Thursday, April 30, 2009

The city of Chieti/La Città di Chieti

Photo credit: Fabrizio Costa -- Chieti Centro Storico

Feeling refreshed after an hours rest, we were ready to explore the city of Chieti (pronounced key-yay-tee). It is considered to be the main city of culture in Abruzzo, along with l’Aquila.

Chieti (see map) is a charming, elegant hilltop city with ancient streets and alleys, situated on the right bank of the Pescara River at 330 mt above sea level. It is one of the oldest cities in Italy, even older than Rome. It has a population of about 51,300 (as of 2017). The economy of the city is traditionally based on agriculture (cereals, vineyards and olive groves). It is enriched by traditions of handicrafts of artistic lace and beautiful ceramics.

From the hilltop part of the city called ‘High Chieti’ (Chieti Alta) you can visit historical sites, churches and monuments going back to the Roman era and some from Norman times.

The top ten sights in the city of Chieti are:

1.   The Cathedral of St Justin
2.   Remains of Roman Temples
3.   Church of St Francis
4.   Costantino Barbella Art Gallery
5.   Museo Universitario
6.   Archeological Museum - La Civitella with amphitheatre
7.   Remains of Thermal Baths
8.   Teatro Marrucino
9.   The Villa Comunale
10.  National Archeological Museum with the Warrior of Capestrano

The Cathedral of Saint Justin (dating back to the 9th century)
Cattedrale San Giustino

Remains of Roman Temples (2nd century BC)

The church of St Francis (13th century Baroque style)
Dome of St Francis church

Interior of church of St Francis
The Costantino Barbella Art Gallery

Museo Universitario

The modern Civitella Museum beside the well preserved Roman Amphitheatre is well worth a visit. In the summer they hold outdoor concerts here. There are also the remains of Roman Thermal Baths (currently under restoration) nearby. Further digs in Chieti have uncovered the core of Teate - the main town of the Marrucini, an ancient Italic tribe that became a Roman colony in the first century BC.

Amphitheatre Chieti
Terme Romane Chieti
Terme Romane Mosaic floor
Teatro Romano

And then there's my favourite, the Villa Comunale –- a beautiful park which is also home to the National Archeological Museum of Abruzzo.

I feel a special connection to this beautiful city because it was the first place that I visited in Italy back in 1994 and it feels "like home" for me there.

La Fontana Monumentale - Villa Comunale Chieti

Giardino della Villa Comunale

Neptune statue - Villa Comunale Chieti

My YouTube video of Chieti:

 Ci siamo sentiti rinfrescati dopo un’ora di riposo, e siamo stati pronti per esplorare la città di Chieti. È considerata, insieme all’Aquila, la città della cultura in Abruzzo.

Chieti, con una popolazione di circa 51.300 abitanti (2017) sorge su un colle a circa 330 metri sulla destra del fiume Pescara. Chieti è una delle città più antiche d’Italia, più antiche che Roma.

L’economia della città, tradizionalmente agricola (cereali, uva ed olive), si è arricchita tramite un fiorente artigianato delle belle ceramiche e dei merletti.

Dal colle che dà sulla città, detto ‘Chieti Alta’, si possono visitare siti storici, chiese e monumenti, risalenti all’epoca romana e quella dei normanni.

Fra tutti:

• La Cattedrale di San Giustino
• I Tempietti Romani
• La Chiesa di San Francesco
• La Pinacoteca Costantino Barbella
• Museo Archeologico - La Civitella con l'anfiteatro romano
• Le Terme Romane
• Museo Universitario
• Il Teatro Marrucino
• La Villa Comunale -- un bellissimo parco
• Il Museo Archeologico Nazionale d’Abruzzo con il Guerriero di Capestrano

Terme Romane Chieti

How to get to Chieti: Buses and trains leave you at Chieti Scalo down in the valley, from where it's a ten-minute bus journey up the hill to Chieti proper - 5km away. The no.1 bus stops near the Cathedral.


  1. You are pretty good at showing off Italy's finer points, Nora.

    Another place to add to my list, Chieti.



  2. Hope you make it down there one day Alex!

  3. Thank you for this! We will be in Chieti over night and wanted to know more about it. Love your blog.

  4. I'm happy that this information about beautiful Chieti will be of use to you. Enjoy your visit!