Valle Piola

42°41’52’N 13°34’37’E

Valle Piola is a deserted village in the province of Teramo, in the Abruzzo region of central Italy. It is a frazione of the comune of Torricella Sicura. Having been abandoned in 1977, all that remains are 9 abandoned houses, a church, and the ruins of a shepherds’ shelter. The village has recently received renewed interest from the Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga National Park authorities with the aim of restoring and revitalizing the village and its environs.

Perhaps the first written document mentioning Valle Piola dates back to the year 1059. Early records show that the area surrounding Valle Piola, along with the adjoining lands of Monti della Laga enjoyed a semi-autonomous status.

Because of its isolated nature, the people of Valle Piola were by necessity very self-sufficient. Since it took several long hours by foot or mule to reach the nearest good sized town, Teramo, they also had to be well organized and prepared for the hardships they faced, especially those encountered in the long, cold winter months.

Many of the people from Valle Piola were illiterate and spoke a Lombardic dialect which was virtually incomprehensible to residents of the neighboring villages.

From the 13th century until the time of the Italian Risorgimento (unification), Valle Piola served as a meeting center and hideout for armed brigands who made this area their home, this area being ideally suited for such purposes. These groups demanded total loyalty to their cause thus leading both to squabbles amongst the various brigand factions as well as to clashes with the sovereign forces whose task was to uphold the law.

During the Second World War the Italian resistance fighters staged in this area, along with Bosco Martese and other nearby forest tracts of Monti della Laga in their struggles against the occupying German forces.

In present times the area surrounding Valle Piola is used mainly for the grazing of livestock. In the summer months a herdsman watches over the animals day and night and a shelter for protection from the elements has recently been constructed. – Wikipedia

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