Capestrano (Abruzzese: Capëstranë) is a comune and small town with 885 inhabitants (2017), in the Province of L'Aquila, Abruzzo, Italy. It is located in the Gran Sasso e Monti della Laga National Park.

Comune di Capestrano
Capestrano 01.jpg
Location of Capestrano
Capestrano is located in Italy
Location of Capestrano in Italy
Capestrano is located in Abruzzo
Capestrano (Abruzzo)
Coordinates: 42°16′10″N 13°46′0″E / 42.26944°N 13.76667°E / 42.26944; 13.76667Coordinates: 42°16′10″N 13°46′0″E / 42.26944°N 13.76667°E / 42.26944; 13.76667
ProvinceL'Aquila (AQ)
FrazioniCapodacqua, Forca di Penne, Santa Pelagia, Scarafano
 • MayorAntonio D'Alfonso
 • Total43.66 km2 (16.86 sq mi)
465 m (1,526 ft)
 (30 April 2017)[3]
 • Total877
 • Density20/km2 (52/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Dialing code0862
Patron saintSt. John of Capestrano
Saint day23 October
WebsiteOfficial website



In the necropolis the statue of the "Warrior of Capestrano" (6th century BC) was found during the work in a field by a farmer. The 2.09-metre (6.9 ft) tall statue depicts an early Italic warrior in full gear, the King of the Vestini tribe, Naevius Pompuledius, executed by the sculptor Aninis. Now the statue is on display in the National Archaeological Museum of the Abruzzi in Chieti.


Capestrano borders with the municipalities of Brittoli, Bussi sul Tirino, Carapelle Calvisio, Castelvecchio Calvisio, Collepietro, Corvara, Navelli, Ofena, Pescosansonesco and Villa Santa Lucia degli Abruzzi.

It includes four civil parishes (frazioni): Capodacqua, Forca di Penne, Santa Pelagia and Scarafano.

Main sightsEdit

Abbey of St. Peter ad OratoriumEdit

Front door of St Peter ad Oratorium in Capestrano

The Benedictine Abbey of St. Peter ad Oratorium is on the bank of Tirino river, 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) from Capestrano. The church was built in AD 752 as part of the monastery of St Vincenzo al Volturno, by the Lombard king Desiderius. The religious building was edified in the 12th century. It is a church with a nave, two side aisles and a choir. There is only one entrance door with a lintel decorated with vegetal motif. Onto the romanic portal there are two marble relief with the figures of David and St. Vincent Deacon. The façade has a marble square inscription of the Sator Square in Latin. In the 15th century it was abandoned by the monks.

Piccolomini or Mediceo CastleEdit

The castle was built in the 13th century, on the hill next to the Tirino river and the Abbey of St. Peter ad Oratorium in a strategic position at 505 m above sea level. It was a feud of Tolomeo di Raiano in 1240, and was granted to the Acquaviva family in 1284 by Charles I of Angio (King Charles I of Sicily). Riccardo d'Acquaviva was thus named marquis of Capestrano. In 1462 the Castle passed on to Marquis Antonio I Todeschini Piccolomini d'Aragona (d. 1493), nephew of Pope Pius II, who enlarged the castle with new towers with battlements. In 1579 Marquess Costanza Piccolomini, daughter of Innico Piccolomini, sold the castle to Francesco I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany. In 1743 the Castle passed on to Charles III of Spain in his capacity as Charles III Bourbon, King of Naples and the two Sicilies. In 1860 the Castle passed on to the Savoyard King of Italy.

Lake of CapodacquaEdit

In the frazione of Capodacqua is located the homonym little lake, locally famous for the presence of the ruins of submerged mills.[4]

Notable peopleEdit

  • Saint Giovanni da Capistrano (John of Capistrano), an Italian friar, theologian and inquisitor was born here in 1386.
  • The Italian-born American composer Dalmazio Santini (1923–2001) was born in Capestrano.
  • Eugene Victor Alessandroni was born in Capestrano in 1887. He emigrated with his family to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1890. He was a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School. In 1927 he became the first Italian-American judge in Pennsylvania when he was appointed to the Court of Common Pleas, 1st district of Pennsylvania. He was elected judge Court of Common Pleas, 1st District of Pennsylvania, for term, 1928-1938, re-elected for terms, 1938-1958.

Twin CitiesEdit

Photo galleryEdit


  1. ^ "Superficie di Comuni Province e Regioni italiane al 9 ottobre 2011". Istat. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  2. ^ "Popolazione Residente al 1° Gennaio 2018". Istat. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  3. ^ All demographics and other statistics: Italian statistical institute Istat.
  4. ^ (in Italian) Article on

External linksEdit