The city, 150 km (93 mi) from Rome, is situated between the highest mountains of the Apennines (Gran Sasso d’Italia) and the Adriatic coast. It is indeed one of the few places where it is possible to reach, both the sunny beaches of the Adriatic sea and the snow covered Gran Sasso peaks, in less than half an hour from the city centre.
In Roman times, Teramo was called Interammnia (city between two rivers), as it's crossed by the Tordino and the Vezzola rivers. It is 20 km far from the adriatic coastline and 40 km far from the Gran Sasso.
It's a historical and very charming city: its foundation dates back to Phoenician times and it is still full of archaeological finds proving the passage of different peoples, such as funerary treasures similar to the Picene tombs ones.
Today its monuments testify its different domination, from Francesco Sforza to Alfonso d'Aragona, from the Spanish and the French to the Realm of Naples in the XIX century.
The Church of the Madonna delle Grazie, "fuori porta" (outside of the Roman’s gates that surrounded the city) is one of the most traditional of the Christianity relics in the town.
The church along with the inner cloister was re-opened in September 1900 raising on a Benedectine convent, is also sightworthy.
Another relevant masterpiece is the silver canopy of Nicola da Guardiagrele, which took 15 years to be built (from 1433 to 1448).
The Basilica Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta and Saint Berardo is the most important piece of art in Teramo.
The construction began in 1158 under the wish of the bishop Guido II, because he was eager to have a new location for San Berardo da Pagliara memorabilia. It was consecrated and completed in 1176.
Most of the material used to build was taken from the theater and the Roman amphitheater.
The tower built in 11th and 12th centuries has three bells and it is 165 ft (50.29 m) nigh.
The old “Church della Misericordia” (now Casa del Mutilato) was built as a consequence of the pestilence in 1348, and was reorganized in 1928.
It was very relevant the fresco of Giacomo da Campli (century 15).
In 1514 it hosted the queen Joan II of Naples, she went there to admire a precious crucifix that was said to contain a thorn from the crown of Jesus Christ.
Sor Paolo -The archaeologists and the historians think it is a statue of an ancient powerful Roman patrician, the citizens of Teramo just think of him as Sor Paolo or rather Gnore Paule in dialect.
In his left-hand people stuffed satires and letters of complaint about the city’s most powerful people.
They are nowadays substituted with love poems or city Teramo teams flags.
The Roman theater was built at the beginning of the 2nd century, under the rule of the emperor Hadrian.
The theatre is merely a stone’s throw away from the Duomo of Teramo.
The walls are 10 ft (3.05 m) long and are a testimony of how big the theatre was when its capacity was 3.000 spectators.
Since the fall of Rome, the building materials were used in other projects. In 1918 its ruins were found and in 2007 the rebuilding project was designed.
After the demolition of Palazzo Adamoli planned for 2011, the theatre will rediscover its first glory.
The masterpiece was described through the poetic lines of famous poet Gabriele D’Annunzio.
He said “The remains of the theater of Interamnia proves its ancient Roman majesty”.
Roman Amphitheater - Even though it is sure that the 700 ft (213.36 m) wide building was a site of urban interest, there is no proof that the great amphitheater of Teramo was the center of the first Christians’ martyrdom.
It is believed that in the Middle Age it was used as a castle or a fortress to protect the city. The legend tells that a beautiful Spanish lady had the mission of killing the men who had loved her the night before. She stole their souls immediately after, so no-one would have evidence of the passion of her nights.
The Lion Mosaic (Mosaico del leone) - It is by far the symbol of the archeological history of Teramo.
Found in 1891 during the construction of the grand Palazzo Savini, the mosaic underwent centuries of dampness.
However, due to the impeccable work of restoration specialists it still is a perfect representation of the works of urban archeology.
The value of the masterpiece proves that a long time ago the city had an important tradition and a real school for the masters of mosaic.
Today it’s still possible to meet young craftsmen who are studying the art of mosaic according to the rules of the ancient Rome master.
Convitto Nazionale in Piazza Dante - Some think that it is not the most beautiful palace in Teramo, but that it is the entire square.
Majestic, stunning like a Roman monastery it is the centre of Convitto Nazionale and Liceo Classico.
Built in 1934 it was the first building for the faculty of Law in Teramo in 1817.
