The path of Creation is a sub itinerary originating from the “Journey of Saint Francis and Friar Thomas ”that from the city of Celano to Pescasseroli the pulsing heart of the Abruzzo’s National Park that passes through the villages of Aielli, Pescina, San Benedetto dei Marsi, Gioia dei Marsi and Lecce dei Marsi.
Aielli is one of the most ancient village in Marsica and is situated at an altitude of 1000 metres in the Fucino valley. Aielli stazione was built around the nineteenth century and is an ancient village that holds the intact Torre delle Stelle, a medieval tower that includes an astronomic observatory.
The ancient Pescina was previously the beating heart of Marsica, a city where both Ignazio Silone, writer and author of the novel “Fonatamara”, and Giulio Mazzarini, cardinal and first Minister to the French king Luigi XIV were born. In Pescina Saint Francis of Assisi founded his Franciscan monastery during one of his trips to Marsica.
San Benedetto dei Marsi is one of the villages that used to be situated along the now dried up lake del Fucino. The ancient capital of Marsi, this village not only preserves a Roman amphitheatre, but also the gate of the ancient cathedral of Santa Sabina, where Saint Francis of Assisi once stayed.
Around since the time of the Roman Empire, Gioia dei Marsi is the heart of Marsica. A village placed between the Natural Regional Park of Marsi and the Fucino valley where nearby you can also find the ancient historical centre in Gioia Vecchio.
Lecce dei Marsi belongs to the Natural Park of Abruzzo heading towards the Fucino valley. This ancient village of the population called Marsi was also the birthplace of Andrea De Litio a famous painter of the fifteenth century whose works include the frescoes in the church of San Giovanni in Celano.
Pescasseroli is the pulsing heart and administrative headquarters of the National Park of Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise. Located in the Marsicani Mountains, the village of importance since the time of the Roman Empire and its ancient properties belonging to the counts of Celano and one the most popular winter destinations thanks to its skiing pistes.
Luco dei Marsi is a characterized village placed in the centre of the protected parks and areas of Abruzzo. The historical centre still preserves ancient alleys which one time overlooked the lake del Fucino. According to the legend the goddess Angizia adored by the Marsi was born in Luco.
The village of Civitella Alfedena belongs to the Natural Park of Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise. Found near the lake di Barrea near the skiing pistes at Passo Godi, the ancient village was populated by the Italics of Anfedena. Today the ancient watchtower remains as a testimony to its history.
Villetta Barrea is a village in the National Park of Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise and in ancient time populated by the Caracini. In the middle ages, it was controlled by the Benedictine monks who founded the abbey of Sant’Angelo in Barreggio that was destroyed in the invasion of the Saracenic.
The castle of Celano is one of the most significant findings within this medieval fortification of the city and is marked by the still visible surrounding walls. The construction of the castle started around 1392 after being commissioned by Pietro Berardi the count of Celano. This continued until 1463 when Antonio Todeschini-Piccolomini the nephew of Pope Pio II finished this monumental work.
The reconstruction of the church of Saint John the Baptist in the thirteenth century after the destruction of Celano by the emperor Federico II terminated in the fifteenth century. It has a conical stone facade that reminds us of the architecture used on the basilica of Santa Maria in Collemaggio in l’Aquila. The chuch is adorned with a precious Roman gate decorated with a lunette shaped fresco portraying “Madonna con Bambino between San Giovanni Evangelista and Papa Bonifacio IV”.
Le “Gole” is a rare example of a canyon in Italy, an extremely appealing place where you can enter between the two cliffs by foot and very close to the rocks ravaged by time and water that at its peak reaches 150 metres high and 3 metres wide. The so-called “traversata delle Gole di Celano” that marks the border between the two villages is currently a popular destination of adventurous and enthusiastic trekkers with a passion with open air.
The monument of Friar Thomas of Celano, first hagiographer of Saint Francis, is found in piazza Santa Maria Valleverde in front of the church baring the same name. The bronze sculpture illustrating Friar Thomas was created by the sculptor Pino Conte and inaugurated in 1960 celebrating seven hundred years after his death and is present on the base of the monument illustrating the Saint of Assisi, Santa Chiara and Friar Thomas.
