Welcome to Lanciano, a picturesque town located in the province of Chieti, part of the Abruzzo region of central Italy. With a population of 36,304 as of 2011, Lanciano is a hidden gem that is often overlooked by tourists. However, this charming town has a rich history, breathtaking landscapes, and mouthwatering local cuisine that make it a must-visit destination. Join us as we uncover the many treasures of Lanciano and reveal why this enchanting town should be on every traveler’s bucket list.
Lanciano is located about 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) from the Adriatic Sea in an elevated spot. The town is known for the first recorded Catholic Eucharistic Miracle, which makes it a popular destination for religious pilgrims. Lanciano is also home to a number of stunning religious sites, including the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Ponte, Santa Maria Maggiore, San Francesco, Sant’Agostino, and San Biagio.
In addition to its religious sites, Lanciano boasts a number of secular sites that are worth visiting. These include Porta San Biagio, the only remaining gate of the nine once existing, Torri Montanare, a relic of the ancient walls, Torre Civica, a belfry and clock tower, Torre Aragonese, a tower along the ancient walls, Palazzo dell’Arcivescovado, which houses a diocesan Museum, and Botteghe Medievali, a house built in 1434 that now houses antique shops.
Lanciano has a rich history that dates back to the 5th millennium BC. The ancient Roman name of Lanciano was Anxanum, a city of the Frentani Italic tribe. After the end of the Samnite Wars, Lancianum obtained the status of municipium. During the fall of the Western Roman Empire, Lanciano was sacked by the Goths, and was destroyed during the Lombard invasion. A new settlement was then created around a castle built by the new rulers. Lanciano flourished again and in 1340 it was the largest city in Abruzzo with 6,500 inhabitants, renowned industries, receiving important privileges by both Frederick II and his son Manfred, with a substantial administrative autonomy. Later, the city took the part of the Neapolitan Republic of 1799 and rose against the Bourbon kings in 1848, 1849 and 1853. In 1860 it voted for annexation to the newly formed Kingdom of Italy. During World War II it was an active center of the Resistance against the German occupation.
Lanciano is also home to a number of schools, from nursery to high schools, including a liceo scientifico, a liceo classico, a liceo delle scienze umane, a liceo artistico, a liceo linguistico, a liceo economico sociale, a ragioneria, a geometra, an istituto tecnico industriale and an istituto tecnico professionale. Canadian College Italy is also located in Lanciano.
Apart from the city of Lanciano, the comune (municipality) of the same name contains 33 contrade. The population of the contrade has been estimated (as of 2005) at 12,682. Lanciano is also twinned with Berazategui, Argentina, Qala, Malta, Perho, Finland, Vaughan, Ontario, Canada, and Visegrád, Hungary.
Whether you’re a religious pilgrim, a history buff, or simply looking for a charming Italian town to explore, Lanciano has something for everyone. Come and discover the many treasures of this enchanting town and experience the beauty and charm of Italy’s Abruzzo region.