Castel del Monte -Abruzzo, Italy
Castel del Monte is a medieval and Renaissance hill town and comune in the province of L'Aquila in northern Abruzzo, Italy. Located in the heart of Gran Sasso mountain range, the town is set into a steep hillside nestled beneath mountain peaks near the high plain of Campo Imperatore. Castel del Monte sits opposite the ancient mountaintop fortress of Rocca Calascio and faces Monte Sirente in the distance. It is located in the Gran Sasso e Monti della Laga National Park.The name Castel del Monte is from the Latin Castellum Montis, meaning "fortress of the mountain". The first evidence of human settlement are artifacts from the 11th century BC discovered in the valley beneath Castel del Monte and believed to be from an ancient necropolis. In the 4th century BC, Romans conquered the area and established Città delle Tre Corone, the name meaning "town of the three crowns". This town was later abandoned after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, and replaced by the fortified town of Ricetto in what is now the oldest part of Castel del Monte.