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Diocese of Penne and Atri
(Pennensis et Atriensis).
Penne is a city in the Province of Teramo, in the Abruzzi, central Italy; it has an important commerce in leather and in artificial flowers, and within its territory are several springs of medicinal waters, known to the ancients. It is the Pinna Vestina of antiquity, the chief city of the Vestini, distinguished for its fidelity to Rome, even in the war of the Marsi. Sulla destroyed the city during the civil war. After the Lombard invasion, it belonged to the Duchy of Benevento, with which it was annexed to the Kingdom of Sicily. In the ninth century it was sacked by the Saracens. According to legend Patrassus, one of the seventy disciples, was the first bishop of this city. The deacon St. Maximus is venerated at the cathedral. The united See of Penne and Atri was erected in 1152. Atri is the ancient Hadria of the Piceni, which became a Roman colony about 282 B.C.; its ancient walls still remain. The cathedral is a fine specimen of the Italian Gothic, and has a campanile nearly 200 feet high. The first bishop of the united sees was Beroaldo; among his successors were: Blessed Anastasio, who died in 1215; the Cistercian Nicolo (1326), held a prisoner for two years by his canons; Tommaso Consuberi (1554), suspected of having conspired against Pius IV, and therefore deposed; Paolo Odescalchi (1586), nuncio to Madrid and Vienna, built the episcopal palace of Atri. Within the territory of these sees is the famous Abbey of San Bartolommeo di Carpineto.
The diocese is immediately subject to the Holy See; it has 95 parishes, 180,790 inhabitants, 4 religious houses of men, and 8 of women, and 4 educational establishments for girls.
Cappelletti, Les Chiese d'Italia, XXI; Pansa, Della diocesi e citta di Penne (1622).