Ascoli Piceno: the Longobards

Ascoli Piceno: the Longobards

The arrival of the Longobards in Ascoli in the year 578 AD was part of the progressive expansion of this population in central and southern Italy with the formation of the Ducato di Spoleto (in which Ascoli became part of) and the Ducato di Benevento. The Longobard invasion brought about a complete reorganization of the territory in regards to both institutions and settlements, due to the defensive needs of the new conquerors.

Castel Trosino

One of the most important and rare testimonies of the early Middle Ages in central Italy is represented by the Necropolis of Castel Trosino, discovered by accident in 1893. The Longobard settlement in this site, already having a natural fortification given its geographical position, dates from the end of the 6th century. The principal burial area illustrates the simultaneous presence of funerary traditions that are both late Roman and Longobard, evidence that could serve to demonstrate an integration between the two cultures.


The Archaeological Museum conserves only some of the objects from the Necropolis of Castel Trosino (practically all of the material relative to this site can be found at the Museum of the Early Middle Ages in Rome); nonetheless, among the most precious objects are some outstanding finds that make reference to feminine and masculine dress of that epoch.

Ascoli Piceno: the Longobards

Giulio Gabrielli

The painter and erudite Giulio Gabrielli (1832-1910) though not an archaeologist by profession, was responsible for the classification of these finds in a scientific sense. He participated in the campaigns of excavation as Inspector of the Superintendency and he left written testimony in his notebooks with watercolor illustrations.

Valle Castellana and toponymy

The military posts of the Longobards involved the entire area of Valle Castellana between Ascoli Piceno and Teramo. Evidence of such presence is given by the toponymy of Germanic origin relative to this territory. For example, from “fara” (a settlement of armed free men) derives the names of some towns in this area such as Leofara and Faraone.

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