The town of Teramo was built on the site of the Roman encampment and called 'Interamnia' after its location between two rivers. Its origins stretch back a lot further and Teramo has changed hands many times.
The Longobards, Normans, Aragonese, French and the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies all feature amongst its previous rulers.
The cathedral of S. Bernardo in the heart of the old town neatly sums up these influences of the last 1000 years. Started in 1158 it was completed 400 years later, by which time it had a Baroque interior and a Romanesque and Gothic facade.
Further back again the remains of the Roman ampitheater from the 4th century a.d., and an even earlier theater from 30 b.c., can still be seen.
An itinerary through the province of Teramo which sits snugly between the two coastal towns of Ancona and Pescara as well as the imposing mountain slopes of Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga.
Teramo itself is located bang in the middle of this territory, between the rivers Tordino and Vezzola as they make their way towards the Adriatic. The mix of valleys and rivers helped create a series of fiercely independent towns, abbeys and feudal lands.
Atri, Civitella del Tronto and Campli are all worth seeing. Interestingly, it has only been in the last century that the region's administrative life has switched to the coast.
First stop has to be the beautiful town of Atri. Once called Hatria the ancient town dates back to the IV century B. C.
A firm supporter of the Roman empire in the fight against Hannibal, the town saw Longobards, Francs, Normans, Swabians and finally the Angoins all passed through. The Acquaviva family were then masters up until the XVIII century.
They all left a mark and do seek out the Cathedral, the masterpieces of the Palazzo Ducale, the Palazzo Vescovile, fountains, squares and tight roads of the historic centre.
From the Villa Comunale you can admire the the two magnificent mountains of Abruzzo: the Gran Sasso and the Maiella all the way to the sea. Downhill, gaze upon the spectacular 'calanchi' clay hills.
Which brings us neatly to Castelli, the town famed for its ceramics since the XII century. The dedicated Museum displays 780 ceramic pieces by Orazio Pompei in the XVI cent.
Not so far from Castelli there is the Sanctury of San Gabriele. the Patron Saint of Abruzzo.
Finally, Civitella del Tronto, located on the old border between the Stato Pontificio and the Kingdom of Naples. No prizes for guessing that this used to be a fortress guarding the valley roads between the mountains and the Adriatic.