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Fossacesia - from the mountains to the sea

by Marcello Parmeggiani last modified 2008-06-20 15:10

'We go to Fossacesia, a charming town overlooking the sea, and discover a beautiful Cistercian abbey plus an ancient method of fishing still in use today.

Cistercian abbey of San Giovanni in Venere.Our trip today starts off from the pretty town of Fossacesia in the province of Chieti. Or should that be Fossaceca, as many of the road signs still indicate? Indeed the town went by the name of Fossaceca (literally blind ditch) until the Unification of Italy in 1861 when some place names were changed to avoid confusion with doubles in the area. But let's get back to Fossacesia (population 5,000), which is built on a hill overlooking the sea and acts as backdrop for the one of the most beautiful churches in the Abruzzo region - the Cistercian abbey of San Giovanni in Venere.

The abbey, (1155-1204), was built on the site of a 7th century pagan temple dedicated to the goddess Venus (in Italian Venere) which was destroyed with the onset of Christianity. The view from the abbey is extraordinary: on a clear day you can see from the peak of Mount Maiella to the Tremiti islands and the stretch of coast between the twin headlands, punta Penna and punta Cavalluccio.

The famous cyclist Gino Bartali is a regular visitor to the area. He undoubtedly appreciates the local olive oil. We suggest you visit the Frantoio di Aladino e Felice Stante, where a wonderful single-estate olive oil is lovingly produced by the Stante family (in Italian only). Before leaving don't forget to take a trip to the sea where, just north of the mouth of the Sangro river, you'll be able to see the "trabocchi" (see photo), immortalised by D'Annunzio in his poem "Death's Triumph", the precarious-looking wooden platforms which the local fishermen use for fishing.



Posted by louis fossesca at 2009-01-20 01:00
my grandparents name is fossaceca they were from agnonne. i have been trying to find info on my greatgrandparents but cannot find a site. in agnonne could use help if anyone where my grandfather was born 1981.

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