Penne

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ITS HISTORY: It is the ancient Pinna, toponym indicating a rocky rise. In its environs, the remains of a small settlement have been found, the Leopardi Village, comprising a number of huts which date back to the Early Neolithic age (sixth millennium B.C.). It was the capital for the Vestini people, as recorded by Pliny and by Valerio Massimo. Allied with Rome, as a recompense for its loyalty at the time of the Social War, it obtained the condition of municipium. Vitruvius cites it as a popular spa centre in the times of Ancient Rome, thanks to its famous "Acqua Ventina", which added to its prosperity. The town acquired great importance in the Middle Ages when it became a countship (10th century). Under the Swabians and the Angevins, it enjoyed many privileges; due to its loyalty to the Aragonese, in 1436 it was sacked by the Aquilans, and was then to take on the role of an important town for many feuds. Passed to Alessandro De' Medici in 1522, it was given as a dowry by Charles V to his daughter Margaret of Austria, wedded to a Farnese (1539), and was to remain property of this family until its extinction in the first half of the 18th century. Following the famous Penne Carbonari movements of 1837, it was deprived of its title of capital of the district (conceded to Città Sant'Angelo), but this title was then regained in 1848. The town is birthplace to the jurist Luca da Penne (1310-1390), author of the Commentaries to the three last books of the Code of Justinian.