Ateleta, Province of L'Aquila, Abruzzo

Ateleta lies on a hill called Colle Sisto, in a valley situated on the left side of the Sangro River, along the boundary which divides Abruzzo from Molise. The rugged territory of Ateleta is included in the Majella Park. The area is also known for the "tartufo bianco" (white truffle) very delicate and largely requested from all over Italy and Europe.


  • Altitude: 760 m a.s.l
  • Distance from L'Aquila: 115 km
  • Population: ca. 1500 inhabitants
  • Postal code: 67030
  • Dialing Area Code: +39 0864
  • How to reach it: A25 from Sulmona, then road to Castel Di Sangro; A1 from Rome or Naples, exit Venafro.


In 1100 on a high rock near present-day Ateleta there was a castle called "Carceri" and its feifdom was probably the origin of most of the Ateletesi. Ateleta rose in 1811 thanks to Giuseppe de Thomasis, encharged High Commissioner for Abruzzo Ultra by Gioacchino Murat, king of Naples in 1808, to give the lands previously of the aristocracy to the peasants who worked them. De Thomasis wanted to create a free place and so the name Ateleta was chosen from the Greek words "a thelé" which meant without taxes, and included the territories and inhabitants of Roccapizzi and Carceri, previously under the barons of Pescocostanzo. From 600 inhabitants in 1810 Ateleta grew in one century to over 3400. Then emigration hit heavily, and the Ateletesi left in huge numbers for the Americas. In November 1943 German bombings nearly completely destroyed the place, and the Germans before withdrawing exterminated all those they could find, even old men and children, in a tragically famous place nearby called Pietransieri. After the War the place was completely rebuilt, then an earthquake hit in 1984, so that now most of the houses are very recent.

What to see

  • The remains of Castello Carceri, abandoned after a terrible earthquake in 1456.
  • The Gioacchino Murat Museum
  • The Museum of Civiltà Contadina
  • The Aremogna resort
  • The Majella National Park
  • The National Park of Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise.
  • In the vicinity there are the important tourist resorts of Roccaraso, Rivisondoli and Pescocostanzo.

Events and Festivities

  • 17 January: Feast of St. Antonio Abate, with bonfires and sausage festival
  • Second Sunday in August: Sagra dell'Agnello (Lamb Festival).

Where to stay

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