The Pagliare of Tione
The Pagliare are small villages of stone houses typical of the highlands on the edge of the narrow Aterno Valley (Valle dell’Aterno), below the Sirente mountain range.
The word “Pagliare” comes from the fact that these settlements were originally used for storage of hay and straw, and as a base for working the lands. They are located at least two hours’ walking distance from the inhabited valley centers. Not finding sufficient workable land around the villages, the valley’s inhabitants pushed towards higher altitudes to clear the difficult mountain terrain. With great patience, over time the farmers transformed the land from tough, hard terrain into soft seed beds, awakening the hope of nourishment.
That same, resigned wisdom guided them in the use of stone: modest yet strong houses were built, capable of sustaining a family completely dedicated to agricultural work and grazing livestock in the summer. Abruzzo also has Pagliare in the villages of Fagnano and Fontecchio, located a short distance from one another, but the location with the most arable space can be found in Tione degli Abruzzi.
In Tione’s Pagliare there is also the small Church of Madonna di Loreto and a large round cistern for water collection. It is not difficult to imagine how the Pagliare of Tione degli Abruzzi must’ve been an industrious hive of activity before the economic boom of the 60s, when its gradual abandonment began. Many buildings have been refurbished to provide homes for short summer holidays, a place to find oneself in nature, to dream under starry night skies of a life that proceeds at a humane pace.