Written Word

On this page you’ll find individuals who have published noteworthy works of history, journalism, academic research, fiction, poetry, etc.

Salvatore Copertino


Salvatore Copertino, born in Torricella Peligna, is a former male-female hairdresser, specialized in hair microscopy, and make-up artist, graduated from the “Harlow” school, Scientific Cosmetics Laboratories, Italian Section in Genoa. He taught in the A.N.A.U. hairdressing schools, for men and women, and at the C.R.A.U. Academy. (Centro Regionale Acconciatori Uniti), both from Chieti.

He is also a former photographer of the Archaeological Superintendency of Abruzzo with specialization in micro and macro photography. He held photography and archeology courses in schools in Chieti.

He collaborated in the writing of the weekly “Il Teatino” as a photojournalist and layout designer, and collaborated with the periodical “Amici di Torricella”.

He has published several books, in 1998 Guerriero di Capestrano, in 2006 Illustrious Men by Torricella Peligna and in 2012 The History of Bacu Abis. In 2012 he also presented a series of 6 texts and studies on Torricella (Sigraf Edizione): The story of Torricella Peligna, Torricella Paese mè, Torricella com’era, Treasures of Torricella, Artisti Torricellani and Torricellani worthy of memories. The following year he published a series of 5 texts and studies on hair. Then, in 2016 he published a photographic series in 3 volumes, Teate Antica – Dall’Acropoli alle Terme (Sigraf Edizione), and in 2017 the book La Teatinità di Gabrielle d’Annunzio. Finally, in 2019 he presented two books, Pizza was born in Torricella Peligna (Sigraf Edizione) and La Mummy di Torricella Peligna (Tabula Fati).

Dan Fante


Dan Fante was born in Los Angeles in 1946. Son of writer John Fante, he writes plays, poetry and novels. At the age of twenty, he left his studies and began to travel, living a ‘difficult’ life and gripped by alcohol problems. He does all sorts of jobs. He began writing in the 1990s inspired by his experiences on the edge of the existential abyss.

For some years now, his fame has been on the rise. He has just signed a contract with the prestigious US publishing house Harper Collins, which has republished all of his works.

In Italy the following have been released: Angels in Pieces, Marcos y Marcos, 1999; Hooks, Marcos y Marcos, 2000; Mae West, East of the Equator, 2008; Don Giovanni, Edizioni Spartaco, 2009 and Buttarsi, Marcos y Marcos, 2010.

Laura de Laurentiis


Laura de Laurentiis, born in Padua, is the daughter of Pietranonio de Laurentiis and granddaughter of Quirino de Laurentiis and Marianna Carapella, all from Torricella Peligna.  She lives in Bergamo.  She has a 27-year-old daughter, Valentina, and a 20-year-old son, Andrea.


Laura de Laurentiis writes about psychology, health and couples for various national publications.  She wrote and edited around 40 manuals, which were sold as inserts in the magazine Viver Sani e Belli (Live Healthy and Beautiful) and are now sold at certain newsstands and on the Internet. She also wrote and edited the mini-encyclopedia Il pediatra risponde dalla A alla Z (The Pediatrician Responds from A to Z – Fabbri Publishing), and many books including: Sposi oggi domani sempre (Newlyweds Today Tomorrow Always – EDPS Publishing), E adesso. . . nanna.  Come insegnargli a dormire (And Now. . . Sleep.  How to Teach Children to Sleep – Sfera Editore), E adesso. . . gioco.  Come il gioco aiuta a crescere (And Now. . . Play.  How Play Helps Growth – Sfera Editore).  Recently she wrote her first novel, Baffi & Tarocchi S.r.l. (Moustaches & Tarot Cards, Inc. – Badaracco Publishing).

Lauras books are available here.


Antonio Di Renzo


Antonio Di Renzo graduated from the University of Padua in Natural Sciences with a thesis in Systematic Botany on the flora of the Maiella. He has collaborated with various public and private bodies for the drafting of environmental management plans. With the museum network of Fermo and Ascoli Piceno he worked on environmental education. He has collaborated with various environmental associations to protect the landscapes from the implementation of large wind farms. He was also involved in the revaluation of an ancient local agronomic cultivar, the Torricella black celery.

He has published several articles and books. Among his interests is local historiography, and in 2011 he published The Church of San Giacomo, a historical account from the 12th century to the 19th century on the Mother Church of Torricella (Quaderni – Rivista Abruzzese). In 2013, with the contribution of the Marche Region, he published the book Smerillo, naturalistic and botanical aspects of a territory (Litoemme Editrice). In 2014, with the Benetton Studi Ricerche Foundation and for the Carlo Scarpa International Award, he wrote Historical evolution of the zootechnical heritage of Pescocostanzo within the Bosco Difesa di Sant’Antonio. In 2021 he published with the historian Lucio Cuomo Fallascoso borgo d’altura (Bibliografica, Castel Frentano). Finally, in 2022 he published L’uomo e il landscape – The human economy and its influence on the landscape aspects and biodiversity of a territory (Editrice Carabba) with Aurelio Manzi, curator, Lelio Porreca, illustrator, and interventions by Paolo Granà , Tourism Councilor of the Municipality of Torricella Peligna, and prof. Antonio Spadano.

