Scanno is located on a hilltop just over a kilometer high. Thanks to its steep stairs and beautiful old houses made of gray stone, it is one of the biggest attractions in the Abruzzo region, especially in the summer.
Scanno travel guide
Region: Abruzzo. Province: L’Aquila. Postal code: 67038. Area code: 0864. The tourist office of Scanno is located at Piazza Santa Maria della Valle, 12 (tel. +39 086474317).
Public transportation: From Sulmona there are ARPA buses providing a connection to Scanno. The travel time is approximately 1 hour. From Rome (Stazione Tiburtina), Autolinee Schiappa provides a not very frequent service to the city (travel time about 2 ½ hours).
On the way to Scanno from Sulmona, it is recommended to get a window seat, as one passes by the rocky Gole di Sagittario and the picturesque Lago di Scanno.
What to see and do in Scanno
The most beautiful attractions are the Piazza Santa Maria della Valle, on which the church of the same name is located. This Renaissance church is graced by marble and wood decorations. Continuing into the center one comes to the Purgatorio Church, the Saracco Fountain and the Santa Maria di Costantinopoli Church. At the very top of the hill is the Sant’Eustachio Church. The Madonna del Lago Church faces the lake.
A brief history of Scanno
Although the name of the town only appears for the first time in a document from the 11th century, it is known that there was human life in the area much earlier. Remains from the Iron Age as well as Roman times have been found. From the Middle Ages on, the town was owned by several feudal lords, the most important ones being the Di Sangro and the D’Aquino.
It is almost certain that the area where Scanno is located has been inhabited since prehistoric times. One knows this thanks to objects found in an Iron Age burial place. Also coins, milestones and tombs from the Roman period have been found.
The name of the city comes from the Latin Scamnum and refers to a border between several so-called centuria. (A centuria was a piece of land into which the Romans divided the region).
Scanno is first mentioned by this name in a document from 1067. The document declares that the town becomes property of the County of Di Sangro.
In the 15th century the D’Aquino took over the feudal lordship and they remained in power until the end of the 16th century.
Later owners are successively the Albrizio, the D’Afflitto and the Caracciolo.
Scanno is still one of the few towns in Italy where women wear the traditional long black woolen dress with an upper part with wide sleeves, and a square fez to which two braids are attached.
Over the years Scanno has been an important center for wool production and jewelry making.