San Donato Val di Comino is one of the most impressive picturesque villages of the Parco Nazionale d'Abruzzo, which faces onto the Region of Lazio, characterized by steps, pathways, steep and narrow streets that lead to a widening or a small square, embellished by beautiful churches. City, already at the times of the Sanniti (ancient Italic population), known as "Cominium", was destroyed by Roman troops in 291 B.C. The cult of San Donato was imported by the Lombards in the VIII century, when the Benedictine monks decided to build a monastery dedicated to the saint, around which developed the first settlement ("Castrum Sancti Donati"). For the first time, the castle was registered in a document in 1269 and during the XIV century, the town became Barony. Between the XV and XVI centuries, the castle was scenario of disputes and clashes between the families Cantelmo, Cardona and Borgia. The centre reached a period of economic and cultural stability with the family Gallio, that administered the lands for about 200 years.
Sites of Interest:
- the remains of Cyclopean Walls, that date back to the Sannito period;
- the "Rock of Scandal" (XVI century) was a punishment site for insolvent debtors;
- the Medieval Tower, a major symbol of the town of San Donato, built in the XIII century by the D'Aquino, at the time Lords of the village, with a square shaped plan;
- the Arc of San Donato (XIV century), and the Porta dell'Orologio (gateway of the clock) of the XIII century;
- the Shrine of St. Donato, built originally as a small Benedictine abbey, assigned to Abbey of Montecassino, which features three naves with fine stucco and paintings of the XVIII century;
- the XIV century Cathedral in baroque style, enlarged in the XVIII century. Inside are preserved the remains of Santa Costanza;
- Palazzo Quadrari, with an XVIII century façade in Vanvitelliano style and Roman inscriptions on the walls of the main entrance staircase.