Atri is a charming art city in the province of Teramo, set on the hills near the Adriatic coast. It was founded by the Illyrians, coming from Dalmatia during the migrations of X-XI century, with the name of Hatria; subsequently it was conquered by the Umbri, the Picenes and the Etruscans. It became a Roman colony in 289 B.C. and accumulated considerable wealth. After the fall of the Roman Empire, Atri was subjected to Barbarian invasions. It re-emerged under the control of the Acquaviva family.
The historic center of the town is characterized an unique architectural heritage, consistingin monuments, churches, noble palaces, museums and suggestive corners rich in history.
Not to be missed:
- the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, declared National Monument, dates back to 1285. It was built on an ancient Roman cistern and represents a splendid example of the Abruzzo Romanesque architectural style. Realised using Istrian stones, it is characterized by a simple and majestic rectangular facade with a beautiful portal by Maestro Rainaldo and a rose window. The bell tower (54 m) stands on the left side. Inside it has three naves and a square apse frescoed by Andrea De Litio (XV century). In the museum it is possible to admire valuable relics: painted potteries, silver and ivory crosses, manuscripts, statues and mosaics.
-the XIV century Church of Sant'Agostino, with a brick façade and a fine portal by Matteo da Napoli in Gothic-Renaissance style. Inside it is possible to admire a fresco by Andrea De Litio. Today it is used as auditorium.
- the XIII century Church of San Francesco, with a monumental flight of stairs;
- the Church of San Giovanni Battista, dating back to 1322 and renovated during the XVI and the XVIII century;
- the Church of San Nicola, founded in the XI century, with a fresco by Andrea De Litio;
- the Church of Santa Chiara, built in the XIII century and renovated in the XVI century, with a beautiful brick façade characterized by a valuable XV century portal. The mosaic floor realized by the Venetian Giovanni Pellarini is really valuable;
- the Church of Santa Reparata, projected by Giovanni Battista Gianni from Milan. Internally you can admire a wooden ciborium with spiral columns which brings to mind the famous Bernini's canopy in the Basilica of St. Peter.
- the Palazzo Vescovile and the Seminario (XVI century);
- the Theater: the façade imitates the Scala Theater in Milan and the interiors the San Carlo Theater in Naples;
- the Acquaviva Palace, dating back to the XIV century and renovated during the XVIII century;
- the "Calanchi", natural sculptures resulting from centuries of erosion of the clayey ground and protected through the establishment of a Natural Reserve.