On the plateaus high above the towns of Fontecchio and Tione on the orthographical right side of the Aterno Valley visitors can discover the beautiful villages of the ancient mountain farmers, now abandoned, called “Pagliare”.

The origin of the Pagliare lies in the scarcity of available arable land in the valley below. The inhabitants were forced to cultivate even the surfaces of the high-altitude highlands which overlaid their territory. Due to the distance and difficulty of the journey, mostly due to the altitude gain, those who travelled to cultivate the land were forced to build shelters which were gradually transformed into real homes.

In order to follow normal cultivation and cattle herding routines, the farmers of Fontecchio and Tione moved to the mountains from May to October with their families and descended occasionally just in order to stock up on necessities. The construction of the two villages is very similar. They are generally rectangular or square and consist of two rooms, one used as an upper house and a lower used as a stable.

Outside it is easy to find large stones hollowed by chisels used to collect rainwater and specially made or natural stone rings (from the natural wearing process of water on limestone) fixed on the outer walls of the houses in order to tie donkeys or horses.

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