CHIETI (25 min) : Chieti is universally recognized for a remarkable cultural heritage, which to this day is maintained by countless institutions in the city and throughout the region. The three museums in the city play a key role. The Museo Nazionale Archelogico (“National Archaeological Museum”) at Villa Frigeri, located in the center of the beautiful Villa Comunale, with prized Italic and Roman artefacts (the Capestrano Warrior and a funerary monument to Lusius Storax, respectively) and a collection of currencies ranging from the 6th century BCE to the 19th century, whose layout makes it one of the most significant exhibitions of its kind. The Museo d’Arte C. Barella (C. Barella Museum of Art) houses a collection of paintings, sculptures and pottery that date from between 1400 and 1900. The Museo Diocesano (Diocese Museum), recently rearranged, is rich in examples of medieval Abruzzo statuary and baroque altar pieces
LANCIANO (20 MIN.) Basilica della Madonna del Ponte (lit. “Basilica of the Madonna of the Bridge”)(Cathedral). Known as such because it was constructed on a three-arched bridge (the Diocleziano Bridge). The Basilica is of neo-classical design. Santa Maria Maggiore is considered one of the most important monuments of Abruzzo. It was constructed in 1227 in the Burgundian-Cistercian architectural tradition, then largely remodelled according to baroque tastes in 1540 (adding two aisles as wells as stuccoes and ornamentations). Teatro Comunale “F. Fenaroli” (“F. Fenaroli Municipal Theatre”) was constructed in 1842. The façade is in neo-classical style, characterized by a square portico with four large, Doric columns.
GUARDIAGRELE (10 min): The peculiar location on the summit of the Maiella explains the characteristics of its historic center: the alternate use of brick and stone and the extraordinary environment that make this “city of stone,” as Gabriele D’Annunzio defined it, nearly as “natural” as the natural environment that surrounds it. Santa Maria Maggiore, probably founded in the 11th century, is among the most important monuments of Europe. Of particular note is the15th century fresco depicting the Nursing Madonna. The monumental collection of San Francesco appears in the form of its 18th-century renovations, but the structure dates to the 14th century, when its portal and steeple were constructed. The Capuchin Convent and the adjoining church date to 1599. An18th-century late baroque wood altar is preserved here.
ORTONA (20 min.) : Best known for its history, monuments (don’t miss the San Tommaso cathredral, the Aragonese Castle and the churches of Santa Maria delle Grazie and of the SS. Trinità) and for the presence of the most important commercial port of Abruzzo, Ortona is also one of the best beach destinations of the Chieti coast, especially renowned are Riccio and Sarecani beaches and the Ripari di Giobbe (Job’s Shelter).
PASSO LANCIANO - MAIELLETTA (25 min.) : On the northern end of the long Majella ridge, this skiing destination is renowned for panoramic views and excellent snows and ranges from 1,306m at Lanciano pass to 1,995m at Maielletta.
The chair lift and 8 ski lifts accomodate 27 trails at various difficulties.