|Comune di Pretoro|
|Frazioni||Colle Pagnotto, Passo Lanciano, Ponte|
|• Total||26 km2 (10 sq mi)|
|Elevation||560 m (1,840 ft)|
|• Density||43/km2 (110/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Saint day||6 May|
Pretoro is a town of about 1,100 inhabitants situated in Majella National Park, in the province of Chieti, Abruzzo region. Though geographically in central Italy, the Abruzzi were a constituent part of the Kingdom of Naples and thus the Mezzogiorno. To this day it is considered by no less than ISTAT (Istituto Nazionale di Statistica) to be part of southern Italy. It is located on a steep hillside on the eastern side of the Maiella mountains. Its proximity to the ski slopes of Passo Lanciano, guarantees the availability of winter sports, while the town is also only 20 minutes by car from the Adriatic Sea.
The area in which Pretoro is located has been occupied since prehistoric times; remains from that period have been found here, as well as inscriptions in Latin from the Roman era. The first documented mention of the town is in a 12th-century record. Pretoro's name may derive from the word "preta", an earlier form of the word "pietra" or stone. The town stands on a rocky landscape that does not lend itself to farming. Because the town is surrounded by beech-forest, the people of Pretoro have specialized over the centuries in woodcarving.
Pretoro is composed of a cluster of stone buildings which climb the steep mountainside; the oldest part of the town is at the highest point, while down below is a newer section.
The most important memento of Pretoro's past is the 13th century Sanctuary of the Madonna della Mazza, located a little above the town. This was a hermitage built by Benedictine and Cistercian monks from Santa Maria Arabona at Manoppello. An important work of art is the 16th century sculpture of the Pietà preserved in the church of San Nicola.
Within the town's territory is a nature preserve, the Riserva Naturale Valle del Foro.
The townsfolk spoke their own dialect with some very interesting pronunciations for words and/or expressions. For example, the translation for the following would be:
There have been several books published also, including a 'census' from 1745.
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