|Comune di Guglionesi|
|• Mayor||Bartolomeo Antonacci|
|• Total||100 km2 (40 sq mi)|
|Elevation||369 m (1,211 ft)|
|Population (Dec. 2004)|
|• Density||53/km2 (140/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
The historical origins of Guglionesi go back to the 4th century BC. In ancient times, it was known as Uscosium or Usconium and together with Pescara, Ortona, Lanciano, Vasto and Larino, it was one of the most important centers of the Frentani, an Italic people allied to the Samnites.
Thanks to its strategic position along the Via Frentana-Traiana, Usconium became, towards the end of the Republican Era, a Municipium, and, according to historical documents, had nearly 25,000 inhabitants.
In the 412 AD Colleniso became New Usconium and was encircled by protection walls in the period of Longobardo. After that, the most important fortification was raised in the 9th century, when Robert Guiscard took hold of the city. In that period eighteen watchtowers and two castles were erected. The first castle was located along Via Capitano Verri, where its ruins can still be seen today. The second castle is in Castellara. After the destruction of the second castle, upon what was left of the castle foundations, the Convent of the Cappuccini was constructed.
In the 801 AD Colleniso was submitted to the Duke of Spoleto, and endured various incursions from part of Saracen raiders. In the 1137 AD. it endured the pillage from Emperor Lothair II. In the 1315 King Robert of Anjou gave Collenisio to his brother Peter, Count of Gravina, and at his death, his daughter Agnese inherited the city. In 1340 she founded the Certosa of Saint Giovanni Battista, also known as Porta del Paradiso (The Heaven’s door) and as the Hermitage of Saint John. In this time the city was repeatedly invaded; its name was also changed from Colleniso to Guillonisi.
In 1496, after the death of René of Anjou, his cousin Charles VIII of France descended to Italy with a large army and conquered Naples. The French entered Guillonisi and plundered the entire village, demolished the two castles and the towers and killed most of the people. Another particularly invasion occurred in the 16th century by the Turks, who set afire, among the other things, the church of Saint Maria Maggiore, and consequently the relics of St. Adam housed in the church were destroyed and lost.
Guglionesi is served by a railway station on the Termoli–Venafro line.
- All demographics and other statistics: Italian statistical institute Istat.