The stunning roman settlement of Peltuinum lies southeast of L’Aquila, close to Prata D’Ansidonia on a ridge that overlooks the beautiful Aterno valley and is surrounded by some of the Apennines’ highest peaks, The Gran Sasso, the Majella, the Sirente.
If you visit lookout for the remains of its monumental gateway, this was used to control livestock entering the town and where customs officers would sit in the toll house, the Temple of Apollo, a theatre complex and tombs.
It was one of Rome’s later colonies, founded in the latter part of the 1st-century bc and taken from the local Vestini tribe due to its strategic importance to the transumanza. Cattle and flocks of sheep would be herded along the track that ran through this plateau from central Italy down to Puglia to winter. Its name, ‘Peltuinum in Ansedonia’, derives from the Latin word ansarium (duty) referring to the tariffs paid by those shepherds.
The basin was formerly a lake that had dried out, but its rock formation was perfect for the development of farming by the Romans through being able to harness a water system, aquifers. The city was abandoned in the 5th century after an earthquake destroyed most of the town.
Where to Eat
Highly recommended by Claire Bruno especially for sunset dining on the terrace is ‘The Osteria, Il Borgo dei Fumari‘ in the nearest town of Prata d’Ansidonia
Open every day for lunch and dinner, closed on Sunday evening and Monday
- Via XXV Aprile, 67020 Prata d’Ansidonia (AQ)
- (+39) 0862 931456