Atri City of Art

Atri, in the Province of Teramo but closer to Pescara, is one of Abruzzo’s cities of art, part of the tourist area “Terre del Cerrano” (Lands of Cerrano). It rises on three hills from where it is possible to see the Adriatic sea and the gullies, that are protected by the Nature Reserve Badlands of Atri. The history of Atri started 3000 years ago. Called Hatria by the Illyrians in honour of the god Hadranus, it is thought that the Adriatic sea took its name from Atri, because of the ancient status of the city, which minted its own coins, the most ancient Italic coins (VI-IV century BC). The British Museum keeps some Etruscan finds from Atri that prove the trades between the Adriatic city and the Etruscans. Atri was an important port of Picens for maritime trades with Greece, until it became first ally of Rome, then Roman colony in 289 BC. It gave important contributions to several wars and produced Emperor Adrian. In the Middle Ages it had a period of decadence. It was a part of the Dukedom of Spoleto under the Lombard rule, then feud of Counts of Apruzio in XII century. Bought by the Dukes D’Acquaviva in 1395, it became the capital of the Dukedom of Atri. It followed the history of the Kingdom of Naples until the unity of Italy.

Atri’s historic centre is a labyrinth of lanes full of monuments, high-class palaces and museums, 6 in total. Elio Adriano High Street crosses Atri from the Cathedral’s Square to the Town Hall Square, or Dukes D’Acquaviva’s Square, where in Roman times the baths and the forum were situated. The main places of interest are the Cathedral of Atri (1260), Palace of Dukes Acquaviva (1395), the churches of Santa Reparata (1355), Sant’Agostino (1420, today public Auditorium), the XIV’s church of San Francis d’Assisi, the church of San Nicola (1181), the half-hidden church of the Santissima Trinità (XIII century), and the church of Santo Spirito (Holy Ghost, XIII century), the church of Santa Chiara d’Assisi and the Clarisse’s monastery of 1260, the church of San Giovanni Battista (XIV century). Besides, in Atri there are the archaeological area of the Roman theatre, which dates back to III-II century AD, and a system of tunnels that were an ancient aqueduct.

Especially in the summertime, many tourists come to see Atri’s monuments, museums, natural landscapes, artist and cultural events or to taste the local cuisine. Join them after a hot day on Pineto or Silvi’s beaches, or after skiing on Gran Sasso!

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