photo © Louise Shapcott
San Donato – The Lower Town
Piazza Carlo Coletti
In the centre of San Donato is the square Piazza Carlo Coletti. Here there is a sundial dating from 1891 and the War Memorial.
A weekly market is held on Sunday mornings in front of the Town Hall in Piazza Libertà, where there is a stone olive oil press and a curious fountain in the shape of the boot of Italy. There are two memorials, the first is in memory of the Jewish women and children that were sent to live in San Donato by the Germans during the Second World War, and who were later rounded up and sent to Auschwitz. The second memorial is dedicated to a heroic parachutist, Maurizio Simone, who was awarded a gold medal for his bravery.
The Geological Museum and Environmental Culture Centre is located in a wing of the old Franciscan Convent. The museum is open at weekends and on festival days.
Address: Viale Tenente Maurizio Simone. Tel: 340 8900435
The Museo Della Civiltà Contadina or Museum of Country Life, recalls rural and cultural traditions of times gone by. The museum is open at weekends and on festival days. Address:
Viale Tenente Maurizio Simone. Tel: 0776 512008 A Virtual Tour of the Museum
There are numerous paths that lead up into the mountains and also trails suitable for mountain-biking. Forca d’Acero is just half an hour’s drive away and offers spectacular panoramic views and is a take-off point for hang-gliders. During the winter months skiing facilities can be found at the local resorts of Forca d’Acero (1538 meters) and Pescasseroli (1167 metres) and the Prati di Mezzo (1450 metres above sea level).
San Donato borders the natural wilderness of the Parco Nazionale d’Abruzzo Lazio e Molise. The park’s headquarters are located in the historic centre of Pescasseroli in the province of L’Aquila. The protected natural park is renowned for its unspoiled nature.
San Donato is popular with summer visitors, city dwellers who want to escape the oppressive heat and enjoy the fresher mountain air and families of emigrants return to reconnect with their place of origin.
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