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On 21, 22 and 23 august from 18.00 to 23.00 free tour of archaeological Lanciano and of the Lancianonovecchia quarter scheduled every hour starting from Auditorium Diocleziano; the itinerary is the following:

The Diocletian Bridge

The first bridge was built and intended to go beyond the Pietrosa valley which has been found in archaeological excavation digs in the Cathedral in 1785 and handed down to us by the historian Omobono Bocache, who tells us of a Roman bridge built by the Senate and the people of Anxanum which they dedicated to Diocletian. The majestic structure that today we can admire is a complex series of work carried out between the 13th and 14th centuries. The primitive chapel is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. In 1513, the second bridge was built next to the other one. In 1520 it was covered by vaults so; the upper level was expanded to the church of the Madonna del Ponte.

In 1583 the 3rd passageway, called the corridor, was opened. It was a pedestrian walkway that connected the square to Corso Bandiera. The bridge for many centuries was the only link between the town and the fair. In 1905 Trento and Trieste Street was built. From 1973 the century bridge was restored to be used as an auditorium for summer music courses. As a result of this architectural evolution the Italian post dedicated a stamp. Our visit continues on Piazza Plebiscito where we find the town hall and the Basilica.

Saint Longino and The Archaeological walk

Near the Eucharistic Miracle Sanctuary in Plebiscito square recent work has revealed a huge barrel-vaulted room dating back to the (11th and 12th) centuries from the Benedictines to the present day Franciscans, dedicated to Saint Longino. There are also some paintings of Saint Antony and Saint John the Baptist and the head of the Virgin Mary. On one wall to your right in this eighteenth century church, there is a fourteenth century fresco depicting the crucifixion. To your left there is a large square hall once the seat of the brotherhood of the Raccomandati below the sacristy of Saint Francis with paintings about the end of the 15th Century with scenes of Apocalisse. From the church of Saint Francis it's possible to reach Plebiscito square where archeological digs have brought to light connecting corridors, passageways and rooms under the existing old Town Square. Going down some steeps one can reach the area of the excavations conducted in the 20th century. On the left one can see underground stone structures which held wheat. On the right there are blocks of stone with signs from the violent earthquakes that hit the town in 1456. Proceeding along this route which is like a knotted maze under Plebiscito Square you meet the ancient medieval bridge dedicated to the Virgin Maria of modesty instead of the Divine Majesty of the Emperor Diocletian and remains of Imperial Rome. Going back to the Piazza, you can see the Basilica, that apparently is built on the ground but actually it is entirely built on a bridge, the Diocletian Bridge.

Piazza del Plebiscito and the Town Hall

It existed between the cathedral and saint Francis' church, this gave way to a new starting point for Lanciano in the 20th century. Overlooking the Unità d'Italia Square is the town hall. The frontage of the square was renovated between 1868 and 1869. Next to this there is the "Casa di Conversazione", an institution dating back to the 18th century. The private rooms at the club were enlarged between 1900 and 1901 and a ballroom was made, below this there was the town's first cinema, now called The Mazzini Hall. After the Second World War war the town hall was extended and raised.

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