Guardiagrele, the "city of stone" described by Gabriele d'Annunzio in his novel "The Triumph of Death," is a town whose history goes far back in time. Colonized by Benedictine monks who built a monastery here, it was at the height of its splendor in or around the twelfth century. The layout and architecture of the old town bear the traces of this past: age-old towers, churches, ancient houses and narrow streets come together to enchant visitors with their tales of medieval times. At the heart of Guardiagrele's identity, however, is its craftsmanship. The town was home to schools of the highest standard, and it educated famous personalities such as the goldsmith and painter Nicola da Guardiagrele, an eventual pupil of the Florentine artist Ghiberti. It still enchants visitors with the artistic, hand-crafted creations, which are among the splendid pieces of jewelry made here.