"The Pearl of Abruzzo"
Between the Parco Nazionale d'Abruzzo and the upper Sagittario valley, Scanno is surrounded by a rugged, peculiar landscape. The lake, a favourite destinations for anglers, is one of the marvels of Abruzzo. Everywhere traditional craftswork is celebrated. Especially famous the gold filigree and the renowned Abruzzese jewel worn by ladies, the presentosa, usually presented at betrothal in the form containing two little hearts. Very famous also the women's costume, still worn today by many of the local elderly women. Through the historical centres small alleys, balconies, flights of stairs are an astonishing maze for visitors, who come here all over the year also thanks to the many ski-ing facilities available in the surrounding mountains. Scanno is also the seat of an important liiterary event, the "Premio Scanno", divided into various sections, from literary to journalism. History Remains of ancient walls point to the existence of a Roman settlement, but the early records of the town date back to the 11th century, when it was part of the feifdom of the Count of Sangro; then it belonged to other feudal lords.
Piazza Santa Maria della Valle, with the parish church, is the main entrance to the town. Here there rose the Porta Santa Maria, one of the three historical doors which opened into the town walls; the door was demolished in the early 20th century, along with the Porta della Codacchiola (of St.Antony) whereas the Porta della Croce is still standing.
The people of Scanno have been able to keep alive their ancient traditions, such as the serenades, the festivals of the "travi" and "pagnottelle", the "Glorie di San Martino", the "mira del gallo" and, the best known of all, the "Catenaccio", a procession of couples in costume re-enacting the traditional parade accompanying once spouses to church and then, late at night, to their new home, accompanied by a folk orchestra. The Catenaccio is repeated every 14 August along the medieval lanes, to the light of camera flashes.
Then, when snow falls and covers the town like the legendary mantlke of St. Martin, on 10 November three huge (up to 70 feet high) wooden towers are erected and lighted at sunset in the three "contrade", at Cardella, on the mountain crest towards Passo Godi, at La Plaia, in the valley near the lake, and at San Martino, just outside the town near the Grotta del Cavaliere, while the population gathers in the area called Sant'Angelo to witness the event.
Deservedly famous re also the lacework (tombolo) and crotchet work (blankets and tablecloths), as well as the little, hand-made dolls reproducing the female costume decorated in silver and gold threads to the smallest detail. Other glories of Scanno are the precious filigree creations (crosses, relic holders, jewels) and the traditional "mostaccioli" pastries, made with chocolate, almonds and cooked "mosto" (wine before fermentation is completed). The beautiful Museo della Lana (near the Townhall) is a folk museum reconstructing the identity of the town of Scanno and the Valley of the Sagittario river through the tools, the images, the home furniture, the wool working, cheese-making, leatherwork of the people of the area.
Civitella del Tronto