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Situated in a dominant position with respect to the Sagittarius' Gorges under the mountain group of Mount Genzana, the village of Villalago collects in its territory historical evidences dating back to time peligna and Roman times, as well as an interesting natural environment, formed by the Lake Scanno and from the Sagittarius' Gorges.
  • Blue Flag
  • Village in the mountain
  • Village on a lake
  • Suitable for disabled people
  • Camper parking area
  • Most beautiful villages in Italy
Villalago  |
Villalago  |
Villalago  |
Villalago  | Vincenzo De Simone
Vincenzo De Simone
Old tower   |
Old tower
The St. Domenico hermitage in the gorges of the Sagittario river  |
The St. Domenico hermitage in the gorges of the Sagittario river
A look at Villalago
A look at Villalago
Lake of San Domenico Villalago AQ  | Francesco Filice - e-borghi Community
Lake of San Domenico Villalago AQ
Francesco Filice - e-borghi Community

About the village

Hiding within its centuries-old contours the history and nature of Abruzzo, the village of Villalago offers its visitors an authentic experience of immersion in the past and scenic beauty. This enchanting location, listed among Italy's Most Beautiful Villages and perched over 900 meters above sea level, promises an escape from everyday life under the banner of quiet and rural charm.

Historical and cultural gems
Beginning the discovery of Villalago, one immediately comes across the imposing medieval Rocca Medievale, once a Lombard defensive bulwark, now returned to the community as the main body of the fortress: the Palazzo Baronale, now home to the Museo dei Mestieri, where one can breathe in the atmosphere of Abruzzo's rural tradition.

Definitely worth a visit is the Church of Our Lady of Loreto, which, with its Romanesque features and Baroque interior, holds works of sacred art and the statue of St. Dominic of Sora, patron saint of the nearby crystal-clear Lake San Domenico.

Natural wonders
Of course, one cannot talk about Villalago without mentioning its lakes: Pio, Scanno and San Domenico. The latter, a man-made oasis of peace, invites restorative walks and scenic contemplations. The characteristic heart-shaped Lake Scanno captures the loves and cameras of anyone who glimpses it, while Lake Pio lends itself to playful moments for families and wayfarers.

The paths and vistas, which open up along the lakeshore or among the trails leading to the peaks overlooking the village, are a real draw for lovers of trekking and nature photography.

Food and wine and traditions
Villalago's food and wine, enriched by its connection to sheep farming and agriculture, gives visitors a taste of the true soul of Abruzzo. Local products and ancient recipes, such as "cazzelliti e fagioli" or "pacchiarozze" with lamb sauce, tell a story of simplicity and goodness that gives the palate unique sensations.

To encourage a visit to Villalago is to invite people to discover an enchantment made of history, nature and flavors, an experience that refreshes the soul and satisfies the senses.


In the locality of San Pietro, where the eponymous Benedectine monastery (XI century-XVI) was found a Roman epigraph, dating back to the II century A.D. in the locality of Villa Vecchia, there were found generic remains of an enclosure of Primitive Age, probably apppartenuti to an ancient fortified settlement of origin Peligna. Between le Contrade Casale and pigsty, finally, the remains of a floor with residues of walls, 26 statues of Hercules, clavate and with leonté (lion skin), and finally a small ox did envisage the presence of a small place of worship dedicated to Hercules, widespread in the Valley of the Sagittarius and in the Valley of Sulmona.

You do not have certain news and documented by the fall of the Roman Empire of the West to the period of the barbarian invasions. During the Longobard period Villalago was annexd to the Duchy of Spoleto. In this period the contado peligno became valvense region. Around the VIII century begins to be mentioned the locality of Flaturno, cited again in 996. Between the end of the X century and the first twenty years of the following century San Domenico abbot lived near Villalago, in the locality of Plataneto or Prato Cardoso where he built an altar in honor of the Trinity.

In the years around the year one thousand the village is mentioned as Villa de Lacu when it was founded by settlers from various areas, as attracted religiously from the monastery of San Pietro in Lake, the remains of which are still visible at about a kilometer north of Villalago. The motivation to call the place Villa de Lacu or Villam de Lacu instead that the Castrum de Lacu would be attributed to the fact that the country was a place not surrounded by walls and open with single structure not only the defensive in Rocca but also political-economic.

After the death of San Domenico and the monastery of San Pietro entered in full possession of the Counts of Valva, whose dominion easurisce in XV century approximately. In 1568 Villalago declared University and autonomous municipality. In this way the village was never subject to the feudalism. With the collapse of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies was absorbed by the Kingdom of Italy and following the revocation of pastoralism the country was affected by emigration, then it is tried to fill this phenomenon with crafts, tourism and the environment.

Among other feudal families there were the Manso (in 1621), with the famous scholar Giovanbattista, the biographer of the rate. Between the nineteenth and twentieth century resented the influence of bourgeois family of wolves, as pointed out in the name of the main square of the village, entitled to the lawyer Celestino Wolves, died during the first world war. After eversion of the feuds follow the fortunes of the nearby Scanno and, in lower tone, Anversa degli Abruzzi.

Village of Villalago
Municipality of Villalago

Province of L'Aquila
Abruzzo Region

Population: 553 villalaghesi
Altitude centre: 930 m s.l.m.

the Municipality is part of:
I Borghi più belli d'Italia

Blue Flag

Via Iafolla Corrado - Tel. +39 0864 740134

= distances as the crow flies


  • From North and South: take the A14, from the north to Ancona and from the south to Pescara. Continue towards Rome, continue on the A 25 Roma-Pescara motorway, exit at Cocullo, turn onto the SP 60 towards Anversa degli Abruzzi, take the SP 479 towards Villalago.
  • From L'Aquila: take the SS 17 towards Pescara, cross San Gregorio, San Demetrio ne 'Vestini along the SS 261, turn onto the SS 5, cross Castelvecchio Subequo, Castel di Ieri, continue on the SP 479 towards Villalago.


  • From Rome and Pescara:
    - Rome - Pescara railway line: Anversa-Villalago-Scanno station or Sulmona station
  • From L'Aquila:
    - L'Aquila - Terni railway line: Sulmona station
  • From Naples:
    - Naples - Vairano C. - Isernia - Carpinone railway line: Sulmona station

Sleep, eat, buy...

= distances as the crow flies
L' Elisir del Poeta Restaurant
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47.85 Kilometers from Villalago
= distances as the crow flies
= distances as the crow flies


july, 2024
to sunday 14 july 2024

Feast of Sant'Antonio and the Madonna delle Grazie

august, 2024

Ancient Villalaghese marriage

august, 2024
to thursday 22 august 2024

Patronal feast of San Domenico

september, 2024
to saturday 14 september 2024

Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows

january, 2025
to wednesday 22 january 2025

The Bonfires

april, 2025

Procession to the hermitage of San Domenico

Our news about Villalago

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