Chieti – Good Friday Procession

Chieti Holy Friday Procession
Chieti Holy Friday Procession – Photo © Nellie Windmill

Chieti lies on a crest along the Pescara river with its unmistakable profile with the high belltower of San Giustino against the sky, a few km away from the Adriatic Sea, and with the Majella and Gran Sasso in the background.

It was a Roman town, Teate, and important medieval center, that’s why walking through the city you see Roman and medieval ruins side by side.

Chieti Holy Friday Procession
Chieti Holy Friday Procession – Photo © Renata Virzintaite

Of particular importance is also the Pinacoteca C. Barbella, hosting works of Abruzzese artists, as well as the Museo Archeologico Nazionale, the most vibrant archeological museum in the region, with, among others, unique works as the Capestrano Warrior, a statue of the 7th century BC, one of the symbols of the area, a wonderful Hercules statue and one of the very few Galba gold coins in the world.

Chieti history

The origins of Chieti are lost in the midst of time, and many like the legend that it was founded by Achilles and named after his mother Thetis.

The ancient name of Teate, may derive from ti(f)a (=tiati=teba, meaning “forested hill”) and existed already in 1000 BC, when the town was the capital of the Marrucini people, who in the following centuries allied with the Romans against Pyrrhus and Hannibal, then joined the rebellion of the Samnites against Rome.

Under the Roman empire, it was a municipium, and there are many monuments and buildings of that period. The town declined in importance with the fall of the roman empire. It was destroyed in 801 AD by the Franks. It was included, then, in the Duchy of Spoleto and was occupied in turn by the Angevins, Aragonese, and Austrians.

The Angevin domination marked a period of revival and in the late 12th century Teate was made capital of Abruzzo Citra, the area south of the Pescara river.

At that time Chieti also had the privilege of its own mint, and there was a powerful archbishop.

Chieti Holy Friday Procession
Chieti Holy Friday Procession – Photo © Renata Virzintaite

Chieti: Good Friday Procession

Every year on Good Friday, which is the Friday before Easter, a procession is held through the torch-lined streets of the old town.

The participants wear masks and are dressed in the colors of their parish.

Only men and children may take part.

Chieti Holy Friday Procession
Chieti Holy Friday Procession – Photo ©

The procession also shows the symbols of the various stations of the cross (lance, rooster, cross, etc.) and is accompanied by a fantastic choir. It is the most critical procession of its kind in the Abruzzo region.

By tradition, it’s a member of the “Oration and solemn procession. It is also organized a procession for the bearing of the dead Christ through the streets.

The historical procession organized by the arch-confraternity of Sacro Monte dei Morti has as its highlight the haunting music of the Miserere by Selecchy, performed by over 150 violin players.

A few items from Abruzzo

La Cucina: The Regional Cooking of Italy
Fifty years ago, a group of Italian scholars gathered to discuss a problem: how to preserve traditional Italian cooking. They formed the Italian Academy of Cuisine to document classic recipes from every region. The academy’s more than seven thousand associates spread out to villages everywhere, interviewing grandmothers and farmers at their stoves, transcribing their recipes—many of which had never been documented before. This is the culmination of that research, an astounding feat—2,000 recipes that represent the patrimony of Italian country cooking. Each recipe is labeled with its region of origin, and it’s not just the ingredients but also the techniques that change with the geography. Sprinkled throughout are historical recipes that provide fascinating views into the folk culture of the past. There are no fancy flourishes here, and no shortcuts; this is true salt-of-the-earth cooking. The book is an excellent everyday source for easily achievable recipes, with such simple dishes as White Bean and Escarole Soup, Polenta with Tomato Sauce, and Chicken with Lemon and Capers. For ease of use there are four different indexes. La Cucina is an essential reference for every cook’s library.

Grazing In Abruzzo
Bruce Franchini (Director), Lidia Bastianich (Actor)
Lidia loves the region of Abruzzo! She describes the people there as welcoming, giving and jovial, and the hearty food of the region has left her with such fond memories. In the Abruzzese kitchens, Farro, a kind of wheat berry, is cooked as a whole grain and is manufactured in many shapes-both by small artisanal pasta makers and larger pasta companies. She makes this pasta with arugula and ricotta. Following her main course of Lamb with Olives, she creates the deliciously fun Scrippelle-which look like fettuccine-and tosses them in a hot caramel, citrus and apricot sauce for dessert.

Abruzzo. History and art guide
by Latini M. L. (Author)
Although it is a bit too synthetic, to the detriment of the overall readability of the text, the work provides an exhaustive description of the artistic heritage of Abruzzo, inserting points for observation not always recognized. Recommended.

Abruzzo 1st Edition
by Michael Kenna
Abruzzo, located in southern Italy, is known as the green region of Europe because of the system of parks and nature reserves covering more than one-third of its territory. In Abruzzo, Michael Kenna found a cultural identity that elsewhere, for the most part, has been lost to globalization and instant communication. Kenna photographed medieval ruins, ancient villages and a countryside rich in traditional cultivation. As curator Vincenzo de Pompeis writes in the book s introduction, 'Abruzzo's heritage, together with its impressive natural scenery, brings to mind romantic connotations that have historically attracted many international landscape artists, particularly in the 19th century. Michael Kenna fits perfectly into this rich historical vein of celebrated landscape artists who have worked in Abruzzo. Kenna's work often evokes the influences of Romanticism. In his photographs of historic rural landscapes, for example, there is an air of melancholy, which accompanies memories from the past. His images of ruins stir up feelings of passing time, of the constantly evolving ties between history and nature.' This gorgeous new monograph by renowned landscape photographer Michael Kenna is published to coincide with a major museum exhibition in Loreto Aprutino, Italy. Richly printed in duotone on matt art paper, and presented in an olive-green cloth slipcase with black debossed text on one side and a tipped-in image on the other, Abruzzo presents 65 images from the series, published here for the first time.

Michelin Map Italy: Abruzzo, Molise 361 (Maps/Local (Michelin))
Michelin created its first travel guide over 100 years ago to promote road travel and inspire driving confidence. Today, Michelin Travel & Lifestyle offers travelers an extensive range of travel guides, maps and online travel resources. These products deliver the same Michelin promise of quality and consistency consumers expect from one of the world's most trusted brands.
Publisher of travel guides, maps and atlases, Michelin Travel & Lifestyle offers a complete travel portfolio. Where to go, how to get there, where to eat & stay, and what to see & do ... all in one collection with extensive international & domestic coverage, especially for Europe. Our series includes Michelin (Red) Guides, Green Guides, Must Sees and Michelin maps and atlases.

Canti Della Terra D'Abruzzo
Ettore Montanaro
Buy MP3: all 51 at the same time, or each one individually.

Italian Folk Songs from Abruzzo 1927-1930
CD and MP3 reissue of the freat italian folk duo. Comes with rich notes and photos of the couple as well. Pasquale and Clara Sciascia immigrated to the U. S. from the Abruzzo region of Italy, settling in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. From 1927 to 1933 they recorded 44 songs fro the Victor, Columbia and Brunswick record companies. The Sciascias were the first to record a number of Italian and Abruzzese folk songs, 14 of which are reissued here for the first time in 90 years. The songs feature wonderful duet singing and exquisite string band accompaniment. Also included are notes on the couple and their music, photos, and the transcribed and translated lyrics. Includes 20 page booklet.