Scanno (Scannë in the local dialect) is a town in the province of L’Aquila with a population of 1,948. The town, which is located on the Marsicani mountains and partly in the Parco Nazionale d’Abruzzo, Lazio e Molise, is a member of the Comunità Montana Peligna, a local association of mountain municipalities.
Scanno attracts visitors in both winter and summer. Nearby attractions include the lake of the same name (although most of it is located in Villalago territory), the ski resorts at Passo Godi and Monte Rotondo, the Mount Greco plateaus, Lake Pantaniello and, of course, the Riserva Naturale Guidata Gole del Sagittario.
In the town’s historic centre are many goldsmiths’ shops—so many, in fact, that the street on which they are located (known locally as la ciambella because of its rounded form) could be called “goldsmiths’ street”.
Scanno was a favourite destination of many Italian and foreign authors, but was especially popular among photographers. Throughout the 20th century, its landscape and inhabitants were immortalized in famous photographs by Hilde Lotz-Bauer, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Mario Giacomelli, Gianni Berengo Gardin, Ferdinando Scianna and many others. In 1964, a photograph taken in Scanno by Mario Giacomelli was included in a prestigious photography exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The image was given the title Il bambino di Scanno or Scanno Boy.
Monuments and attractions:
- The church of Santa Maria della Valle
- The church of San Rocco
- The church of Sant’Eustachio
- The church of San Giovanni Battista
- The church of Sant’Antonio da Padova
- The church of San Michele Arcangelo
- The church of Sant’Antonio Abate
- The church of the Madonna di Costantinopoli
- The church of the Madonna delle Grazie
- The church of the Annunziata
- The little church of the Alpini
- The church of San Liborio
- The church of San Lorenzo in Jovana
- The hermitage of Sant’Egidio
- The Sarracco fountain
- The Pisciarello fountain
- The Museo della Lana (wool museum)
- The Museo delle Arti e Tradizioni Popolari (museum of folk art and traditions, located in the nearby village of Frattura)
The town’s numerous old buildings, doorways and archways are also of interest.
- Le Prata: This locality, situated near the upper Tasso River, offers many trails of varying difficulty that begin on Mount Marsicano and end at the top of the Terratta Mountain.
- Jovana: This pagus, or village, was inhabited from the early 15th century. Today, all that is left is the church of San Lorenzo, the ruins of a tower, and remnants of rural dwellings. The local economy is based on livestock raising, agriculture and farm B&Bs. The place comes to life from August 7 to 10, during the Feast of San Lorenzo.
- Passo Godi: This mountain pass is located 1630 metres above sea level. It has downhill ski runs, a 10-km cross-country ski trail, and a ridge at the top of Mount Scalone that is popular with mountain climbers. Nearby sights include a giant beech tree and a refuge at a location known as “Ze Messe”.
- Monte Rotondo: Also known as “Collerotondo,” this mountain has two refuges and the church of the Alpini. An outdoor concert is held there in the summer. In the early 2000s, a small deer park, the Oasi Faunistica dei Cervi, was established near the artificial lake that is used to make snow for the nearby ski hills. Three deer live in the park.
- Lago di Scanno: The lake has a surface area of about 1 km2 and a depth of about 32 m.
Celebrations and festivals:
- Ju Catenacce: A re-enactment of the traditional Scanno marriage ceremony in period costume; it is held on August 14.
- The Fiaccolata: A celebration in the evening of August 24 during which fireworks are set off on the lake.
- The Glorie: Tall towers made of wood and twigs that are lighted on Saint Martin’s Day.
- At Christmas, the townspeople set up a living crib whose participants wear traditional local costume. On New Year’s Eve, the local ski school organizes a torchlight outing.
- Scanno has hosted a photography festival since 1998, called Scanno dei Fotografi.