According to tradition St Francis, a guest at the time of the counts of Celano in 1216, received as a donation the little church of Santa Maria in Castelvecchio to establish his convent. After expanding the ancient building, the church of St Francis was born and consecrated in 1288 by Cardinal Gerardo di Parma, close ally to the king of Naples Carlo d’Angiò.
On the borders of the archaeological area of the ancient Superequum, in the locality of Macrano, there is the underground cemetery of “Colle Morìa”. Just by name it leaves you imagining the presence of a burial cemetery with tombs dating back to the fourth century A.D. Found unknowingly in 1943, the early Christian catacomb of Castelvecchio Subequo that was completely excavated from the rocks is almost 40 metres in length.
The ancient Molina Aterno was according to testimony present even around the tenth century as reported by Antinori. Just by its name, we can imagine the presence of mills supplied with the water from the river Aterno that crosses the Subequana valley.
According to tradition, the origin of the name Secinaro derives from the ancient local goddess Secina Ara but even more plausible is that it derives from the name of the ancient lord Sichenale, already attested in 1173. Secinaro is a wonderful village on the slopes of mount Sirente. It closes the valley towards the north presenting itself as an obligatory point of passage for its strategic accessibility.
The origin of the name Gagliano Aterno is probably linked to the “Pagus superequano Boedinus Balianum” derived firstly in Gallianum and then later modified in Gagliano. Only then was the name Aterno added, for its proximity to the homonymous river that crosses the Subequana valley. Built in the fourteenth century and destroyed by Braccio da Montone in 1462, the village was rebuilt and became part of the Barberini and Piccolomini families’ estate.
The modern name of Castel di Ieri derives from the ancient Castrum Ildegeri, mentioned by Chronicon Casauriense in a document that dates back to 970. Castel di Ieri is a village situated on the ancient via Tiburtina Valeria dominated by its quadrangular tower from the fifteenth century that allows a panoramic view of the entire Subequana valley, particularly the passage towards Rome.
In the Cronaca Farense (875) Goriano Sicoli was named Gorgianum and only later was the name modified to its current title. The village closes the valley to the south, is also a strategic position in respect of accessibility, and crossed by the historical roads “tratturo Celano-Foggia” and its pastures.
Discover which are the best monuments in Castelvecchio Subequo and the entire Subequana valley, places that will lead you to discover the territory and the various stages of the Journey made by Saint Francis and Friar Thomas.
Discover the villages of the Subequana valley and Castelvecchio Subequo. Visit the church and the convent of Saint Francis where the relic of his blood is preserved.
Follow and discover the journey of Saint Francis and Friar Thomas and share with other users to share news and information regarding the journey on social networks.