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The Roman town on this site was called Laurentum, because of the many bay laurels (laurus) that grew in the area. The modern town grew up around a castle and Benedictine abbey in the 11th century. In the Middle Ages many of the characteristic buildings of the city were built, with one particularly notable example being the parish church of San Pietro Apostolo.

In 1863, after the unification of Italy, the adjective "Aprutino" was added to the name of the town to distinguish it from several other towns in Italy: in Ancona province, in Asti province, in Novara province, and two separate towns in Perugia province.

The production of olive oil is a mainstay of the local economy.

Each spring on the first Monday after Pentecost, the city celebrates the Festa di San Zopito and a parade is held. A child, dressed all in white and wearing a crown of flowers, rides a white ox that is decorated with colored ribbons on its horns and a red mantle bearing an image of San Zopito.

 

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