Orsogna

Orsogna, in the province of Chieti, is located on a verdant hill at about 440 m. above sea level. It is the ideal place for any tourist liking either mountain excursions or sunny beaches, thanks to it’s propitious position: half-way between the adriatic coast and the Majella massif, it permits the visitor to easily reach the main areas of the Abruzzo provinces. During the Second World War Orsogna was almost completely destroyed. In recognition of the loss and damage suffered by the Orsogna population, the President of the Republic Ciampi, recently conferred Orsogna with the “Silver Medal for Civic Valour”. The memory of the 2nd World War is still vivid. On the 6th march 2004 during the excavations of a building site in the urban centre of Orsogna a bomb of extreme dimension (1.30 m high and weighing approx 500 kgs) was un-earthed.

Amongst the testimony of Orsogna’s history that survived the devastion of the war is the noteworthy church of Saint Nicholas of Bari with its adjoining Bell Tower. This complex dates back to the 18th century. Behind the church there is a strategic panoramic point where it is possible to admire the Fraja Valley and the imposing Majella Massif. Not too far away from the storical centre, there is the “Tower of Bene”, a typical exemple of a fortified rural structure, built between the XIV and the XVII centuries. It’s function was to control the surrounding territory against enemy attacks. In the 18th century it became an important cultural centre animated by people of the calibre of Francesco Paolo Tosti and Camillo De Nardis. Completely restored in 1995 it is now the site for conventions and exhibitions. Not far from the “Tower of Bene” Orsogna boasts an extraordinary walk-way completely lined by majestic Pine-trees. A pleasant place for stroll and out-door activities for Orsogna’s citizens and tourists. The Saint Berardino Chapel is an antique testimony of the rural tracks, which crossed Orsogna from the XIX century and the first half of the XX century. Completely restored in 1996 it is a place of prayer and worship. The adjacent “Remembrance park”, established in 1926, is a military cemetery in which are remembered the victims of the 1st world war and of the Spanish war. Here are buried the remains of two of Orsogna’s illustrious personalities: Raffaele Paolucci (eminent doctor; honoured with a gold medal for military valour) and Felice Mola.

Amongst its natural beauties, Orsogna has the “Annunziata Territorial Park”, founded in 1991 of about 120 hectars. The Park takes its name from a convent complex inside its territory of great historical and architectural value, founded in 1448 by St. Giovanni from Capestrano. This convent complex, recently restored, is the residence of a community of Franciscan Friars; it often host prayer group sand is a notable recall for pilgrims and tourists.

Returning to the urban centre and Orsogna’s majestic “piazza”, we find the Municipality chambers in which is located the “Camillo De Nardis” theatre, planned at the end of the XIX century by the noted Taddeo Salvini who also planned the “Fenaroli Theatre” of Lanciano. Entirely restored in 1994 the theatre can hold up to 270 people and often hosts many noteworthy performances. Regional “Group of Dialectical Theatre” organised by Orsognas’  “Theatre of Plinio” who takes it’s name from Prof. Plinio Silverii, writer, poet and dramatist. There are many other events that take place in this theatre, thanks to the various cultural associations of which Orsogna boasts, for example the Choral Association “La Figlia di Jorio”, one of Italy’s oldest choirs.­­­­ ”Theatre ‘80”, who perform more contemporary plays. In the Community Civic Centre as well as in the Tower of “Di Bene”, other cultural associations carry out numerous communily activities e.g. the Domenico Ceccarossi Association, the Artistic Circle and  “The Third Age University, “who has reached its 29th birthday.

On Easter Monday in Orsogna is celebrated the feast of the “Madonna del Rifugio”, commonly called the “Feast of Talami”, which represents one of the most interesting and ancient italian popular festival. This manifestation is entirely organised by the “Cultural Association Talami”