Ciociara

There are numerous cultural, historical and natural attractions in Ciociaria: cities such as Anagni and Alatri and the numerous “places of the spirit” with monasteries and imposing abbeys still in excellent condition.

Legend has it that this land was chosen as an earthly home by the mythical king Saturn. The archaic sites of the millenary acropolis still preserve intact the polygonal walls, called “cyclopean”, in memory of the Homeric giants.

Those of Alatri are spectacular, the city of the Ernici par excellence, surrounded by a majestic polygonal wall. The monumental complex of the Acropolis, located in the center of the town, is one of the most striking and best preserved creations of pre-Roman architecture in Italy.

Also noteworthy are those of Anagni, the legendary City of the Popes, famous for being the birthplace of four popes (Innocent III, Alexander IV, Gregory IX and Boniface VIII) and for having been the papal residence and seat for a long time. Its name is linked to the events of Pope Boniface VIII and to the episode known as the “slap of Anagni”.

The origins of the town of Ferentino are shrouded in myth. Legend ascribes its foundation to the god Saturn, expelled from Olympus. Founded 300 years before Rome, the city has a wall made up of stone blocks with a volume even greater than 25 cubic meters, dry laid and interlocking to form fortifications about 2,500 meters long and including 12 gates. Absolutely worth seeing are the Acropolis and the Roman Market.

Fiuggi, one of the most important spas in Europe, is an oasis of tranquility, where you can enjoy a pleasant stay of relaxation and well-being, taking advantage of the benefits of the thermal waters of Fiuggi Terme, a complex of two hydrothermal establishments surrounded by woods of chestnut, oak and pines: Fonte Bonifacio VIII and Fonte Anticolana.

Built at the beginning of the twentieth century by the architect Garibaldi Burba in elegant Art Nouveau style, of which only the suggestive entrance portal remains, the Fonte Bonifacio VIII includes about a hundred fountains, scattered in the gardens, which can accomodate up to 25,000 people.

The thermal spring was already known in Roman times for the beneficial properties of its low mineral content waters, excellent for treating stones in the urinary tract.

Fumone is another spot not to be missed: known for being the place of imprisonment of Pope Celestino V after his resignation from the pontificate. Located between the mountainous reliefs of the Ernici and Lepini mountains, on a hill with a characteristic cone shape, the ancient town is visible even from a considerable distance. Due to its position and proximity to the border of the ancient State of the Church, it was placed by the papacy as a sentinel against Saracen and Norman raids.

Vico nel Lazio, with its walls still intact, has been declared a “National Monument and area of ​​significant public interest” by the Ministry of Education. The medieval village has remained unchanged and dominates the surrounding area like a castle with extraordinary defensive characteristics.

Guarcino, the ancient Vercenum, built around the eighth century BC, strategically important for the passage in the Aniene Valley, is known for the quality and richness of its waters. A picturesque town in the Ernici mountains, it is very famous for its pork processing, an ancient local tradition that combines the skill of the Guarino’s butchers with the benefits of the mountain climate, and offers delicious, high quality products, such as the typical prosciutto.

A special mention to the Certosa di Trisulti, in the Collepardo area (famous for its caves), a town awarded by the Italian Touring Club with the “Orange Flag” quality mark. At about 800 meters high, surrounded by woods, the Certosa di Trisulti is a splendid example of mountain religious architecture. To visit the ancient Romanesque-Gothic style guesthouse (called “Palazzo di Innocenzo III”, after the Pope who loved to stay here, and today home to the important library which boasts over 36,000 volumes), the abbey church dedicated to San Bartolomeo, the two admirable Cloisters and the Pharmacy, a real jewel inside a building with a garden in front, once a botanical garden.

The town of Filettino, located in a panoramic position in the Regional Park of the Simbruini Mountains, is the highest town in Lazio with its 1075 meters of altitude. Thanks to the modern ski facilities of Campo Staffi, it is a destination for winter tourism, even if the splendid nature in which it is immersed makes it pleasant to visit in every season. Its uncommon natural beauties are interesting: the mountainous crown that surrounds it, the source of the Aniene river, whose waters are collected in a fountain dating back to 1866 at the entrance to the town, the splendid woods of fir, birch, beech and oak trees, as well as the “del Pertuso” lake full of trout.

Ciociaria is surrounded by the snow-capped peaks of the Simbruini and Ernici mountains, where the snowfall continues until late April. These mountains offer ski enthusiasts two very modern resorts among the most popular in Central Italy: Campo Staffi and Campocatino. The karst basin of Campocatino, located at 1,800 meters above sea level, can be reached from Guarcino along a panoramic winding road. Campo Staffi, with its downhill slopes between 2000 and 1500 meters, is one of the most modern ski resorts in Lazio.

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