According to the story of the Roman historian Livy, the Marsian fortress of Plestinia, was conquered in 302 BC by the Roman army led by the consul and first dictator Marcus Valerius Maximus, and destroyed along with those of Fresilia (which can be placed between Opi and Barrea), and Milonia (nearby Ortona dei Marsi).
The exact location of Plistia is still debated among historians and archaeologists. The Marsican scholars Febonio and Corsignani, locate the walled city near the high ground where now are the ruins of the Castle. There is no evidence for the position, but surely it is near the current Pescasseroli.
The initial part of the course is at the northern entrance, close to the Fountain of San Rocco and has the typical cobbled paving of the old town. Behind the mother church of Sts. Peter and Paul, was the location of the old cemetery, which in the 19th century with the extension of the Napoleonic Reform in Italy (edict of St. Cloud), was moved higher up and outside the town, on the road that also leads to the path of the Mancino Castle.
The Salita Dr. Ciolli, which curls up to the “square of Pinocchio”, is entitled to the physicist of Pescasseroli Carmine Ciolli, a dignified bourgeois gentleman of the eighteenth century and schoolfellow of Sant’Alfonso Maria de’ Liguori.
The final part of the course runs along the St. John Bosco Rectory, with a small monument of the Redemptorists of 1924, and an old fountain. On one side there are the Colli dell’Oro (Hills of Gold), on which you can see the statue in stone of the Crowned Madonna. On the other side, Viale Gabriele D'Annunzio stretches, one of the most decorated streets during the Infiorata of Corpus Christi Sunday, with an impressive colourful carpet of geometric figures and artistic paintings of flowers, which attracts tourists. The latter avenue goes towards Piazza Sant'Antonio.
Text by Stefano Dark – Images by Stefano Dark and Domenico Roselli
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