Address: Via Porta Ruggeri, Cocullo

Description

Today in the oldest part of the village, located near the watchtower, we can see the remains of the original settlement and the medieval fortress, as well as sections of the walls. Even the buildings that were built in line with the walls had a similar defensive function. These  remains are visible near Porta Ruggeri - which together with the other gates of Manno and Renovata, is one of the three existing entrances to the village - along the steep road leading up to the neighbourhood of San Nicola, in the heart of the old village. Some buildings still contain parts of the walls and original structures, although now slightly modified, which refer to the old fortified village.   The buildings near the tower were part of the Baronial mansion, while many of the alleys leading down to the valley would have had covered walkways such as that in Via  Sant’Orsola.

Historical Notes

Located in the upper valley of the river Sagittario, Cocullo is a connection point in the Apennines between the Peligna basin and the Fucino riverbed. The village is probably that of Cuculum Oppidum mentioned by the Greek historian and geographer Strabo in 1st century BC, placing it near the Via Valeria, which connected the Adriatic sea with Rome. The original settlement, from pre-Roman times was, however moved, to a higher position in late antiquity and in the early Middle Ages - to about 900 m above sea level, on the hill where the current village now is - for strategic reasons. The fort dates from the 12th century, when the tower was built in its summit location with houses around it together with the walls for defensive purposes. It provided protection to the population in times of siege took when they refuge within.