158 Route 11. ASC'OLI. From Ancona
with a celebrated temple dedicated to the Sabine goddess Cupra,
restored by Hadrian, A. D. 126. The inhabitants of these districts
greatly Tesemble their Neapolitan neighbours in manners and
Stat. <§. Benedetto (tolerable inn), a small sea-coast town.
Ascoli ("Loeanda dell' Aquila), the ancient Asculum Picenum, with
12,000 inhab., seat of a bishop and capital of a province, is situated in the
fertile valley of the Tronto, 21 M. from the station (dilig. twice daily in
3'|2 hrs., fare l'lab). The road ascends on the N. side of the valley and
crosses to the S. side where the town lies. The valley is here contracted
and enclosed by lofty mountains. To the N. rises the jagged M. della
Ascensione, to the W. the Sibilla, more towards the S. the Pizzo di Sevo.
Mountain roads lead hence by Norcia to Spoleto, others through the valleys
of the Velino and Aterno to Aquila (p. 173) and the interior of the Abruzzi.
Ascoli, an ancient town in an important situation, the capital of the tribe
of Picentines, took a prominent part in the Social war against Rome and
was captured and destroyed by Pompey. Interesting remnants of the ancient
wall, a bridge, and a "gate at the W. end of the town. The town-hall con¬
tains a few inscriptions, and other relics are encountered in other parts of
the town, e. g. insignificant vestiges of a theatre and amphitheatre. The
architecture of the churches and palaces dates principally from a period
prior to the Renaissance, and contributes materially to the pleasing aspect
of the town, which is indeed the most attractive on the entire E. coast.
The Cathedral is said to have been founded by Constantine on the site of
a temple of Hercules. The original substructure is still recognisable. A
chapel to the r. in the interior contains good pictures by Crivelli.
Beyond S. Benedetto the line crosses the Tronto, the ancient
Truentus, formerly the boundary between the States of the Church
and the kingdom of Naples.
Stat. Tortoreto, then Giuliano ca, a dirty village on the height,
ilU M. from the coast, erected in the 15th cent, by the inhabi¬
tants of the ancient Castrum Novum on the Tordino, named
.S. Flaviano at that period.
Teramo, the ancient Interumna, capital of the province Abruzzo ultra I.,
seat of a bishop, with 10,000 inhab.. is 16'|a M. distant (post-omnibus 21.,
one-horse carr. 51., in 21|s—3 hrs.), situated on the 1. bank of the Tordino.
The Gothic cathedral is now modernized. The valley commands a suc¬
cession of fine views of the imposing Gran Sasso. The town contains several
inns, the best in the Piazza, where the Cafe d'ltalia is also situated.
The ascent of the Gran Sasso or Monte Corno (9208 ft.) may best be
undertaken from this point. (As this district is very rarely visited by
travellers, letters of recommendation to a resident are highly desirable.)
The previous night is spent at the village of Isola, 14 M. from Teramo,
situated on the road to Aquila (p. 173), at the foot of the mountain, which
is ascended thence partly with mules and partly on foot. The character of
the scenery resembles that of the Alps.
A new road ascends the valley of the Vomano to Aquila (comp. p. 172).
The line now crosses the Tordino , the ancient Batinus, then
the Vomano (Vomanus). Stat. Mutignano. About 6 M. inland
(dilig. in the afternoon 1 1. 25 c., other conveyances rarely ob¬
tainable) is situated Atri (* Albergo di Vine. Marcone), the an¬
cient Hadria, an episcopal residence, with 10,000 inhab., a town
of great antiquity and celebrated for its copper coins. Its im¬
portance is testified by numerous ruins. The Gothic cathedral