- By AbruzzoCibus
- On Dec 14, 2018
Abruzzo hilltop towns
The famous hilltop towns of Abruzzo, northern Molise and southern Marche. They can be explained in many different ways and were built for many different reasons.
First, let us start with the obvious and simple idea that building a town on top of the mountain instead of the bottom averts several potential disasters. Floods of course, water has the annoying habit of running downhill and when it rains there is more water to do the running and when there is heavy rain flash floods are quick to develop at the bottom of a mountain. There is also the alarming fact that this area of Italy is very prone to landslides, because of the seismic activity jarring rock loose but also, and obviously, because of the mountains. Landslides can’t happen unless there is some form of elevation and no one wants to have to concern themselves with the potential of being buried under falling rock or half a mountain.
Now on to the less obvious- this part of Italy was among the most attack area in the world during the middle ages, the Turks/Saracens, the Moslems, many different tribes from the middle east and north Africa came to destroy the east coast of Italy and continued to do so for many decades. After a while the people of Abruzzo decided to take the high ground. They knew they had a much better chance to fend off the enemy if they had the high ground and from that elevated vantage point they could also see them coming from a distance. Then there was the idea that if all the towns were along the mountain tops then standing in one town you could see several other towns, even towns which are two or three mountains off in the distance. So, if one town was being attacked the surrounding towns would know it and would have time to prepare for battle.
It was a different time then, it was a different world. Everything was about survival, we wouldn’t have any idea what it was like when the entire way of life and even the construction of the towns was designed for protection.