The church of Santa Maria Valleverde with its annexed convent is located outside the walls of the historical centre in Celano. The religious complex, commissioned by Leonello Acclozzamora and Jacovella of the Ruggeri counts, was created by Maria d’Aragona, countess of Amalfi and wife of Antonio Piccolomini, represents one of the most important examples of the Franciscan renaissance style in all Marsica.
The current church of Santa Maria delle Grazie is the most ancient place of worship in Celano, saved by the emperor Federico II who destoyed ancient Celano in 1223. Commissioned by the bishop of Marsi Pandolfo, son of count Berardo II, it was probably built around the middle of the eleventh century and was dedicated to San Giovanni Evangelista.
Placed within piazza Aia, a monument by the sculptor Angelo Canevari was dedicated to Saint Francis of Assisi and inaugurated in 1982. It is presented as a bronze triptych made up of six faces each portraying a scene from the life of the Saint Patron of Italy and Friar Thomas of Celano one of which includes the meeting between Saint Francis and a knight of Celano.
The construction of the church of San Michele Arcangelo, usually called the church of Sant’Angelo, started with count Pietro of Celano and ended around the middle of the 1400s under the supervision of Lionello Acclozamora who thereafter donated it to the Celestine. The facade whit its style originating from l’Aquila has a fifteenth-century gate and a damaged rose, while the interior style is baroque.
The current church of Saint Francis was built in 1345 and created in honour of Saint Francis of Assisi who visited the city of Celano twice between 1215 and 1219. Annexed to the ancient Franciscan convent of which today stands in ruins and dates back 1256, the church is placed within Largo “beato” Friar Thomas a place in which the Porta San Francesco was opened.
Built in 1573 and commissioned by Costanza Piccolomini, the church of Santa Madonna del Carmine with the annexed to the convent of the Carmelite was completed thanks to a dispensation announced by Pope Gregorio XIII. The outside of the church has a baroque facade reachable by a characteristic staircase of polished stone while the interior with its single nave and in the form of a Latin cross has a late baroque style and preserves six altars and a valuable organ dating back in 1839.
The church of Santa Maria in Fonte Coeli is known as the church of Madonnina and dates back to the seventeenth century and is located in the homonymous area. Today the facade does not present its original aspect after being modified by numerous restorations though it is characterized by an eighteenth-century gate. The interior with a single nave preserves the holy image of “Madonna De Fonte Coeli” dating back to the sixteenth century. Every 15th of August the church is a destination of the faithful and the feast of the Assumption.
The church of San Rocco faces the square Aia once called piazza Lefraini and was built after being commissioned by Costanza Piccolomini. The facade characterized by its simple architecture presents a seventeenth-century gate while a single nave characterizes the interior.
In the Vaschette district, the construction of the church Sacro Cuore started in 1952 and ended 10 years later when it was opened for worship. Characterized by a modern facade, preserves within its interior the fourteen stages of the Crucifixion and works of art created by important contemporary artists.
The alpine volunteers of Celano at the foot of mount San Vittorio built the church of San Leonardo in 1976. A suggestive place of worship, it is located in a strategic position from where you can admire the entire city and the Fucino valley. Every Palm Sunday the church is destination of faithful for the traditional “Via Crucis”.
The bronze monument dedicated to Santi Martiri of Celano (Simplicio, Costanzo and Vittoriano), is located near the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie and the “Sorgente Fontegrande”. Created in 1904 by the sculptor Antonio Berti it marks the eighteenth centenary of the Saints martyrdom in a work composed of an obelisk and three winged figures pointing upwards.
The Paludi museum in Celano usually called Musè was built in the Paludi area where an extremely ancient pile-dwelling settlement dating back to the Bronze Age was found. Created as a museum-laboratory and used as an exhibition and educational centre, it preserves the evidence of a prehistoric period that was found in the valley of Fucino territory that in the past was host to the homonymous lake (the third largest in Italy) and subsequently drained by Prince Alessandro Torlonia around 1855 and 1878.
Discover where the most important monuments and the places of interest of the city of Celano are placed; by virtually browsing the stages of the historical centres linked to the “Journey of Saint Francis and Friar Thomas”.
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