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Atessa is told to originate from the fusion of two centres, Ate and Tixe, which were divided in the past by a valley inhabited by a dragon. The bishop of Brindisi, San Leucio, killed the dragon combining the two towns in Atessa. In the church of San Leucio a bone of the dragon is held; it is actually a fossil fragment belonging to a prehistoric mammal. Of its pre-Roman origins there are only a few traces and archaeological findings.  

Immagine antica di Atessa
The origin of Atessa likely dates back to the 5th century but its first quotation belongs to the 10th century since the area was under the jurisdiction of the Benedectines for several years. With the rise of the Angevins the town passed to different families; under the reign of Ademazio Maramonte a bloody rebellion broke out in the 14th century. From the 16th century it became feud of the powerful Colonna.

The town

Of its past origins there are traces in the ogival portal of the church of S. Leucio (13th century), in the friary of S. Maria di Vallaspra (15th century) and in the doors of S. Margherita and S. Giuseppe (11th century).
On the plain there are the modern towns of Montemarcone and Piazzano with the industrial area of Val di Sangro and the important factories of Sevel, Honda Italia and other companies.
Veduta del ponte di Atessa

Events, tradition and cultrure

In Summer the main events such as the jazz festival are perfomed.

Immagine antica dellla banda di Atessa
Anyway the activities carried out by the High schools and by the modern CODEMM, a European Association of Public Institutions and Universities, allow the performance of cultural events in this town also in winter time.

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