Lanciano and surroundings
A few kilometres far from the Eden Residence, you can easily reach Lanciano, known as the town of two Eucharistic Miracles, of the Music and of the Fairs. Lanciano has successfully preserved many remnants of its ancient history. Heart of the Sangro- Aventino area, Lanciano (36.000 inhabitants) stands on a hilltop at 284 meters above the sea level, between the Adriatic coast and the mighty Majella mountain. The oldest Eucharistic miracle of the Catholic Church’s history, Lanciano’s prodigy dates back to the VIII century, when the holy host turned into flesh and the wine turned into blood cause of a Basilian monk’s doubt. The relics are now preserved inside the recently restored St. Francis church.
We suggest to discover the town leaving from Plebiscito Square – that during the Middle Ages was named Curtis Anteana – which has preserved its original role as crossing point of the four historic quarters. The main square is dominated by the neoclassical façade of Basilica of St. Mary of the Bridge, built on a bridge of Roman origin, and the 17th century civic tower. Under the same square, you can discover the various steps of building the bridge, visiting the Diocletian Auditorium and an interesting archaeological route. This route reaches straight to the Sanctuary.of the Eucharistic Miracle. Starting from Plebiscito Square you may also visit the Old Lanciano quarter and the little church of Holy Cross, where some small fragments of the relic of another miracle of Eucharist are kept. Walking along Via dei Frentani, you can admire the 19th century town hall building and theatre given the name Fedele Fenaroli, a musician from Lanciano. Following on the route there are the St Augustine's church, medieval shops and the 11th century St. Biagio (Blasius) Gate. In the quarter of Civitanova you can admire the splendid church of Saint Mary Major, characterized by a magnificent portal and the Torri Montanare, the remains of the ancient city walls; beyond the church of St. Giovina, Archbishop's Palace and a great view point from the sea to the mountain.
The Trabocchi Coast
Flowered by brooms and mediterranean maquis, surrounded by vineyards, olive trees, pomegranate trees and orange trees, the Chieti coastline is dotted with remarkable fishing machines that extend towards the sea, making it an extraordinary set of authentic experiences. Brave walkways anchored to the rocks link to dry land the pile constructions, resting on vertical wood pillars and hold masterly by iron cables. During summer times it is possible having Adriatic fresh fish cooked according with traditional recipes, for lunch or dinner.
The trabocchi coast starts from Ortona, an old port with an important trading role and nowadays an animated city that offers many historical traces and cultural events.
Pebbly inlets, little bays, hillsides that climb gently from the coastline and promontories falling into the sea go on southwards till San Vito Chietino, “the broom village”, whose name is due to its patron saint, the young boy Vito, Christian martyr of the 4th century. Following the main SS16 road, you may reach the Capo Turchino bech, nearby a small house known as “Eremo dannunziano”: here the poet Gabriele D’Annunzio spent a few months in 1883 and, caught by the amazing nature, chose these places as setting of his novel “Triumph of death”.
The coastline ranges from fine golden sand beaches to pebbly ones and goes towards Fossacesia, where the gulf of Venus opens. The memory of a temple dedicated to the goddess of love can be found on the top of the rise where the abbey of S. Giovanni in Venere was later built.
A succession of different and all lovely landscapes takes you to the low-lying sand beach of Morge: crystal-clear seawater, silence and remarkable flora are its distinctive features. The mediterranean scrub consists of bushes that become great in summer and leads to the coastal ilex grove of Torino di Sangro, a wood formed of broadleaf trees where migrating birds seek refuge.
Majella National park
The Majella mountain, usually called Mother Mountain by local people, became part of National Parks world heritage in 1990s. Made by limestones, this massif is featured by a series of wide summital tablelands and very long and harsh gorges, crossed by generous rivers. The Majella National Park is the ideal habitat for great species such as the Wolf, the Bear, the Chamois, the Otter, the Golden Eagle, the Dotterel and other numerous important species like the Deer, the Roe and the Peregrin Hawk.
The Park numbers more than 60 mountains, half of which located at altitudes higher than 2000 meters, and fascinating landscapes like the canyon that divides the Majella massif from Morrone, a narrow and extended dorsal that comes down on the plain of Sulmona among calcareous and dolomitic rocks. Not to miss down the Mount “Pizzalto”, the wonderful carsic plateaux known as “Altipiani Maggiori d'Abruzzo”, named also “Quarti” (Santa Chiara, Barone, Grande e Molino). They stay at 1250 m above the sea level and act like a zip with the area of Mounts “Pizzi” and “Secine”, rich in woods of beech, Lobel Maple and other different species.
Majella is also history and culture: you can find interesting evidences of ancient sheep farming by Transhumance, such as shepherd huts called “tholos”, and traces of brigands and anchorets. Among the latest ones, the most famous is sure Pietro Angelieri, known as Pope Celestine Vth.
The Abruzzo region offers many religious signs and memories, due to its ancient history, as well as to popular devotion. Holy rites (such as the Holy Week ones that take place every year), religious buildings (like monasteries and hermit residences), are part of a wonderful itinerary of rare spirituality along with sanctuaries, where relics are preserved. Leaving from the Eden Residence we suggest to visit Lanciano, the town where two prodigies occurred. The ancient one, the oldest of the Catholic Church’s history, took place in the VIII century when a Basilian monk’s doubt turned the holy host into flesh and the wine into blood. The relics are preserved inside the church of San
Francesco, in the town centre. The second Eucharistic Miracle took place in 1273 at Ricciarella Stasio’s home, when she tried to fry a consecrated host to regain the love of her husband, following the advice of an old woman, and the host was transformed into bloody flesh. This miraculous event today is housed in Offida, but recently some small fragments of the relics have been given back to Lanciano and are now conserved in the little church of Holy Cross. To the north, along the Trabocchi Coast, Ortona’s Cathedral houses the remains of the Apostle Thomas. After his death in India in 68 a.C.,the remains of the martyr known as the “Apostle of the Doubt” were brought in Ortona in 1258. the arrival of the relics is featured each year during the Fest of Forgiveness, that takes place the first Sunday in May.
Another important stage of the religious routes in Abruzzo, situated not far from Residence Eden, is the sanctuary of Our Lady of Miracles in Casalbordino. It arose where the Virgin Mary appeared to a pious peasant in 1576.