The hilly part of the city is very nice to visit, too: the Sant'Antimo church, probably built by Pope Sisto V, and the SS. Annunziata church, dating back to the end of the 16th century, are sightworthy.
It was most likely erected in 1374 with columns of stones and travertine from Civitella del Tronto. It still is the residence of the bishop and the main offices of the Aprutina administration.
It is the same bishop that every year among the Thursday and Good Friday night leads an extraordinary nightly procession.
The tradition tells that the Virgin Mother, who is not in mourning yet, wanders from church to church looking for her son.
If in the desperate search, the virgin runs into the rain, she takes shelter in the nearest church where she will have to stay until the next night of the forthcoming year.
Although the procession leaves at 4am, it is a rite that keeps on attracting thousands of faithful in the Easter of Teramo.
Castello della Monica .
It is the desire of a man, an artist, who wanted to keep up with the changing style of the great cities in the 19th century through the “gothic revival”.
Don Gennaro Della Monica decided to build a castle for himself and his family in Piazza Garibaldi, he personally took care of any small detail.
The history of the castle is the story of love, secrets, legends, and fantasies.
Antico manicomio - It was once considered the biggest psychiatric hospital of central/southern Italy.
A building from 1323 with a top-notch staff of doctors. Marco Levi Bianchini, one of the most accomplished men of the Italian psychiatric field and Freud’s pupil throughout an epistolary correspondence, led the center.
He founded the Italian Psychoanalytic Society. On the gate of the hospital there was a sign that said “Here are the few perhaps not even the real ones”.
Piazza Sant’Anna -
This is a square in the old part of the city with a stunning church.
It has recently been object of studying owing to the remains found belonging to the old Torre Bruciata and to a Roman Domus of the 2nd century B.c.
Palazzo Castelli -The ex Casa Muzii (named after the owner's last name) was built in 1908 in Corso Cerulli. It is an example of art nouveau in the city.
Among its historical buildings there is the Melatino house (Largo Melatini), a 12th century medieval building.
Roseto degli Abruzzi, best known as Lido delle Rose, is one of the major tourist resorts of the coast: its wide sandy beaches and shallow waters are among the most beautiful and clean of the Adriatic sea. In summer, the Roseto Opera Prima film festival brightens up the coastline gathering many Italian movie makers and film stars.
The seaside resort town of Giulianova was built on an ancient Roman settlement, Castrum Novum. Today it's an important industrial centre and tourist resort of the region. It consists of the coastal area and the old city centre, built in the 16th century on the top of the hill.
Here there are the Duomo of San Flaviano, the seaside Belvedere at Piazza Vittorio Emanuele and the charming Shrine of the Madonna dello Splendore, celebrating the apparition of the Madonna to a peasant in 1557.
Gastronomy-Typical dishes from Teramo and the surrounding communities include the following:
Scrippelle - This dish is served in the throughout the Teramo province and is somewhat similar to French crepes, although typically made without milk.
There are two common variations. The first is scrippelle 'mbusse - (dialect for scrippelle in brodo or broth) and consists of scrippelle rolled up in Pecorino or Parmesan cheese and served in chicken broth.
A second variation is timballo - scrippelle layered with ragù, meat or tiny meatballs (polpettine), various cheeses such as mozzarella, and sometimes peas (piselli).
Maccheroni alla chitarra - a flat, stringlike egg pasta which takes its name from the wooden instrument, basically a wooden frame strung with fine metal wire, called a chitarra (guitar), used to cut the pasta.
Le virtù - a vegetable soup typically prepared in May of each year to celebrate spiritual redemption and the bountiful virtues of the Earth. It is made with a wide variety of locally-grown vegetables and typically includes "annit" (a type of wild fennel).
Mazzarelle d'agnello - lamb's lung and innards wrapped in beet greens or chard and braised in white wine or tomato sauce. Not for the feint of heart and not to be confused with mozzarella cheese.
Tacchino alla canzanese - a dish famous in the nearby provincial town of Canzano. Made by slow baking a turkey in gelatin (and ancient method of preserving meat) and typically served cold.
Vino cotto - a fortified wine, found also in the Marche region, produced by slowly boiling down grape juice before fermatation and aging thus producing a sweet and rich dessert-type of wine. Consumed both straight up and in cooking.
Caggiunitti - deep fried almond fritters typically made with chocolate and chestnuts.