174 Route 14. AQUILA. From Terni
Antrodoco, Lat. Interocrea, most picturesquely situated on the
Velino, is commanded on the N. E. by the lofty Monte Calvo;
on the height the ruined castle of the Vitelli. The road to Aquila,
20 M. distant, leads through a narrow pass, enclosed by moun¬
tain and forest, frequently defended with success in warlike
periods. The scenery is remarkably beautiful the whole way.
Aquila (2250 ft.) (*Loeanda del Sole, in the Piazza del Palazzo;
several cafe's in the Corso), founded by the Emp. Frederick II. as
a check on papal encroachments, is the capital of the province
Abruzzo Ultra II. , with a population of 16,000, spacious streets
and handsome palaces, the most attractive and interesting town
in these districts. It-lies high (whence the freshness of the at¬
mosphere), and is commanded by the Gran Sasso d'ltalia (p. 158),
which rises abruptly to a height of 6000 ft.
From the Piazza del Palazzo, on the 1. side of which is the
post-office, the Strada del Princ. Umberto to the r. leads to the
Corso, by which in a straight direction the church of (S. Bernardino
di Siena is reached. The facade was executed with great artistic
taste in 1525—42 by Cola dell' Amatrice. In the interior, to the
r. , the *monument of the saint, decorated with arabesques and
sculpture, executed by Silvestro Salviati in 1505.
From S. Bernardino the traveller descends a flight of steps
and, passing through the Porta di Collemaggio to the 1, , arrives
at the opposite (5 min.) monastery of S. Maria di Collemaggio.
The * facade, inlaid with coloured marble, consists of 3 portals
and 3 corresponding wheel-windows. The niches of the principal
portal contain several statuettes of saints. Contiguous to the church
is an ancient and remarkably small clock-tower. The interior
gorgeously modern. To the 1. the Chapel of Celestine (closed).
Celestine V. was elected pope in 1294. His life and acts have
been represented in a series of pictures by the Celestine monk
Ruter, a pupil of Rubens.
The handsome * Town Hull in the Corso Vittorio Emanuele
contains, in the passage and on the walls of the stair-case, a
valuable collection of Roman inscriptions, also a number of por¬
traits of celebrated natives of the place who acted a prominent
part in the history of Italy in the 16th and 17th centuries. Se¬
veral pictures here of the old Aquilan school, most of them re¬
stored, will interest the connoisseur of art.
The * Palazzo Torres (below the Piazza Grande) contains a
picture-gallery with an admirable * portrait of Cardinal Torres by
Domenichino; Stoning of St. Stephen by the same master, on
copper; Eucharist, by Titian, on marble. The palace Dragonetti also
contains pictures , the best by Pompeo d' Aquila of the 16th cent.
Ascending the Corso the traveller reaches by a gate to the r.
e Citadel, constructed by a Spaniard in 1543 under Charles V.,