Dallo “Speciale su Torricella Peligna” realizzato nel 1994 da:
Gino Di Tizio
Francesco Giannini
Domenico Bernabei


Interview with the Mayor Davide Piccoli –

                    “There are Many Ways to Promote Tourism”

 The (1994) Mayor of Torricella Peligna is Davide Piccoli.
“On speaking about my village I would like to begin with one fact; a highly significant fact: 5 years ago (1989) there were 2,050 inhabitants in Torricella Peligna, but now (1994) there are only 1,800. This is something that should make us stop and think about life in the village and which should stimulate us to produce factors for change. We have new possibilities, linked with tourism: this is an important outlet for Torricella; I would say it is decisive in enabling us to achieve a better future.

 Until 20 or 30 years ago the village tended to be chiefly agricultural. Then, as factories began to be set up within the Sangro valley, many people were able to find a position in these industrial works and so the economy of our centre changed as it adapted to the new situation.  The commuter phenomenon arose but was hindered by the poor road network. Thus many people, I would say far too many, were forced to leave our village.  Currently work is being carried out on the roads leading to Torricella: let’s hope that things will improve sufficiently for us also to be able to develop the tourism that we so strongly wish to offer.”

 But what does Torricella Peligna have to offer?
 “There are many things, to begin with the fact that it lies at a height of 910 metres above sea level, in a very beautiful zone, on the borders of the Parco della Maiella (Maiella National Park).

  Then we have a Pinewood which is amongst the most beautiful in all of Italy and both within the village and nearby there are some very interesting historic and archaeological sites, such as Juvanum.

 Here in ancient times important civilisations developed. The helmet of Torricella Peligna[1] is one of the star items at the Museum. In our territory many discoveries have been made which we are hoping to display in the space that we are setting up to be our own little Museum. We shall also be able to display the Mummy which was found during the restoration works in the Parish Church, another wonderful finding of which we can be proud.

 In the village one can eat really well and our hospitality is traditional. Agritourism has been developed too. Four farms now offer food and lodging for up to 35 visitors and we have 3 hotels each with 20 bedrooms. I mentioned the Pinewood which is truly attractive; all the forestation represents our “flower in the buttonhole” – and from this point of view we can do even more to safeguard and expand our trees whether planted or natural.

 The development of the Maiella National Park will provide us with further opportunities. We aim to develop linked activities since we are on the borders of the protected zone.”

 What is the greatest problem affecting Torricella Peligna? 
“It is unemployment, as in many other parts of this region.  It could be resolved, however, if we were able to set up local crafts and craftsman to service the tourism industry. If we can involve about twenty families that will be a huge step forwards.

 Another age-old problem for the village is the poor road network. But something has already been done about that in recent times and we are hoping the situation will be vastly improved in the near future.”

 Finally, let’s talk about the future: what is around the corner for Torricella Peligna?
 “We shall develop serious projects to bring tourism to the village, the building of an infrastructure capable of fulfilling the already existing possibilities. We are no longer just at the level of planning: construction of a picnic area is already being undertaken; nearby there is an agritourism centre that has built up a horse-riding track. Other enterprises are being organised to make the stay for holidays in Torricella Peligna more comfortable both in summer and in winter. In this way the village not only will stop losing inhabitants, but it will also return to life once more. Our territory is stunning, rich in natural and archaeological treasures: this is not a land to leave behind, but one to come to, where one can learn a different and exciting way of living. Try it and see….”

Translator's Note
a bronze helmet of the 6th Century A.D. thought to belong to an Ostrogoth warrior - from the times when the Lombards, Longobards or Langobards, an ancient Germanic people, came from southern Sweden and worked their way down into Italy where they established permanent German rule, but became Italians in the process, giving their name to the northern Italian region of Lombardia.

The Lombards had to deal with several earlier waves of German invaders (particularly the Goths, Ostrogoths and Visigoths) as well as the resurgent Eastern Romans (who were a power in Italy into the 8th century).

From the “Special on Torricella Peligna” created in 1994 by:
Gino Di Tizio
Francesco Giannini
Domenico Bernabei

Translation courtesy of Dr. Marion Apley Porreca