Benvenuti / Welcome to
Benvenuti / Welcome to
The fortress was rebuilt in 1227 whilst Pastena was under the rule of the Del Drago family. Since then the village of Pastena has been well protected by its formidable high walls and strategically positioned towers. The citadel was said to have been virtually impregnable.
Originally there were 25 towers, however today only 15 remain, some of which are square in shape and some cylindrical.
There were just two gateways named according to the direction in which they faced: Porta Roma and Porta Napoli.
In 1153 the town was under the rule of duke Riccardo dell’Aquila, in the 13th century it became part of the duchy of the Caetani family. In the 15th century it passed into the hands of the Colonna family, then to the feudal barons of Patriarca. In the early eighteenth century Pastena became the domain of the Marquis Casali del Drago, and then formed a part of the Kingdom of Naples, until the unification of Italy in 1861.
The location of Pastena was once of great strategic importance, being on the border between the Papal States and the Kingdom of Naples (or the Two Sicilies). Near to Pastena a boundary stone can still be found marking this old frontier.
It is fascinating to wander through the characteristic Medieval centre.
At the highest point of the village is the main square and the church of Santa Maria Maggiore (11th century), which was originally named the Church of Santa Maria Assunta in Cielo. This edifice has recently undergone restoration work. On the facade are two niches which house images of the patron saints of the town, Saint Elena and San Sinforo.
Other churches include the Chiesa della Madonna delle Macchie, the Chiesa di Santa Maria del Parco which has a Baroque facade, the small church of San Rocco, the recently restored Sanctuary of Sant’ Antonio, and the Chiesa delle Grotte.
The Town Hall and the Museum of Country Life and Olive Cultivation are housed in
a palazzo which was once the home and an ancient Olive Mill of the Trani family.
Among the interesting exhibits are the original old mill-
The Plain of Pastena
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© LM Shapcott 2009 -
Except where photos have been rightfully accredited to the photographer / owner
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