Navelli, about 600 inhabitants, is in the Province of L’Aquila, 34 km far from L’Aquila. It is situated on a 700-m-above-the-sea-level-peak wherefrom it dominates the Plateau of Navelli, in the National Park of Gran Sasso and Laga Mountains. It is one of the most beautiful villages in Italy.
Archaeological finds say that the Vestins, an Italic people, lived the area around Navelli in VI century BC. The current village was founded in the Dark Ages. That ancient castle that overlooked the town was turned into a Baronial Palace in 1632, while its tower became the belfry of the church of San Sebastiano. Today only the old gates rest of the castle walls. In Navelli there are many churches. The main ones are the ancient church of Santa Maria in Cerulis (XI century), the Renaissance Madonna del Campo (of the Field) and Santa Maria delle Grazie (Holy Mary of Graces). The latter is located in Civitaretenga district. Near Navelli, a Vestin necropolis of I-II century BC has been found.
Navelli is a famous producer of chickpea and saffron. In August a festival of saffron and chickpea is held. The Donkey Race is a part of the festival.