The paper proposes a reading of the possible urban development of the historic centre of San Valentino in Abruzzo Citerore starting from the analysis of its architectural heritage.

The image of a fortified hamlet surrounded by walls, represented in a painting dating back to the mid-nineteenth century, appears in cartographic reliefs and representations accessible at the local and extra regional archives.

The reading of the current architectural set of givens, which are characterized by the continuous use of building techniques related to the processing of local limestones, seeks through comparison with the historic iconography to identify persistences and alterations of the urban fabric, tracing a possible developmental line of San Valentino in Abruzzo Citeriore from medieval castrum to Farnesiano fief up to the substantial interventions of modernization and revision of the historic center operated in the last century.

The requests of functional and formal changes occurring at the turn of the nineteenth and twenteeth century implicates the dismantling of the walls, the typological change of the original building and of the urban layout and the loss of the urban imagine resulting consolidated in the collective memory.

An awaking context of the main features of the historic and building development of this fortified reality in the Middle Adriatic area is today an indispensable step in this path of consciousness and awareness of the society regarding the urgent problem connected to the neglect and to the conservation of the historic centres.