Tollo is a comune and town in the Province of Chieti in the Abruzzo region of Italy. Tollo is renowned for its vineyards and olive groves which surround and embrace this tranquil part of Abruzzo.
Tollo is a territory comune and town in the Province of Chieti in the Abruzzo region of Italy. It is situated in the 'Hills of the Teatina' (collina teatina), a group of foothills of the Apennine Mountains, with a view of the Adriatic sea to the west, and a view of the Maiella Mountain (also spelled Majella), the second highest peak in Italy, to the east.
GEOGRAPHY: Tollo is the name given to both the territory (commune) and the town. The territory has 5 communities (Comuni confinanti) Canosa which are: Sannita, Crecchio, Giuliano Teatino, Miglianico, Ortona; and 12 sections (frazioni). They are Colle, Colle Cavalieri, Colle della Signora, Colle Secco, Macchie, Motrino, Pedine, Piana Mozzone, Sabatiniello, San Pietro, Santa Lucia, Venna.
WINE: Tollo is renowned for its vineyards and olive groves which surround and embrace this tranquil part of Abruzzo. The city of Tollo is home to the fifth largest vintnor in Italy, 'Cantina Tollo', with internationally renowned brand names such as 'Colle Secco', and grape varieties such as Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, Trebianno d'Abruzzo, and Cerasuolo.
EVENTS: The city of Tollo is host to a variety of well-attended events throughout the year; religious, athletic, and historical, drawing regional crowds.
RE-ENACTMENT OF THE SIEGE OF THE TURKS: If you want to see pasta and watermelon thrown from a tower onto citizens dressed as invading Turks, nowhere in the world can you see it but here. It's so much fun that they do it a few times over, and sometimes change costumes so the Tollo defenders can have their share of fun, too. It represents the invasion of the Turks in 1566, led by Pialy Pasha of the Ottoman Empire. The Turks had made their way along the western Italian coast from the north, conquering each town along the way, until they reached Tollo where they were finally vanquished. After 3 days of fighting, legend has it that an angel appeared from above, sent by a supernatural Madonna, imploring the fighters to stop, which they did. A young girl dressed as an angel has the honor or being that sent from heaven, appearing at the top of the specially-made tower to reign peace.
The festival occurs on the first Sunday in August, at Piazza Umberto (in front of the main church).
EASTER: PASSION OF THE CHRIST PERFORMANCE: A Romanesque open-air amphitheatre overlooking the valley and sea is the host setting of this magnificent local production with professional direction, lighting, sound, and effects. Detailing Christ's life from the Last Supper to the Crucifixion, it is a beautiful and moving experience even if your understanding of the Italian language is limited. The production is free, occurs on the Thursday evening of Holy Week, and lasts about three hours. Expect the start time to be later than posted. There is a small parking lot across from the amphitheatre, which is a 1/2 block away from city center, Piazza della Liberazione.
PROCESSION OF THE SYMBOLS (procesione dei symboli): This Good Friday evening procession starts after mass at the main church, and proceeds slowly up and down the streets through town. It is led by a person covered in a pointed white hat and gown carrying the cross, followed by those carrying poles with the various symbols of Christ's crucifixion (hammer, nails, sponge, spear, pincers, cup, whip, etc), next a statue of Jesus lying on a coffin platform covered in a white gauze carried by pallbearers, then the priests and their entourage, then those carrying the crown of thorns and a regal crown, a statue of Mary covered in black with a black lace veil, the Honorable Society of Mary, (about 15 women dressed like Mary in black with long black lace veils, then a band of Italian accordions and guitars (nice to see that both older adults and teenagers were playing the accordions), then the procession. The stations of the cross were said by the priests, with megaphones, and along the street corners of Tollo, each of the 14 stations was laid out with either a cross with candles next to it, or the cross made out of candles in the middle of the street. Rhythmic chanting of the station, the crowd responses, and accompanied song, the procession includes those of all ages, including baby carriages and toddlers carried on daddy's shoulders. Along the street people had put out red candles to light the way, along curbs, balconies, and patios. It was beautiful and religious experience. The solemnity of the event makes us aware that we are part both of humanity and something larger. The event is attended by over 1,000. Afterwards, there are fireworks in the town square.
CYCLING: Each April, the city of Tollo hosts a 130 km bicycling competition, one of the "Tour of Italy' qualifying races. This race traverses the foothills of the Apennines, with grades from 5% to 11%. It is attended by well over 1000 participants annually. There is a long (130 km) and short course (89 km).
http://www.fondocolliteatinivinitollo.it FOODS SPECIFIC TO THE REGION: Arosticini: These are small cubed kebabs of grilled lamb. Porchetta: Seasoned roasted pork with a crispy crust, usually eaten with bread. Gassosa: A refreshing citric-flavored sparkling water usually used to mix red wine 1/2-and-1/2.