|This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the Italian Wikipedia. (February 2011)|
|Comune di Lanciano|
|Frazioni||Camicie, Colle Campitelli, Colle Pizzuto, Costa di Chieti, Follani, Fontanelle, Gaeta, Iconicella, Madonna del Carmine, Marcianese, Nasuti, Re di Coppe, Rizzacorno, Sabbioni, San Iorio, San Nicolino, Santa Croce, Santa Giusta, Santa Liberata, Santa Maria dei Mesi, Sant'Amato, Sant'Egidio, Sant'Onofrio, Serre, Serroni, Spaccarelli, Torre Marino, Torre Sansone, Villa Andreoli, Villa Carminello, Villa Elce, Villa Martelli, Villa Pasquini, Villa Stanazzo|
|• Mayor||Mario Pupillo (since May 16, 2011)|
|• Total||66 km2 (25 sq mi)|
|Elevation||265 m (869 ft)|
|Population (December 2011)|
|• Density||540/km2 (1,400/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Patron saint||Madonna del Ponte|
|Saint day||September 16|
The city is located on hills and its town territory covers 66 km² from Val di Sangro to Castelfrentano and . Its altitude is about 265 m above the sea level.
Regarding the climate, the temperature is about +4 °C in the Winter and +25 °C in the Summer. It usually snows 3 times a year. During the summer there can be sultry days.
The ancient Roman name of Lanciano was Anxanum, a city of the Frentani Italic tribe. The city is said to have been founded in 1181 BC by Solimus, a Trojan refugee arrived in Italy along with Aeneas. Legends aside, archaeological findings have shown that the area was settled from the 5th millennium BC.
Under the Frentani it was probably under the influence of Greater Greece. After the end of the Samnite Wars, which saw the Frentani allied with the Romans, Lancianum obtained the status of municipium. It was probably a flourishing commercial site, across an ancient and important trade route connecting Pescara to Apulia.
During the fall of the Western Roman Empire, Lanciano was sacked by the Goths, and was destroyed during the Lombard invasion (c. 571 AD). A new settlement was then created around a castle built by the new rulers. In 610, however, it was conquered by the Byzantines, who annexed it to the Duchy of Teate (Chieti) and allowed the trades to restart. In the late 8th century Lanciano was conquered by the Franks, who included it in the Duchy of Spoleto.
In 1060 the Normans made it a centre of the unified Kingdom of Sicily. Lanciano flourished again and in 1340 it was the largest city in Abruzzo with 6,500 inhabitants, renowned industries (ceramics, wool, silk, goldworks, ironworks), receiving important privileges by both Frederick II and his son Manfred, with a substantial administrative autonomy. Charles I, King of Sicily, assigned the revenues of the city's port to the Vatican Basilica. Later it was frequently at war with nearby Ortona.
It was here that Pope Gregory XII, fleeing from Cividale, landed on Neapolitan territory (1409), and went thence to Gaeta. After the end of the Italian Wars, the new Spanish rule and the shift of commerce due to the discovery of America impoverished Lanciano, which, in 1640, became a baronial possession.
During World War II it was an active center of the Resistance against the German occupation. On 6 October 1943 Italian citizens attacked German soldiers (revolt of the martyrs of October 1943). In 1952 it was awarded the Gold Medal to Military Valour by President Luigi Einaudi.
- Cathedral of Santa Maria del Ponte ("St. Mary of the Bridge"), so called because it is built on bridgework along a precipice: is the work of Michitelli (1619) and has some paintings by Pozzulaniello (Giacinto Diana). It houses also an 8th-century Byzantine statue portraying the Madonna, probably brought here during the iconoclast controversy.
- Chiesa di Santa Maria Maggiore, one of the most important architectural sites in Abruzzo. Built in 1227 according to Bourgogne-Cistercian lines, it was updated in 1540 in Baroque style, with the addition of two aisles and stucco decorations (recently stripped off). The main gate is from 1317.
- Chiesa di San Francesco (1258), built over a pre-existing 7th-century church. The high altar houses the relics of the Eucharistic Miracle.
- Chiesa di Sant'Agostino (1270). The façade has maintained the original rose window and the gate, while the single nave interior is a Baroque restoration.
- Chiesa di San Biagio (11th century) is the oldest church of the city. It has a bell tower and it's always opened on 3rd of February for the anointing of the throat, a Catholic rite linked to the cult Saint Biagio.
- Torri Montanare, a relic of the ancient walls (11th century). They consist in two massive towers, the most recent dating to the 15th century, offering a panoramic view of the area.
- Porta San Biagio (11th century), the only one gate remaining of the nine once existing.
- Torre civica (19th century), was built over a pre-existing tower next to the Cathedral. Nowadays it is a belfry and a clock tower.
- Torre Aragonese, (15th century) was a tower along the ancient walls.
- Palazzo dell'Arcivescovado, (16th century) is still the seat of the archbishop and houses a diocesan Museum.
- Botteghe medievali, was a house built in 1434. It has two floors and on the ground floor there are antique shops, with external bank according to the Roman use.
Apart from the city of Lanciano, the comune (municipality) of the same name contains 33 contrade. The population of the contrade has been estimated (as of 2005) at 12,682.
They are: Camicie, Colle Campitelli, Colle Pizzuto, Costa di Chieti, Follani, Fontanelle, Gaeta, Iconicella, Madonna del Carmine, Marcianese, Nasuti, re di Coppe, Rizzacorno, Sabbioni, San Iorio, Santa Croce, Santa Giusta, Santa Liberata, Santa Maria dei Mesi, Sant'Amato, Santa Nicolina, Sant'Egidio, Sant'Onofrio, Serre, Serroni, Spaccarelli, Torremarino, Torre Sansone, Villa Andreoli, Villa Carminello, Villa Elce, Villa Martelli, Villa Pasquini, Villa Stanazzo.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Lanciano.|
- Population data from Istat