An old Vestini center set amid the hills between the Tavo and Pescara rivers, Pianella is currently a lively small town, with two frazioni (Cerratina and Castellana) and several quarters (Astignano, Colle Uomini Morti, Collecincero, Santa Scolastica, Santa Maria della Nora, La Grotta, San Desiderio e Villa Micone).
Archeological findings suggest a human presence as early as the Neolithic period, with later objects belonging to different cultures: Sabellic, Greek, Roman and medieval, found in a number of necropolis in the vicinity. The presence of coins minted for the Crusades points to Pianella as a gathering center for pilgrims, monks and traders on their way to Brindisi. In the 9th century AD it was invaded and destroyed by the Saracens, so that the survivors took refuge on a hill and began to fortify it. In the 10th century the name Castrum Planellae appears for the first time.
Later on it belonged to the Normans (under the County of Manoppello), and when Charles of Anjou in 1273 divided the region into Abruzzo Ultra and Abruzzo Citra flumen piscariae, Pianella became part of Abruzzo Ultra. In the 15th century it was Corrado Aquaviva and then Cristoforo Costanzo. In 1458 Frederick of Aragon gave the town the status of universitas, ie, a partial independence from feudal rule. In 1583 it was bought by Margaret of Austria Farnese, in whose family it remained until the abolition of feudalism. The Cadastre of 1742 provides valuable information on the social fabric of the town at the time, full of wealthy families (De Felice, Di Casale, Sabucchi, De Santis, Verrotti, Ferrara, Egizi, Babore) and artisans of all kinds: coopers, saddlers, glass-makers, tailors, oil and wine makers.