Itineraries around the city
Itineraries around the city by Panta Rei an association of social and cultural promotion in L’Aquila – Maria Rita Acone.
The square, the fountain, the church are the symbolic places of the inhabitants of the fortified villages who arrived in the new city. A city soon overwhelmed by wars and conflicts. Destroyed in 1259, it remained vacant for seven years, until it was newly rebuilt with the squares, fountains and churches that still characterize it. The fortified villages united to form the quarters, each marked by their own possessions, squares, fountains, churches, and castles. From the splendid capo quarto church, that is the “head” church of the quarter, with an adjacent square and fountain, we will delve into the heart of the old city through the alleyways and lanes that in the Middle Ages followed the natural structure of the ground.
In 1529, the city lost its autonomy and the territory that over the centuries had allowed it to be a free town within the Kingdom of Naples. The enfeoffment of the surround fortified villages transferred to the Spanish represented a decisive event for the future destiny of L’Aquila. The inhabitants attempted to rebel so to repress the uprisings Spanish viceroy don Pedro of Toledo commissioned the building of an imposing fortress designed by Piero Luigi Scrivà, an engineer from Valencia, which for the people of L’Aquila became the tangible sign of their defeat. Today, we can still appreciate the magnificent fortress, immersed in a vast park. It housed the National Museum of Abruzzo.
The next itinerary starts from the Porta Rivera in the quarter of San Giovanni, and we are immediately in the heart of the oldest medieval quarter of the city, on the site of the fortified village of Acquli.
This itinerary starts from Piazza Chiarino, which in the past was dominated by the 13th-century church of San Giustino. Today we can appreciate the striking façade of palazzo Antinori and its refined portal. The façade also features 18th-century decorative motifs and stringcourses. Walking down via San Martino we reach via Bafile overlooked by the lateral door of the Chiesa del Gesù built after 1703, characterized by a sculptural fragment in floral Gothic style.