A particular reference to ancient Aufinium is left by Pliny The Elder who talks about the Tirino Valley’s earliest settlement among the many “Vestini” centers: Vestinorum Angulani, Pennenses, Pletuinates quibus juguntur Aufinates Cismontani”. The ancient “vestina” town, also an episcopal seat, before its destruction, had exerted a wide control over the whole surrounding territory. The area within Aufinium’s territory was crossed by the layout of the Claudia Nova road, which connected the capital of the Roman Empire with the Adriatic coast. In 1474, it was under Alessandro Sforza’s domination and, in 1478, under Enea Silvio Piccolomini’s, to later pass under his daughter’s Costanza. The latter, in turn, sold it to the Capestrano Marquisate. In 1579, it was bought by Francesco I of the Medici Family and it remained in his hands until 1743, when it was transferred to Carlo Bourbon. At present, the town shows the characteristics of a medieval village with its typical town wall and baron’s palace.
Saint Peter in Cryptis’ church is located in the town’s lower part, a little far from the historical center. Its name indicates that beneath the church there are passages dating back to the XII century where valuable frescoes of 1400’s can be found. In the church’s upper part, one can observe two mullioned windows and a Romanesque-style portal built in 1196 by the master sculptor Silvestro from Ofena.
Saint Frances’ monastery: since 1385, it is part of the Amiternum protection of Penne’s province. On July 25, 1449, Saint John from Capestrano met with some Ofena’s builders and stipulated with them a contract for the construction of the Capestrano’s monastery. A 1478 decree by the Duke of Calabria endowed the Monastery with a yearly income. The structure resembles the typical distribution of monastic complexes with variations and amplifications, and one can admire still meaningful wall frescoes within the church.