img_coa = Barrea-Stemma.png
official_name =Comune di Barrea
province = L'Aquila (AQ)
elevation_m = 1060
area_total_km2 = 87.05
population_as_of = 2005
population_total = 771
population_density_km2 = 8.86
timezone = CET, UTC+1
coordinates = coord|41|45|25|N|13|59|36|E|region:IT_type:city|display=inline,title
telephone = 0863
gentilic = Balsoranesi
mayor = Andrea Scarnecchia
website = [http://www.comune.balsorano.aq.it/urp/ www.comune.balsorano.aq.it]
mapy = 14
mapx = 41.57
Barrea is a
comunein the province of L'Aquilain the Abruzzoregion of Italy.
It is located on the shore of the
Lake of Barrea, a lake created after World War IIdue to the building of a dam on the River Sangro.
The comune was established in 1067 under the protectorate of the
Duke of Spoleto. One side of the original, central castle was protected from invaders by natural means, utilizing the impassably steep slope of the mountain; two stone castle gates afforded other protection to the castle and the homes that were built within its walls, dug into the slides of the mountain and giving out through front entrances facing on narrow, twisting, steep stone alleys.
Its location surrounded by the Appennines would have prevented Barrea's development into an industrial area had not other economic obstacles also existed; historically, residents existed by tending small farms in plots on the mountainside, but Italy's major activity in agriculture ended with the arrival on Europe's shores of American grain. A major emigration took place after the earthquake of 1984, when many residents declined to return to the homes that were ruined in the tremor. Many of the homes have been bought by tourists, who enjoy Barrea's location on the brow of a mountainside, giving out over the Sangro valley, but there are fewer than 1,000 permanent inhabitants.
Today, Barrea is at the center of the
National Park of Abruzzo, a natural area rich in wildlife and recreation and lacking any aspect of urban commercialization. The village contains many monuments to its sufferings in World War II, when the Germans took it over and thus subjected it to Allied bombings. Perhaps the foremost village hero is Aldo DiLoreto, a captain in the Italian air medical corps, who organized resistance movements in the hills around Barrea. He was captured by a German patrol and was shot to death by an execution squad in Villeta Barrea. It is said he fell to his death saying "Long Live Italy."
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