S. Demetrio De' Vestini

The station of S. Demetrio De’ Vestini inaugurated in 1875, is in the Aterno Valley, lower than the plateau where the town stands (662 m).

Curiously, the name of the station differs slightly from the official name of the municipality.

In the territory of the current municipality of L'Aquila, once resided the Vestini, an Italic population, which entirely occupied the Aterno Valley.

In the Middle Ages the castle of Sinizzo, now disappeared, participated in the foundation of the city of L'Aquila as a founding fortification, occupying the fourth of Santa Giusta. Later it fell under the control of L'Aquila, managed to get rid of it only during the first half of the fifteenth century, with the foundation of the University. Since then, the municipality began to develop demographically and economically thanks to cereal cultivation. It was at this time that the important local aristocratic families of the Cappelli, Cappa, Marimpietri and Visca began to emerge. 

Of high artistic value are the medieval and modern churches, which characterize the ancient village. Cradle of chronological stratifications is Saint Demetrius of Thessalonica, called "the basin" and erected in the southern area. Dating back to the Middle Ages, it was completely renovated and adapted to the Baroque taste in the seventeenth century. In the small historic center stands the church of Santa Maria dei Raccomandati, built in 1820 by the Cappelli family: a Latin cross layout and baroque architecture characterize the building. Inside, the paintings by Teofilo Patini contribute to enrich the church: Miracolo della croce and Carlo Borromeo visiting the dying.

Near San Demetrio ne' Vestini the Stiffe Caves are located, a complex of karst caves, included in the natural park Sirente-Velino. The caves are a unicum for central Italy: used since the Bronze Age, these cavities revealed new potential at the beginning of the twentieth century. Once he became aware of a waterway inside, Alfonso Cappelli decided to install a hydroelectric power plant, of which some remains are still visible today. After the Second World War, once the plant was dismantled, speleological expeditions began: the first group of speleologists was from the Marches, followed by a Roman and one from L’Aquila.

Progetto Realizzato da: Riattivati Youth Cultural Association 

With contributions from: FAI – Fondo per l’Ambiente Italiano ETS, INTESA SANPAOLO, Rotary Club Rieti 

Thanks To the promotion comittee: Amici di Rieti, Associazione Culturale Giovanile Riattivati,  Rotary Club Rieti e Associazione Collezionisti “Sabatino Fabi”