barocca di S. Domenico, il Teatro Maruccino (XIX
secolo, in Largo Valignani) affiancato da
Palazzo Martinetti (sede della Pinacoteca Provinciale "Costantino
Barbella"), e la
Chiesa di S. Francesco della Scarpa, barocca, che conserva il rosone
della primitiva costruzione duecentesca.
Altri monumenti cittadini sono la Chiesa
di S. Giovanni dei Cappuccini, con tele della scuola di
Paolo Veronese (da notare la bella Vergine in gloria e Santi),
Porta Pescara (XIII secolo) unica sopravvissuta tra le porte della
vecchia cinta muraria, Torre dei Toppi, sull'omonima via, di origine
quattrocentesca ma pesantemente manomessa, il
Palazzo del Seminario diocesano, con la bella loggia cinquecentesca,
infine la Torre del Palazzo Arcivescovile (XV secolo), ornata alla
sommità da coppelle in maiolica.
center of Chieti is cut from Corso Marrucino, a street
dedicated to the promenade, partly porticoed. Along the course you will find
the Baroque church of S.Domenico, the Maruccino Theatre (XIX
century, in Largo Valignani) flanked by Palazzo Martinetti (headquarters
of the Pinacoteca Provinciale "Costantino
Barbella"), and the Church of S.Francesco della Scarpa,
baroque, which preserves the rose window of the early thirteenth-century
Other city monuments are the Church of S.Giovanni dei Cappuccini,
with paintings by the school of Paolo Veronese (it is worth noting
the beautiful Virgin in glory and saints), Porta Pescara (XIII
century) only survived between the gates of the old city walls, Tower of
the Toppi, on the homonymous street, of fifteenth-century origin but
heavily tampered with, the Diocesan Seminary Palace, with the
beautiful sixteenth-century loggia.
A Chieti il 17 gennaio si tiene la Festa di
Sabt'Antonio, ricorrente in molte località abruzzesi (Villavallelonga,
Collelongo ad esempio), quando si svolge la drammatizzazione delle
tentazioni che misero a dura prova il Santo nel deserto. La
Via Crucis (aprile) che si snoda per le strade del centro storico,
con Miserere cantato da sole voci maschili e accompagnato da cento violini,
è considerata la manifestazione del
Venerdì Santo più antica d'Italia. La
processione parte dalla
Cattedrale di S. Giustino e si svolge, immutata nei suoi costumi
penitenziali e con i suoi trofei di pregio artistico, lungo le strade
cittadine avvolte da un'aurea mistica.
L'11 maggio è la Festa di S. Giustino, patrono
di Chieti, mentre il
26 luglio alla Festa di S. Anna avviene il caratteristico ballo
della pupa, in occasione del quale viene incendiato un fantoccio coperto
da fuochi d'artificio. Per approfondimenti leggete la pagina dedicata alle
feste e tradizioni di Chieti.
In Chieti on January 17 the Sabt'Antonio Feast is held, recurrent in
many places of Abruzzo (Villavallelonga, Collelongo for example), when the
dramatization of the temptations that put the Saint in the desert to the
test is taking place. The Via Crucis (April) that winds through the
streets of the old town centre, with Miserere singing male voices alone and
accompanied by a hundred violins, is considered the oldest Good Friday
event in Italy. The procession starts from the Cathedral of S. Giustino
and takes place, unchanged in its penitential costumes and with its trophies
of artistic value, along the city streets surrounded by a mystical golden.
May 11th is the Feast of St.Justin, patron saint of Chieti, while
July 26th at the Feast of St.Anna takes place the characteristic
dance of the puppet, during which a puppet is burned covered by
fireworks. For further information, read the page dedicated to the feasts
and traditions of Chieti.
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