Along the highway 17 coming from the south, just past the five miles plateau, you can see the Peligna Valley in its entirety. The view extends from the Majella to East, the Sirente to west and, far away, the majestic chain of Gran Sasso: one of the best views of Abruzzo. Glancing down is clear who holds so much beauty: Pettorano sul Gizio. The village, immediately reveals itself in its origin. It was a point of defense with the powerful Cantelmo Castle, tower houses and the remains of the wall that surrounded the town.
The medieval origins of Pettorano are evident in the streets, squares, the steep stairs that descend into the sides of the hill on which it stands, but the place has certainly lived from prehistoric times to the "pagi" and "vici" of Roman times throughout the territory that, around 1000, came together in a single fortified conurbation to defend against Saracen raids giving rise to the battlements period.
In 1229 Pettorano was the protagonist in the long history in which the Emperor Frederick II was opposed to Pope Gregory IX, who with his army conquered the castle and laid siege to the nearby Sulmona. The feud lived and endured the struggles between Svevi and Angioini until the advent of Cantelmo family who owned Pettorano until the seventeenth century. To them we owe the new renaissance building providing the town with a wall with six gates of which still have five; it enriched the architectural panorama with new churches and palaces we can still admire today.
Walking through the ancient rue we get everytime in the same place, the precious Zanelli square, which once was the courtyard of ducal palace, nowdays town hall , it is accessed through two
opposite arched doorways, in the center of the square a beautiful seventeenth-century stone fountain. The open side, bordered by a railing, overlooks the enchanting Gizio valley and the Genziana
mountain that are part of the "Riserva Naturale Monte Alto Genzana Gizio " , an important corridor of union between the National Park of Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise with the Majella National Park .
The “Porta del Mulino” is the smallest among the accesses to the towns, leading to the headwaters of the Gizio river where the Cantelmo family builts the mills. An Industrial Archaeology Park preserves these factories beautifully restored in a picturesque setting from the nature point of view. From the Gizio sources born aqueducts supplying all Peligna Valley of plenty and good drinking water.