What it is and where it is
Castel di Tora is a hamlet perched on a rocky hill that winds its way along Via Umberto l winding its way up to the highest point of the village. On the way, strictly uphill, on the right here stands out on the top of a massif of living rock, a mighty hexagonal tower almost virtually thrust to touch the sky, flanked by the baronial "palace" that towers over, dominates and protects not only the village, but the entire valley below. This is just one of the towers that pop up here and there, living testimony to the medieval past of the charming village overlooking Lake Turano.
Why it is special
Faithful to its medieval origin, the structure of the village unravels in mazes of narrow streets, alleys, arches, stairways, turrets, stone portals with coats of arms of ancient aristocratic residences, perspective views that open like a stage to the magical panorama of the lake and the mountains that encircle it like a crown. At times one has the impression of being inside the masterwork of a stonemason, finely chiseled on the mountain to frame and harness the beauty of the landscape in its sinuous lines, its solids and voids, merging with it into a single, ecstatic beauty.
Not to be missed
Castel di Tora is a town where you find people who are open, friendly, hospitable to both the tourist and the traveler. You meet them in the streets going up to the hill, a small widening at the end of the slope where in summer among flowers and a light breeze women sit to chat and take the coolness. Continuing on we reach the square, where men exchange experiences, doubts, joys and sorrows of their lives. It is Piazza San Giovanni where the church of the same name stands, and where the "Triton" Fountain towers in the center of the formidable setting created by the lake and mountains.
A bit of history
The origin of Castel di Tora dates back to about the year 1000, when during the age of encastellation arose the Rocca Inferiore and the "Rocca sbragata," whose few remains are visible in the highest part of the village. From these constructions arose the original cores of the Village. Castel di Tora's past also resurfaces from the defensive walls: two of the three ancient gateways and several semicircular turrets remain clearly recognizable today. In contrast, the old square towers inserted in the outer walls remain hidden from view unless one is more than careful.
There is one last place that should not be overlooked: it is the little square, the "intimate" living room of the whole village. Here the view is unspeakable, open to Mount Antuni with its Castle in all its mighty austerity. We cast our gaze further toward the horizon, with the lake twisting in loops, folds in its winding unraveling, and still further down until the eye scanning the valley is lost in the mountains of the Abruzzo Apennines.
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