Alessandro Madonna


The magistrate Alessandro Madonna was born in Torricella in 1865 in his home in Via Roma 12 and died in Rome in 1930. He was a magistrate of the Supreme Court of Cassation in Rome, renowned for his prudence and great competence in commercial law. He had a vast and profound humanistic culture, passionate about Plato and Socrates and a renowned Latinist. He wrote a collection of poems “Oudeis”.

He wrote articles for regional and Italian cultural newspapers and poems in dialect. He founded a village newspaper and did research on ancient village customs. There are still some small ceramic paintings painted by him, hanging on the walls of his house, depicting views of the town.
He lived in Rome but did not abandon his passion for his native country. He returned there often and with great pleasure. He was a friend of Francesco Paolo Michetti and Gabriele D’Annunzio, who called him “the poet judge”. But he lavished his strongest passion on the study and archaeological research of the Juvanum site. He published Juvanum: Santa Maria del Palazzo, Torricella, Fallascoso, Montenero, Fallascoso (Riccardo Condò Editore), a treasure of information on the Samnite-Roman city. The book was reprinted in 2023 by Rosina Quaranta and presented at the John Fante Festival.

Gianni Materazzo

Gianni Materazzo spends his childhood and adolescence in Tripoli, Libya. Returning to Italy, he settled with his family in Bologna where he still lives and works and where, usually, he set his detective novels which feature the lawyer Luca Marotta.

Graduated in law, he will make very limited use of his qualification, passing instead, through a series of work experiences that have little to do with codes and law: publicist, teacher, assistant director, illustrator, advertising graphic designer, comic book designer.

In ’ 74 the first and only children’s bookshop opens in Bologna – now Città del Sole -, which, in addition to promoting meetings and debates, over time it also becomes an important didactic reference point for kindergartens and the first cycle. He makes his debut as a yellowist,not writing a novel but drawing a comic detective for ‘ Orient Express ’, the magazine directed at the time by Luigi Bernardi. The story is taken from a novel by Loriano Macchiavelli, ‘ The tracks of the attack ’, and will be republished in 2005 by the publisher Dario Flaccovio in an edition for collectors.

Only a few years later he also ventured into genre fiction, writing his first detective novel, ‘ Imperfect crimes ’, and unexpectedly winning the ‘ Alberto Tedeschi Prize ’ at the Mystfest in Cattolica in 1989. Also published by Giallo Mondadori, three other novels will follow: ‘ Cherchez la femme ’, ‘ Villa Maltraversi ’, ‘ The labyrinths of memory ’. From the first three, RAI draws as many TV series ( title of the series, ‘ Three steps in the crime ’ ), which are broadcast in the early evening with a remarkable success in listening and criticism.

The main interpreter of the films is Gioele Dix in the hardened role of Luca Marotta, an anomalous lawyer figure. Meanwhile, it becomes part of the historian ‘ Thirteen Group ’ which brings together writers from the yellows of Bologna and its surroundings, many of whom are well known to readers of the genre. He also writes numerous short stories for anthologies and collections, as well as for newspapers and magazines, such as ‘ Joy ’, ‘ Modern Woman ’ The Red Shrimp ‘.

He then spent a long period during which he collaborated with First Film, a television production company, writing subjects, treatments, screenplays. For a couple of years he has resumed his activity as a yellowist, completing the drafting of two new novels. The first, ‘ Friday 17 ’, is a story between yellow and thriller that takes place in Positano in the middle of a torrid summer: once again the lawyer Marotta is the protagonist.

The novel was published by Alberto Perdise Editore in June 2006. The second, ‘ The family album ’, is instead a noir set in the distant, dark years ’ 50: theater of the story is in a small, remote country of the central Apennines. The latter novel was released in bookstores in September 2007, published by Alberto Perdisa Editore.

Pietro Ottobrini 

Pietro Ottobrini has always worked hard to participate in every initiative that concerned the country. He was one of the first organizers of the Children’s Festival. He collaborated with Lelio Porreca in the management of the Pro Loco, and then became president of the Pro Loco with many initiatives mostly aimed at protecting the environment.
He was the Municipality’s Surveyor for years and therefore knows every inhabitant and place in the town. He represents the historical mind of names, surnames and nicknames. He has always dedicated himself to collecting historical documentation on Torricella. He describes Torricella’s various characters ironically and in the vernacular. In 2021 he published a collection of verses, “La Sciarpe”, around 250 descriptions of the characters and stories of the town. He also wrote a book about the inhabitants of Taranta Peligna, “L’acquareccie”. Some of his dialect poems were also published on AbruzzoOggi.it.
In the early 80s he was one of the first to realize that there was a renowned American writer, John Fante, and that his father was from Torricella. He founded with others a reading club for Fante’s books, “Fanteria Fantiani” and from there he also began the first literary festival dedicated to the Italian-American author. 

