The Templar village
Its profile is unmistakable. Perched on a hill in the Marche interior, looking like a pyramid surrounded by walls and evocative gullies, Castignano is a little-known jewel of the province of Ascoli Piceno.
This small village is a real time machine. Strolling through its alleys, you will be transported to a distant era when Castignano was an important and picturesque medieval centre. Today, this open-air museum still retains the atmosphere of long ago and takes little to imagine ladies and knights, nuns and monks among these streets. Most importantly, Templars made this village a key stop on their journey from Rome to the Holy Land. Evidence of their passage is still visible today, such as the Church of Santa Maria del Borgo.
If you want to relive their adventures, don't miss Templaria, the historical festival that brings the town to life in late August. No less exciting is the traditional Castignano Carnival, which ends with the night parade of the Moccoli, a special type of lantern. For the occasion, all the artificial lights are switched off and the village is lit up only with these striking lanterns.
All around, you can admire a breathtaking panorama taking in the Sibylline and Maiella mountains, the Gran Sasso and the Adriatic Sea.