Peltuinum – A Roman Colony Built to Control the Transumanza

Tollgate Amiternum

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.

Recommendations From The LifeinAbruzzo Group!

“The sun is out and the temperatures are up and we are in the yellow zone! Time for a giro!
Today we did a circuit drive to Peltuinum, one of my favourite remote spots in Abruzzo. Originally home to the Vestini, then the Romans and a transumanza route through Abruzzo. Many of the building materials have been taken and now appear in the buildings of local villages. Situated in the middle of many snowcapped mountains, the silence and beauty of the area is breathtaking, and it was fabulous to have it all to ourselves. ❤️ Abruzzo.”
Janet Brady

The Amphitheatre

The Cisterns


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

Where is Peltuinum in Abruzzo

Sam Dunham
Author: Sam Dunham

Sam is a very lucky midlife 'mamma' to A who is 12 and juggles her work as a self-employed freelance SEO food and travel copywriter and EFL teacher. She is the founder of the Life In Abruzzo Cultural Association, co-founder of Let's Blog Abruzzo. she is the founder of the 'English in the Woods' initiative, teaching English outdoors in a forest style school.

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