Torricella Peligna and RAI 
The Relay-booster at Madonna del Roseto 
TV distributor for many decades
By Gabriele Follacchio
I believe that the TV relay-booster for Torricella Peligna is a little like the
flower in the buttonhole of the homonymous village, which is one of the oldest
and most beautiful in the Sangro-Aventino valley. With its 3,000 inhabitants, or
thereabouts, many years of history and an enviable position at the foot of the
Mother Maiella, yet just a jump away from calm Adriatic, it also holds the
prerogative of having been chosen for the site of a relay booster for RAI.
Because the Madonna del Roseto is situated in an enviable locality
geographically, at a height of 900 metres above sea level, RAI sited its relay
booster there in the 1960’s, to enable television programmes to reach Torricella
Peligna and beyond, to Palena, Lettopalena, Taranta Peligna, Colledimacine, Lama
dei Peligni and Civitella Messer Raimondo.
The configuration of the deep Abruzzan valleys and the geological composition of
the surrounding mountains necessitated the positioning of relay-boosters at
great heights, and required special adaptations due to the realities of
interference and reflection, present in any locality. Thus the noble small
Peligna Village found itself included in the network of relay-boosting
establishments organised to diffuse national programming, and to be separate yet
up-to-date within the limits of the region.
Torricella Peligna’s relay-booster – that diffuses the signal coming from RAI’s
regional headquarters at Pescara –in reality helps maintain an organic
relationship with the local population; it gives a direct and immediate link
with the most significant expressions of the region, positively affirming a
pluralism that spreads its roots in the history of the region and in the
traditions of its people.
Since January 1954, Television has enabled us to become spectators of facts that
have passed and are will pass into history. Who could ever forget that night
between the 20th and 21st of July 1969, defined as “the night of the Moon”?
Millions of Italians watched the landing of man on the moon for very many hours.
Live from the Space Centre at Houston, we were able to see the footprint that
Armstrong left on the no-longer uncontaminated ground of our satellite. Neither,
sadly, can we forget the long agony of Vermicino where on 10th June 1981, a
nightmare ended in tragedy. Even in that case, television was in the foreground
and for the first time was given some of the blame. They broadcast the tragic
events live, even the last attempts to pluck little Alfredino Rampi, only 6
years old, from the slimy mud in an artesian well which was slowly sucking him
Torricella Peligna has always had a strong link with RAI through one of radio’s
most famous journalists: Antonio Piccone Stella, who was born in Torricella
about 86 years ago and has lived in Rome for many years. In a recent interview,
the wonderful Director of Radio Giornale (Radio News) in the 1950’s, said “All
the world is one town and every town is Torricella Peligna” - to which he
returns every August to breathe a breath of the air of his birth.
 RAI – Radio audizione Italiane = Italian
 Madonna del Roseto – Madonna of the Roses (or of the Rose-bushes). This is a
sanctuary near Torricella, built in 1552, the goal of pilgrimages on Easter
Monday and on the last Saturday in May. Inside there is a marvellous painting of
Christ on the Cross and a small statue of Mary with the Child Jesus, considered
miraculous by pilgrims.
Madonna of the Roses, One of the Seven Miraculous Madonnas
Places to See
 Vermicino – came to the attention of the world, when a small boy, Alfredo
Rampino, fell into a well at Vermicino near Rome and became wedged in the
confined space underground. Frantic but eventually unsuccessful attempts were
made to save him and the whole event was broadcast live around the world by the
Television Networks. One good thing came out of this tragedy - the huge
outpouring of public sympathy opened the way for the development in Italy of a
civil protection programme with public funding for future emergencies of
 Antonio Piccone Stella - born in Torricella 12th December 1905 – died ....
the first RAI Director and its Director of Journalistic services from 1946 to
See also :-
Antonio Piccone Stella