Capistrello is the gateway to the Roveto Valley, as well as the town where one Marsica’s most dramatic event took place.
It is a small town with a population of 4,900 and it is located on the border between the Piani Palentini, the Marsica, and the Roveto Valley. During the years, thanks to its strategic position, played a fundamental role.
Looking at the history of the town, it is easy to notice that the first settlements in the region were established during the Neolithic. The town flourished thanks to the emperor Claudius, that built the first inhabited settlement and a point of reference for hydraulic engineering: the tunnels of Claudius. Built between the 41 and the 52 AD, they are one of the most astonishing works of engineering in the world. Beside the historical and archeological value, the tunnel – that you can visit thanks to different initiatives – played an important function, as they were used to drain the Lake Fucino.
By the end of the 19th century, Capistrello – along with other towns in the Roveto Valley – became one of the locations of the “grand tour” that European artists took in Italy to discover and reproduce its beauties. Many Scandinavian painters and European aristocrats stopped in Capistrello, as well as in Civita d’Antino, to discover the pure nature that would become the main character of their works of art.
Another important step in the history of the town was the realization of the train line from Balsorano to Avezzano, a direct connection between Abruzzo and the area of Frosinone that pass through a breathtaking landscape and it is still used.
During World War II, Capistrello received the gold medal of civil courage. Here 33 martyrs were killed by the Nazis, and every year people commemorate them with ceremonies in front of the monument realized near the train station.
When you walk around Capistrello, you can notice a stark distinction between the new and the old area: the former hosts the town hall and the main square, whereas the latter hosts the church of Sant’Antonio – built during the 12th century – as well as the Old Spring and many belvederes.
Every year, the historical center of Capistrello hosts many wine and food festivals and cultural events, like the Arzibanda festival, that attracts thousands of visitors from the entire region.
Capistrello is a village in the Roveto Valley crossed by the Avezzano - Sora railway line. Its historical and archaeological value is represented by the tunnels of Claudius built by the Roman emperor and still visible today.