|Lanciano, the town of Miracle, art, music and fairs
The town of Lanciano boasts a millennial history. It was founded, earlier than Rome , by Solima, mythical companion of Enea, that called it Anxanon in honor of his brother Anxa
The ancient town stretched over three hills, in sight of the Adriatic sea and the Majella mountain, divided into four quarters, with nine gates, along the ancient walls, and nine fountains.
It became a Roman municipality in the second century b.C. and became famous over the centuries for its nundinae or trade fairs, thanks to which Lanciano has always been a vital center of trade.
In the following centuries it continued to be an important inhabitated area, as testament to this there is the Roman Diocletian bridge, the bold bridge, that supports the Cathedral with its powerful arches and that has joined for centuries the city center to the "fairs meadow".
At the fall of the Roman Empire the Bizantian and Longobardic domination followed. In the 13th century Lancianowent throug a period of great vitality above all due to the policies of Federico II. It was elevated to "civitas" status in the 16th century.
For centuries the heart of the town has been the Piazza Plebiscito, in which the quarters of the old historic centre merge with the newer part of this lively town. Some emblem-buildings, as the Cathedral, the Church of Miracle, the City Hall, the Civic Tower, the Fenaroli Theatre look on the square. The life of town has developed around the historic quarters that still today conserve their primitive conformation and that give testament to artistic and cultural vitality of this ancient frentanian centre through its numerous and precious monuments.
Between the last years of the 18th century and the beginnig of the 19th due to economic and demographic growth, the town developed strongly towards the period dominated by its trade fairs, giving life to the new part of town.
The nundinae, the Lanciano's trade fairs
Always renowned for its "nundinae", at trade fairs of Lanciano merchants from all over Italy found hospitality both for themselves and their wares.
The importance of the trade fairs of Lanciano acquired during the centuries, pushed King Ferdinando to release the edict of 1515 that guaranteed and legitimised the hospitality of merchants of any race or religion. This attitude of openness on the part of citizens with regard to peoples of different culture and origin, made the city warm and welcoming, characteristics that can still today be attributed to its inhabitants.
The trade fairs took place in what is now the newer part of the town that from the Piazza Plebiscito crossing Corso della Bandiera, brings you to the "Prato della Fiera". On the occasion of a trade fair the Mastrogiurato was invested. He was a special person who, working alongside the mayor, oversaw the city during this period and made sure that everyone respected the laws.
Visit to the historical centre of town
The visit to the historic city centre can really mean a return to old emotions and feelings because you can still go and visit the ancient monuments and precious that the city preserves with care and attention
The ideal starting point is Piazza Plebiscito, around which the city has been organizing over time and which is the vital point. Until a few years ago, in fact, the village was enclosed within solid walls, torn down to allow the opening of the city toward the new.
Starting precisely from Piazza Plebiscito the visitor can reach the ancient medieval four districts that formed the ancient city: Lancianovecchia, Civitanova, Sacca and Borgo and admire the ancient alleys, shops and churches, the towers, the fountains, the doors of access to city, the ancient walls.
Piazza Plebiscito's tour cannot finish to the topside of the square. Archeological trail ,placed beneath the square, could be really fascinating. Findings confirmed that there had been a first phase during the Roman era. Walls structure's remains of late Roman era confirmed the tradition which affirms that the Cathedral was built over a bridge, and that this bridge was built during Diocleziano's empire.
Clearly visible is the rebuilding's period in 1138, during Lotario II's era, after the destruction of the bridge occurred in 1088. In the same period was built Santa Maria in Platea's Church after called Annunziata.
From age to age the aerea of the bridge, the Church and the place in which the Miracle happened, is began lower than the current level of the square. Thanks to archeological works it has been possible to descover the underneath parts concering the former medioeval compound,which came before the Franciscan settlement. To prove the existence of this period, very important is the wall painting representing the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
Saints Diocleziano and Legonziano's Church, knew as Saint Legonziano's Church, was donated to Franciscan. Presently Minor monk's of the convent take care of the Church and of the Eucharist's Miracle. Whereas the Cathedral dedicated to Santa Maria del Ponte (Saint Mary of the Bridge), represented an incomparable building, because wholly realized over Diocleziano's bridge.
Lanciano and the Music
The passion for the Music of Lanciano's people is greatly famous. In Lanciano was born Ippolito Sabino, great artist of the seventeenth century, Fedele Fenaroli, eighteenth century musician, Francesco Masciangelo, nineteenth century's composer. Another important composer related to the town is Friar Maria Cipollone, lived in the Nineteenth century.
There are a lot of association, founded to the purpose of encourage the interest to the music,such as the Masciangelo's study centre, or the Association Friends of the Music Fedele Fenaroli. This association coordinates and organizes the Frentanian musical summer and also summer musical classes, which gather a lot of musicians from all over the world.
From this passion for the music was born the Cittadella della musica, a big compound built on the aerea a time occupied from Saint Giovina's prisons. Moreover, in the Church of Saint Giovina was kept a precious organ, perfectly renovated, which is presently employed for the major concerts.