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Avezzano

The meaning of «avezzano»

Avezzano (Italian pronunciation: [avetˈtsaːno] or [avedˈdzaːno]; Marsicano: Avezzàne [avedˈdzɑːnə]) is a city and comune with a population of about 42,500 inhabitants,[3] situated in the Abruzzo region, province of L'Aquila, Italy.[4] It is the second most populous municipality in the province and the sixth in the region. Avezzano was documented as an existing urban center in the ninth century. The city was destroyed by the earthquake of 1915. It was rebuilt after the 1944 Allied bombing. The city was decorated with the silver medal for civil merit, an award granted by the Italian Republic.[5][6]

It is the main commercial, industrial and agricultural centre of the Marsica area, with important high-tech industries and a large Telespazio satellite farm.

There are different common etymologies for the name of the city: from "Ad Vetianum" which means a "to the Vetia family"; from "Avidianum" or "fundus Avidianus" which is derived from the noble Avidius domiciled in the nearby town of Alba Fucens or from "Ave Jane", an invocation to the Roman god Janus.[7][8]

The presence of hunters dates back to the palaeolithic period about 18,000 to 14,000 years ago. There are several sites that bear witness to the presence of humans in prehistoric times, as in the Cave of Ciccio Felice located just south of Avezzano.[9] The first major settlements in this area began with the construction works for the lake's drainage ordered by Emperor Claudius in the first century A.D.

In 591 in the area came under the control of Ariulf and the duchy of Spoleto. Charlemagne, after the mid-700s, donated Gastald of the Marsi and all the lands of the duchy to the papal states. So originated the county of the Marsi. In the late middle ages the victory of Charles of Anjou led to the destruction of Albe and Pietraquaria whose people had sided in favor of Conradin, duke of Swabia, defeated after the battle of Tagliacozzo in 1268.[10][11] In the fourteenth century in Avezzano ended the process of aggregation of the various villages that make up the urban center.[12]

In the 15th century Avezzano was under Gentile Virginio Orsini, who built the castle in 1490. In the fifteenth century occurred the victory of the Colonna family over Orsini. Their lordship lasted about three centuries. The castle of Avezzano in 1565 was expanded by Marcantonio Colonna and was later converted into a fortified palace.[13]

Avezzano once lay on the shores of the largest lake in peninsular Italy, Lake Fucino, which was drained in the late 19th century. After the draining of the Lake, wide fields became available for cultivation and the area underwent terrific growth. It was completely destroyed by one of the worst recorded earthquakes in the history of Italy on the early morning of January 13, 1915 with only Palazzi's house and a wing of Orsini-Colonna castle spared. More than 30,000 people died. The town streets were then completely rebuilt along straight, parallel lines, with wide green areas and villas in the Liberty style.[14]

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