Scanno was made famous by the photographs of Henri Cartier-Bresson, most notably of the maze-like steps and alleys which are its definining characteristic. Unsurprisingly, then, the best way to experience its unique ambiance is simply to explore the streets by foot.I found Scanno to be quite unlike Pescocostanzo, another small and picturesque...more
Just outside the town of Scanno lies an impressive lake of the same name. This is a popular place to come and relax for visitors and locals alike, and although there are facilities like small lakeside bars these don't spoil the overall sense of calm.The water is clear, and you'll be able to see shoals of fish - some of them pretty large - cruising...more
The fountain of the Pisciarello, dating back to the 18th century, used to be right inside the town walls, where the Saint Anthony door once stood. It was used both by people and animals. Apparently the water coming from this fountain is very healthy and diutetic. I tasted it, and it had quite a strong "aroma".The name is interesting. Pisciarello...more
La Chiesa e il Convento di Sant'Antonio (church and convent of Saint Anthony) is just outisde the village. It was built in 1590 next to an existing hospice for locals and travellers alike. Many different friars have lived in this convent - and at times it was even abondoned and closed down. At some point is was even sold to a local family.Today the...more
Santa Maria delle Grazie, Holy Mary the Merciful church used to be the home of a local fraternal order. No one knows when it was built, but evidence indicates that it existed already before the 16th century.There are two churches in Scanno with the same name... the old one (the one in the photo) and the new one... at the turn of the 20th century...more
The wool museum is located in a small octagonal stone building, which once used to be a a slaughterhouse - and this slaughterhouse, in turn, was built using the stones that belonged to one of the three original access doors to the town.In this museum you can see how people lived in the past: there are four rooms - the cellar, the kitchen, the...more
One of the two important fountains in Scanno is the Fontana Sarracco, with two arched bodies: the one on the left, built in 1549, was reserved for animals only - while the one on the right was for people. In the people's part there are for distinct "taps" with four different images: the king, the queen, the shoe-maker and the friar... only noble...more
Scanno used to be a wealthy mountain town, and its wealth can still be seen in the palaces and lodges all over town. One of the most beautiful of these is the lodge Case Roncone, with an amazing three-arched window.Arched windows - with two or three arches - were built on the top floor of the lodges and had a very practical purpose: to serve as an...more
The church of Saint John the baptist used to be the least interesting of all the Scanno churches and was probably built in the first hald of the sixteen century. I say "used to be" because it is now one of the most interesting ones - not for its original decorations, but for the exhibition of vative statues, all life-size.Each saint has a little...more
The only surviving door is the Porta della Croce (door of the Holy Cross): the other two doors (Porta Santa Maria - door of the Holy Mary, and Porta S. Antonio - door of Aaint Anthony) were destroyed at the turn of the century.It was likely built in the 15th century and it had a wooden door: here's a room right over the door - it's where people...more
In the small village of Scanno you can still see amazing palaces and churches in particular. There are 14 still standing, scattered all over town. You will see the most striking one as soon as you reach the village. It's in Piazza Santa Maria della Valle , and the church's name is Santa maria della Valle (Holy MAay of the Valley). Next to it there...more
Fishing in the lake is reputed to be excellent although time constraints did not allow us to attest to this. The fish species present in the lake include the following:- TROUT (trota)- TENCH (tinca)- PERCH (persico reale)- ROACH (rovella)- RUDD (scardola)- CARP (carpa)- CATFISH (pesce gatto)- EEL (capitone) - WHITEFISH (lavarello)more
I was curious as to the origin of these horses and how they seem to thrive in such a rugged environment where there are no buildings or people to be seen for many many miles. I later found out that they're not there all year round. Horses, cows, and sheep are moved out to pasture for the summer and back to wherever they came from in fall, the...more
Viale del Lago, 24, , Scanno 67038
Good for: Solo
We were advised to visit the cafe by our B&B landlord, and it proved to be a great tip. The place is similar in style to many Italian cafe/bar/patisserie-type spots, but is a bit more special than most for two reasons. The first is the opportunity to sample a vast selection of traditional, moreish sweets from Abruzzo; the cafe's namesake and the...more
I could rave for days about this tiny but delicious restaurant... it's a bit on the expensive side, but you will get to taste some interesting delicacies that can't be found anywhere else... like for instance a rice cooked with the precious (and locally produced) navelli saffron - which we did not have. I had a delicious mountain trout baked to...more
Getting to Scanno is very easy, provided you don't travel on Sunday, when there's hardly any form of public transportation. Scanno's luck is that it's situated along the Pescara/Roma line - so there are many options to get there.
You get the most connections either from Rome (about 160 kilometres away) or from Sulmona (about 60 kilometres away), which is easily reached by train from Pescara, L'Aquila and Terni. From Sulmona to Scanno the road is very dramatic, winding up and up, and passing the amazing natural gorge of the Sagittarius (in the photo).
To find out the exact timetables there's a great website, which I'll list below... however, it is all in italian (but I guess it's so clear that anyone would be able to use it).
There are still a couple of workshops in the old town, selling tombolo laces... abd a couple of old women doing it here and there - often on their doorsteps. I will not give you any address. it's best to just ask around...
What to buy: Tombolo lace, which is an art that dates back to the 18th century. No Crochet-hook is used but a number of simple small spindles - as many as 7000 for really complicated laces.
What to pay: Depends on the size and the number of spindles used.
Several old women in Scanno still wear the traditional costume, not for the tourists' sake but for their own comfort. Scanno's traditional costume is black and has two versions, one for every day business, and one for festive days.
What is special about the costume is the gown: it's made of a thick and heavy fabric of great lenght: 18 metres in general, and with a weight of 15 kilos. The "corset" is quite heavy, too, and in the festive dress it has gold or silver buttons. Colourful aprons were worn only on festive days, and they normally matched the ribbons women wore on their plated hair, under the headress. The headdress was a sort of complicated hat made of silk, andenriched with silver and gold threads.
This church, Santa Maria dell'Annunziata, is located 3 kilometres from the village of Scanno, along the shores of the Scanno Lake.... for this reason is better known as the church of the Madonna of the Lake.The history of this churhc is quite interesting... when Scanno people wanted to talk to other villages south of them, once they reached the...more
About 3 kilometres away from the village of Scanno you can visit the beautiful lake Scanno... you can drive there or, better, walk there... the first part of the walk is along the road, but there is very little traffic - and once you reach the first cluster of houses outside the village, you can take a track on your left... it's a shortcut and it's...more
More even than the place itself, the journey to Scanno is a trip well worth taking. We came by car from Sulmona, and the road is a gorgeous, winding drive through forested mountains and high above rivers and dams.On the way we saw towns nestled among the slopes, and a mightly hydroelectric plant, along with a bright blue reservoir (water as...more
Scanno is one of italy's best kept secrets: a stunning village located in the mountains, in the Abruzzo region. it's located in the Valle del Sagittario, at 1050 metres above sea level. The village is compact and full of traditional old stone houses, churches and fountains. There's flowers on every window and many old people in traditional...more