Acuto is one of the most renowned centers of Ciociaria. Legend has it that it was founded in 450 AD. from citizens of Anagni who took refuge on Monte Acuto to escape the barbarians of Genseric. The archaeological finds in Piazza della Corte (now known as Piazza del Collegio) and in Colle Borano, however, trace the birth back to pre-Roman and Roman times. The name derives from the characteristic peaked shape of its mountain.
The first mention of Castrum Acuti dates back, in a mention by Leo IX, to the year 1051. The village has been a fief of Anagni (“terra Acuti dominus”) since the 12th century, so much so that the Bishop of Anagni was awarded the title of Lord of Acuto. It was part of the Papal State until 1870.
The historic center is a real fortified village, bordered by circular and square towers, characterized by narrow alleys, characteristic views and exquisite portals. It is accessed by passing the ancient, original town gate, a stone arch dated 1508.
Piazza del Collegio, where the Church of the Congregation is located, is a must see: built on one of the oldest areas of worship in the country. The Church of San Pietro, dating from the twelfth century, displays frescoes painted from the twelfth to the seventeenth century. The stuccos of the Collegiate Church of Santa Maria Assunta, dating back to the 19th century, are precious. The portal of the Bishop’s Residence is solemn (17th century). La Portella, a small entrance to the village, is flanked by a tower house on the south side of the historic center.
The Church of San Sebastiano and San Rocco, located just outside the ancient inhabited nucleus, at the entrance to the town, are of considerable historical and artistic interest. Dating back to 1200, you can admire frescoes from the first half of the 1500s.
Between the town and the countryside, there is the Church of Mezzomonte, with the rare peculiarity of a masonry portico crossed by the road. Inside it preserves frescoes from the 1600s of appreciated workmanship.
In the countryside, there is also the Church of Santa Maria Maddalena, a leper church whose first records date back to 1254.
In the surrounding mountain area, the small Apennine lake Volubro Suso and the network of scenic trails, including that of Natura Cesa Rotonda and the European Path E1, at an altitude of 900 meters, are of considerable naturalistic interest.
The downstream slopes of the town are covered with olive groves, while to the east, towards Fiuggi, chestnut woods extend with specimens even centuries old. In the flat area, vineyards are grown in the area typical of Cesanese wine. Extra virgin olive oil and Cesanese del Piglio Doc wine, together with sheep and goat cheeses, are the most sought after products in the area.
Among several notable events in the area, the Infiorata del Corpus Domini, the Feast and Fair of San Maurizio, the town’s patron saint, and the feast of May 1 at the Volubro Suso lake with tasting of typical products are worth mentioning. Particularly attractive is the summer is Sonora (music and poetry review), Canistro (art and craftsmanship), Acuto Jazz (international jazz review), Saltaranta (white night of popular music: taranta, tarantella and pizzica), Festa di Santa Maria De Mattias, Feast of the Assumption.