Chieti traces its origins back to about 1000 B.C. when it was settled by the Marrucini, a people who came from Marsica and settled near the Pescara River.
Marrucini’s settlement had a good relationship with Rome and the two were allied against Gallic and Pirro. Then Marrucini allied with the Italics and fought against Rome. The Romans beat the Italics and Marrucini and founded the Municipium Teate. During the Roman Age, some wonderful buildings were erected in Teate, some of which are on view still today.
After the end of Roman Empire, Goths and Normans invaded Chieti. Under Carlo I d’Angiò, Chieti became the Abruzzo Citra’s capital. After the 1656 pestilence, Chieti had a re-birth in the 18th century; at which time wonderful palaces sprouted up around the city.
Chieti is on an airy hill surrounded by the Abruzzo and Maiella mountains, Gran Sasso and the Pescara River valley. The city is about 15km from Adriatic Sea. The surrounding landscape is a collage of hills, mountains, areas of archaeological interest and coastline. The hinterland is dotted with ancient villages whose economy is based on farming, crafts and tourism.
The coastline, which is about 100 km long, is popular with tourists but retains its natural beauty.
Chieti is littered with reminders of the past. Medieval times saw the construction of San Giustino Cathedral which was built on an ancient pagan temple and, after being destroyed by fire, was lovingly reconstructed about two centuries ago. The most important pieces of local architectures though are from the 17th century. Medieval churches like San Francesco della Scarpa and San Agostino were built in the baroque style and are full of beautiful paintings and stunning architectural detail.
Corso Marrucino is Chieti’s most important street as it leads to the wonderful Palazzo de Majo, one of the most significant examples of lay baroque architecture in the city, with decorative elements of the 17th and 18th centuries.
Teatro Marrucino was opened in 1818 and is Abruzzo’s most ancient theatre. It was declared the opera house of Abruzzo and has a very popular music season. Chieti is considered a centre of culture, nature and tradition as it has grown into a modern city with an industrial area and a very important centre of learning, the Gabriele d’Annunzio University.
According to the cities mayor, Francesco Ricci, Eurobasket Women 2007 will be a very important opportunity for Abruzzo. Chieti’s aim will be to “give to national teams, to players and to basketball lovers a gentle and hearty welcome as is usual for our region”.