Santo Stefano di Sessanio (about 100 inhabitants) is in the National Park of Gran Sasso and Laga Mountains in the province of L’Aquila, near Campo Imperatore, Carapelle Calvisio and Navelli. It is one of the most beautiful Italian boroughs.
The name Sessanio might come from an ancient Roman village located not far from the current borough. In feudal period, Santo Stefano di Sessanio became important for its strategic position, while in XV century the development of transhumance made the borough very wealthy, insomuch Francesco de’ Medici, Grand duke of Tuscany, bought it from Costanza Piccolomini. Santo Stefano belonged to Medici from 1579 to 1743. In XIX century, the decadence of the wool trade and transhumance affected the borough as well. In 2004, thanks Daniele Elow Kihlgren, a young entrepreneur of Swedish origins, Santo Stefano was turned into a “spread hotel” and had a remarkable tourist development.
Unfortunately, the 6th April 2009’s earthquake hit also Santo Stefano di Sessanio, destroying its Medici Tower, symbol of the borough. Another monument is the church of Santo Stefano Protomartyr. Santo Stefano’s lentils are a typical product.