In early 1880, an artistic and cultural association made up of young intellectuals from Abruzzo was created in Francavilla al Mare by Francesco Paolo Michetti. These prominent people met at a former Franciscan convent, which Michetti bought from the Municipality, as their meeting place for brainstorms or to find inspiration and produce works. The Michetti Circle, as it was called the association, was in fact more than a cultural club and cemented lifelong friendships. The young poet Gabriele D’Annunzio, at the time still at high school, exchanged with the landlord Michetti a fraternal friendship and they even tried to join their respective art forms.
Also the musicians Francesco Paolo Tosti and Paolo De Cecco, sculptors Costantino Barbella and Nicola D’Antino, writers Edoardo Scarfoglio and his wife Matilde Serao, the versatile Basilio Cascella, the ethologist De Nino and many others took part to the Circle.
The Circle exerted an attraction even outside the region. It became a centre of interest and created links with the major Italian cultural personalities of the time.