In 2022 he was awarded the “Torricellano nel Mondo” Award .


Lelio Porreca


Writer, poet, ecologist, and first supporter of the National Park of the Majella

Whilst Porreca wrote – notes about customs, studies of working-class traditions, historical research and about tourism – in the daily newspapers and in periodicals, at the same time he also used to dedicate himself to recovering archaeological finds dating as far back as the 6th Century BC, such as the bronze helmet of Torricella Peligna, kept at the National Museum of Chieti. The first resumption of systematic excavation at Juvanum in the territory of Montenerodomo is due to Porreca.

The satirical small volume “Small Portrait of a Political Career-ist” published in 1961 serves as a reminder of that incandescent political period. Since then Porreca has identified the causes of political degeneration and the emergence of the disease, “protagonism”, which makes people desirous only of satisfying their own interests whilst controlling the will of the electors, as a response to the complex demands of society. We should go back and read those pages again, to remind ourselves about fulfilling these needs, because they have largely been forgotten about, in the years since they were written. Thus it would be advisable to find one of the last articles Porreca wrote, addressed to intellectuals. It would take too long to go over all his publications, but we must mention the one called “A Walk in Abruzzo” where we meet: the call to religion from the earth; the reference to historical roots in the phases of civil development and subsequent decadence; modification of customs but also traditions preserved. Thus, whilst the author speaks about present-day realities, he also subjects the images to a continual decline, which moves between memories of the past to expectations and hope in the future. Meanwhile he deduces that the streets of Abruzzo can draw out the means of survival from the beauties of nature and from the charms of history. Thus the localities appear to be alive, Guardiagrele, Gessopalena, Torricella Peligna, Montenerodomo, Majella, the National Park of Abruzzo and the Cavallone Grotto.

Porreca’s work called “Once Upon a Time There Was the Sky”, edited in 1982; it is a novel set in Agnone.(1) In it he writes both of the vicissitudes of the last war and also about the rebirth of hope and of love. In this work Porreca’s art has reached maturity in his use of expressive methods capable of interpreting even the slightest wisps of thought and the most hidden movement’s of the soul.

To complete this picture of Lelio Porreca we recall that he was a founder of “Pro-Loco” (2) of Torricella Peligna and as its president he was the guiding spirit of so many events held to promote and develop tourism in the entire region. He organised the Congress “Let us Save the Majella” in January 1971 which aroused great interest at the National Level because of its ecological ideas concerning protection of mountain zones, earning the approval of Indiro Montanelli in one of his editorials entitled “Civismo” (3) which appeared in the “Corriera della Sera”.(4)

In defence of nature Porreca intervened to block the advances of a stone quarry which was destroying “La Morgia” a majestic limestone mass of natural panoramic beauty, which rises between Gessopalena and Torricella Peligna.

For having produced so much literature, Lelio Porreca will live on in the hearts and souls of all those who read his many works and share his message of love for nature, for history, for ideals and values, by which he lived cohesively both as a man and as a citizen.

Carlo Troilo

Carlo Troilo is a journalist born in Rome in 1938. He has always worked in the field of both corporate communication, in the role of head of the press office of the IRI (Institute for Industrial Reconstruction) and director of External Relations of the RAI, and political, in the role as head of the press office of the Ministers of Foreign Trade and State Participations. He is involved in the field of civil rights as director of the Luca Coscioni Association and on the problems of Rome with “Roma Nuovo Secolo”.

He wrote in many newspapers on economic problems, civil rights, anti-fascism and the Resistance. He wrote three books, the first in 2005 about his father Ettore, Prefect of Milan, Troilo’s war. November 1947: the occupation of the Prefecture of Milan, the last trench of the Resistance (Rubbettino). In 2008 he published the second book 1963-1982: the twenty years that shocked the IRI, and in 2012 the third on euthanasia, Free to Die. A dignified end in the country of denied rights.

Nicola Troilo


Nicola Troilo was the eldest son of Ettore Troilo, Commander of the Maiella Brigade. In the first months of 1944 the first partisan battles began and Nicola, not yet fourteen, followed his father throughout the campaign of the Maiella Brigade, from Abruzzo to Veneto. He wrote down everything, and in 1967 he transformed his notes into a book, The history of the Maiella Brigade, updated and reprinted in 2011. It is a faithful reconstruction of the path of the most important Italian partisan formation.

In 1955 he published a story, “Terra Bruciata”, in which he describes the liberation of Torricella, and in 1986 in the “Rivista Abruzzese di storia dal fascismo alla Resistenza”, a long story about his personal events during the war. He also published several articles in the Torricella newspapers, “All’ombra della Maiella”, “Amici di Torricella” and “Chi’ ssi dice”.

He was a renowned lawyer. As a divorce lawyer he worked with famous people such as Anna Magnani, Burt Lancaster, Vittorio Gassmann and Ingrid Bergman. He was also a lover of the mountains, and in particular the Maiella on which he guided. In 2014 he was awarded the “Torricellano nel Mondo” award. See Chi’ ssi dicie? 37.