Abbateggio is around a 40 minute drive from Abruzzo Villas and worth a stop for a walk around. The charm of Abbateggio is its narrow lanes and stone houses and the Abbateggio Parish Church of San Lorenzo and the Abbateggio Sanctuary of the Madonna lell’Elcina which was built in the 15th century after a local from Abbateggio saw a vision of the Virgin Mary in a tree.
The people are friendly and on this trip when I tried entering a church I asked a passing by old lady as to when it would open and by coincidence she happened to be the “custodian” of the key to the San Lorenzo church that dates back to the 16th century (and currently under renovation). With a heavy Abruzzese accent she smiled and asked me to wait while she walked back to her house to get the key.
The church is named after the Abbategio’s patron saint of San Lorenzo and on August 10 there is a celebration that honors the patron of Abbateggio. Also on September 7, 8 and 9 there is another festa where Abbateggio honors the Madonna del Carmine, the Madonna dell’Elcina and of course San Lorenzo. The procession is called “Processione delle Conche” where the women of Abbateggio carry vessels filled with flowers on their heads.
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