Ancient Teate entered the Roman orbit after the social wars, and became very prosperous thanks to all the local families who were connected to the most prominent circles in the capital. Decline began with the fall of the Empire and, virtually destroyed by the Goths, the Longobards included it in the Duchies of Spoleto and Benevento, until it became a county under the Normans. Considerable development took place with the rule of the Angevins and Aragons, which made it the capital of the Abruzzo region. In 1600 the town took on the appearance we see today, thanks mainly to the ecclesiastic power. The Jesuits and Piarists arrived, who organised important cultural colleges and the towns name became wider known. With national unification, which Chieti was very keen to join, the town was more open to the outside and important economic and social gains were found, thanks also to the construction of the railways and the station at Scalo.
The city and its monuments
Among the most important monuments to visit in Chieti, the Cathedral holds prime place, built in the late medieval period, rebuilt in the 11th century and added to in the 16th century with an ancient bell tower. The Baroque church of San Francesco della Scarpa has a beautiful rose window in the facade. The 13th century tower is also very interesting, the only one left of the nine that used to be found on the town walls. Continuing our journey among the attractions of the town, we must visit the Costantino Barella picture gallery, which has several paintings and sculptures from the 14th century on; the Roman spa baths, which used to be fed by a special cistern, which is still in a good state of repair and on show; the National Archaeological Museum, in the park of the Municipal Villa, which has the materials from all the various regional digs on display.
The geographical area
Back in the 19th century, Francavilla al Mare was a popular summer resort. In
Fossacesia you can visit the church of St. Giovanni in Venere, an old Benedictine abbey that was built on the remains of the temple of Venere Conciliatrice around the 6th century. Vasto was built by Illyrian peoples on a highland that gives a wonderful of the Adriatic from a really fascinating outlook. Not to forget Ortona, with the famous Aragon castle, which stands on promontory with a sheer drop down to the sea. To the north, the promontory protects the most important and busiest port on the Abruzzo coast and at the same time holds up the entire town, and was rebuilt after being devastated during the Second World War. The beautiful beaches follow the coastline and when travelling inland you can find some really attractive rural countryside.