Schiavi di Abruzzo

Comune di Schiavi di Abruzzo

Location of Schiavi in Italy

Coordinates: 41°49′N 14°29′E / 41.817°N 14.483°E / 41.817; 14.483Coordinates: 41°49′N 14°29′E / 41.817°N 14.483°E / 41.817; 14.483
Country Italy
Region Abruzzo
Province / Metropolitan city Chieti (CH)
Frazioni Badia, Canali di Taverna, Cannavina, Casali, Cupello, Salce, San Martino, San Martino Superiore, Taverna, Valli, Valloni
  Mayor Luciano Piluso
  Total 17.4 km2 (6.7 sq mi)
Elevation 1,172 m (3,845 ft)
Population (30 November 2014)
  Total 886
  Density 51/km2 (130/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Schiavesi
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
  Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 66045
Dialing code 0873
Patron saint Saint Maurice
Saint day September 22
Website Official website
View from "La Rotonda".
Via Umberto I, one of the main streets.
Town hall.

Schiavi di Abruzzo is a hill town in the province of Chieti, Abruzzo, central Italy. It is located in the Apennine Mountains, in the southernmost portion of the Abruzzo region, on border with the Molise region.

It is 56 kilometres (35 mi), from the Adriatic Sea, and 225 kilometres (140 mi) from Rome.


The historical center of the town is situated at the highest point of a mountain peak, at 1,170 metres (3,840 ft), and there are population centers or administrative divisions in the valleys on three sides of the mountain. Three quarters of the population lives in these surrounding valleys.

Heavy snowfall can occur in winter months.[1]

Language and dialect

The town populated by Italians and the Italian language is spoken, which is part of the family of Italic languages.

Also prevalent is a historical Italian dialect known as Schiavese.[2] For many centuries there have been different dialects even between towns in the same vicinity.[3] With the advent of television, the dialects have become less prevalent.


The municipal boundaries cover 17.4 square miles (45 km2).

The population in 1861 was 3,657. As was the case of the rural areas of Southern Italy, the town experienced a mass immigration (Italian diaspora) to North and South America between 1861 and 1914. This immigration lead an abrupt decline of the agricultural economy.

Nonetheless the population peaked in 1961 at 4,526. Since then there has been a steady decline due to residents having sought employment in the Italian cities (mostly Rome), and also throughout Europe.


The first written mention of the town dates back to Middle Ages, in the first half of the 11th century. Also, the name Schavis and Sclavi appeared in the Libro delle decime (tithe book) of 1309 and of 1328.[4] It is commonly known that there was a colony of Slavs that became a fief of Roberto da Sclavo, from which the name of the town was probably derived.

From 1130 the town was part of the Kingdom of Sicily, and later of Kingdom of Naples.

From 1626[5] until 1806[6] the town was also a fief of the Caracciolo di SantoBuono a branch the Caracciolo clan of Naples, and administered from San Buono, a town 34 kilometres (21 mi) away.

From 1816 to 1861, Schiavi was part of the Kingdom of Two Sicilies, then becoming part of the Kingdom of Italy


Main Sights


There is daily bus service from Rome's Roma Termini railway station that takes about four hours.

By car from Rome, it takes about three hours via the A1 tollroad (Autostrade of Italy) south, in the direction of Naples. After 146 km (60 minutes) and just past Cassino, taking the San Vittore del Lazio exit, and following the signs to Isernia for 36 km (45 minutes) on state SS85. At Isernia, following signs to Vasto, and proceeding 35 km (45 minutes) on state road SS650, to the Schiavi di Abruzzo exit. SS650 is along the Trigno river and is generally at sea level. So from the exit, the road proceeds up the mountain side 13 km (20 minutes) with a 3,800-foot (1,200 m) elevation change. To see road map, click here.[8]


  1. "Ancient photograph contributed by L. Ninni" Schiavi di Abruzzo page,
  2. A variation of Abruzzese Orientale Adriatico (see Map of Southern Italian Dialects), which is a form of the Neapolitan language group, and a variation of Southern Italian.
  3. There are some towns in the region that have a Croatian influence in the dialect, a South Slavic language. Though this influence does not exist in Schiavi, it reinforces the historical origins of some of the people groups. The Slavic dialects have been preserved since a group of Christian Croats emigrated from Dalmatia, in Croatia, abreast of advancing Ottoman Turks in the period 1453–1566. See Molise Croatian dialect, second paragraph, and Expansion and apogee of the Ottoman Empire
  4. History section, Schiavi di Abruzzo page.
  5. Genealogy of the Caracciolo di Santo Buono. Within this link, use ctrl-F to find instances of the word "Schiavi". Control began with (C20) Don Alfonso Caracciolo (1603-1660), the third Prince of Santo Buono and Count of Schiavi, in 1626. Though feudalism was abolished in 1806, the last known pretender of the fief was (L4) Don Marino Caracciolo (1910-1971), 15th Prince of Santo Buono and Count of Capracotta and Schiavi.
  6. Schiavi di Abruzzo, Documenti e Storia, edited by L. Porfilio and P. Falasca, Marino Saolfanelli Publishers, 1994, ISBN 88-7497-621-6. Page 194 describes the abolishment feudalism.
  7. Schiavi di retrieved 4-1-09
  8. Route from Rome to Schiavi di Abruzzo Google Maps.

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