Ducal Castle

The Ducal Castle of Palena, which some documents state has existed since the year 1136, was erected on a huge rocky outcrop on a site previously occupied by an ancient temple dedicated to the goddess Ceres.
Over the centuries, it has undergone several modifications, extensions and destructions due to historical events such as wars and natural events such as the earthquakes of 1706 and 1933.

Today it is a complex structure on three levels with a garden a roof garden and a panoramic terrace, a central body around which two side wings two side wings and the Clock Tower built around 1956. 1956. The fortress has hosted historically important figures such as St. Francis of Assisi and was a protagonist in the various sieges between the great Neapolitan families of D’Anjou and D’Aragon. After the latest campaign of restoration, the castle became a museum centre.

Art Gallery

“Casa degli artisti e uomini illustri di Palena”

The rooms of the ‘House of Artists and Illustrious Men of Palena’ Art Gallery are housed on the top floor of the ‘Sordello da Goito’ Ducal Castle of Palena, adjacent to the ‘Ettore M. Margadonna’ documentation room, the ‘Beata Florisenda’ multimedia room and the ‘Geopaleontological Museum’, a building dating back to the 11th century.


October to May:

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

open by appointment

June to September:

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

For booking visits:
Palenese Cultural Association
Cell. 3283394163

Mostra Nando Napoleone

This site is dedicated to all those who hold Palena and its roots in their hearts. Palena is a town, currently with a population of 1,500, located in Abruzzo, in the province of Chieti, at the foot of the Maiella, and hides from most its history rich in traditions and antiquities that our Journey into Memory intends to rediscover. Because its history is very ancient and there have been many vicissitudes over the centuries that have seen its ancient founders and inhabitants and the entire town at the centre of important political and military disputes. Viaggio della Memoria (Journey of Memory) has also become a photographic book in which the author of this site, Nando Napoleone, a Palenese, has condensed the work of more than ten years of research and cataloguing among all the photographic documentation of his native village, publishing them after a thorough digital restoration.

This virtual journey can be undertaken by leafing through the old images of the village, thus retracing the paths of memory: revisiting the ancient village, the 11th century Ducal Castle, the history of its ancient and glorious churches and all its artistic, historical and landscape features. While you can discover the evocative images of its views also through the virtual journey with Panfilo Napoleone’s paintings, you can delve into the many chapters dedicated to Palena and its history, its art, its customs, its exclusive images, its poignant “Amarcord” and many curious, dramatic and topical stories that will constantly be added to the site. This and more in this journey that always has as its reference point the sign, the testimony of this Abruzzo village whose history and memory we wish to pass on so that they are not lost.