The city’s origins are very ancient, dating back to the Piceno and the Praetutii peoples who ruled until the 3rd century BC, prior to Roman domination of Aprutium, which then became “Abruzzo”. Later, in the early Middle Ages, from the 12th century under the Angevins to the 15th century under the Aragonese, Teramo was the capital of an independent district, represented by distinguished local families like the Melatinos. The city was the rival of the Duchy of Atri, and then relegated to capital of the district of Abruzzo Ultra, a justiciarship founded in 1233 by Frederick II. During the 1700s and 1800s, Teramo was a leading cultural city, with figures like Melchiorre Delfico and Francesco Savini.
The city has a great artistic heritage, first of all the cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta (12th century), found in Piazza Orsini, built with the masonry of the 1st-century Roman amphitheatre and theatre, proof of the lively economy of ancient Urbs Interamnia. Recently, despite urban planning actions in the 1960s, significant works of the Roman past came to light in Largo Sant’Anna. The venerable cathedral of Santa Maria in Aprutiensis (now Sant’Anna dei Pompetti) was also renovated.