a village among the most beautiful in Italy
Our beautiful village, among the most beautiful in Italy, which today is immersed in the serenity and silence of nature, was once a chaotic crowd of passersby, shepherds, merchants, craftsmen, a time in which the Medici family ruled over Sessiano and most of L’Aquila.
The prominent Medici family, so prominent that they were recently the subject of a TV series were the great rulers of Florence, involved in the most important political events of the Renaissance; thanks to their remarkable strategies, they reached Abruzzo and left important traces along the way.
It was at the end of 15th century when the entire Barony of Carapelle, which also included the Carapelle Calvisio, Castelvecchio Calvisio, Calascio and Rocca Calascio, passed from the Aragonese into the hands of Francesco de Medici and remained in the hands of the family until the middle of the eighteenth century. Thanks to their influence, Santo Stefano di Sessiano became a very rich and important centre, dedicated to the rearing of sheep for wool, which was then worked in Florence and sold throughout the world
Imagine all the hills surrounding us buzzing with sheep and shepherds, and merchants bargaining in the square over the price of wool or clothing, and the elegance of the curtains in the mansion and the reverence to the passage of the lord.
But the Medici family did not just improve the economic power of Sessanio, they also made their mark on the architecture of the town, leaving it elegant and refined, still admired today. Starting with the Medici Palace, built by the Medici family as a mansion residence. Currently used as a restaurant, the magnificent stone building has two large bastions and two mullioned windows of late Gothic-style. The building’s facade, which faces towards the village, is decorated with loggia. Near the Medici Palace is the Mother Church, initially built as a Medici chapel as the Medici coat of arms on the architrave demonstrates, unmistakeable with the Renaissance-style facade, with its composite and classical proportions. The same Medicean coat of arms is also displayed on the city gate, an all-round archway, which was once used as a lookout.
The influence of the Medici family has also had an influence on the town’s appearance and its collective imagination, even on the medieval ancient tower, the symbol of the city, currently being restored, which is erroneously called the Medicean tower. Originally a lookout tower, circular and crenellated on the top in a twentieth-century style, is made of mountain stone that gives it its unique charm.
To find out more, enjoy our guided tours of the historic centre throughout the summer and admire the beauty of the province’s Renaissance, the harmony between nature and architecture, the ancient splendour of our Sessanio, today undergoing careful restoration, a project that we have combined with our Sextantio Albergo Diffuso hotel.