Sulmona

Sulmona is a town of about 25.000 inhabitants in the province of L’Aquila. It is the biggest town in the Pelign Valley (Peligns were the Italic people who lived in the valley). In Roman time, it produced the Roman poet Publio Ovidio Nasone (43 BC), according to whom Sulmona was founded by Solimo, one of the Aeneas’s comrades. The historian Tito Livio praised the loyalty of Sulmona to Rome in the war against Hannibal.

In the Middle Ages Sulmona was dominated by the Normans of Frederick II, under whom the Medieval Aqueduct was built up. In XIII century, Pietro da Morrone, hermit in the hermitage of Saint Onofrio al Morrone near Sulmona, was appointed pope with the name of Celestino V, but then he resigned. After the Normans, Sulmona passed to the Angevins, then to the Aragoneses. In 1656 the Knightly Joust decayed. In 1706 the town was hit by a terrible earthquake that damaged it and L’Aquila seriously. In the 20th century Sulmona became an important road and railway junction on the line Rome-Pescara. This caused Sulmona serious air bombings during World War II. For its participation to the War of Liberation, its contribution to the Partisan war and the terrible sufferance of the civil population, Sulmona was decorated with the Military Honour.

Sulmona is the town of red garlic and jordan almonds. Today Sulmona suffers with all Pelign Valley from a period of industrial and occupational crisis. It is the writer’s opinion that a town so rich of art, situated in a land consecrated for abundance of water, among the mountains of Morrone, Majella and Marsica, has to find out the key factor of its future development in the richness of its territory, naturally so adapt to tourism.

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