Fumone, Fiuggi, Anagni, Alatri, and Pastena. Italo takes you to discover the Ciociaria area and its most beautiful villages easily accessible from Frosinone.
Plan an out-of-town trip to the villages near Frosinone and discover the beauty of these charming villages rich in history. Ciociaria is an area rich in historical, cultural, and food and wine evidence that will surprise you with glimpses and views you don’t expect and great food.
Here are the five historic villages to visit near Frosinone:
For a walk through history, I recommend reaching the village of Fumone, one of the most evocative and best preserved in the province of Frosinone. You will find the village on a hill 784 meters above sea level, and from there, you can enjoy an impressive view of the countryside below. Fumone is only 18 km from Frosinone, and you can reach it comfortably in less than 20 minutes.
Begin your visit to the small and quiet medieval village of Fumone from the picturesque castle from which the town extends. The Longhi De-Paolis Stronghold was erected between the 9th and 10th centuries and is famous not only for having been the prison of Celestine V but because it is home to an extraordinary hanging garden that, at 800 meters above sea level, is the highest in Europe and is known as the terrace of Ciociaria. But why is it called Fumone? Because in the past, owing to its altitude, it was selected as the location for a signaling tower, now destroyed, from where a column of smoke would warn nearby towns of danger when enemies approached.
Do not miss a walk through the alleys of the historic center for splendid panoramic views and the beautiful medieval corner.
For some relaxation, head for Fiuggi, one of Italy’s most renowned spa towns, thanks to its therapeutic waters. The town of Frosinone is only 30 km away. You may be aware that Fiuggi is structured in two parts, Fiuggi Vecchia or Borgo Antico, about 750 meters up a hill, and Fiuggi Terme or Fonte, 550 meters lower down and where you find the hotels, hot springs, and all the tourist activities.
Start the itinerary of your trip to Fiuggi from the oldest area, where you will find the most interesting monuments, such as the Palazzo Falconi dating back to the 18th century, the Collegiate Church of St. Peter the Apostle built in 1617, the Church of St. Stephen and the Church of Santa Maria del Colle. Also worth admiring are the Churches of St. Blaise, St. Clare, Blessed Virgin in Campanica from the 1100s, St. Roch and the Three Cone Church.
For a visit to the spa complex, I recommend Fiuggi’s tourist landmark par excellence, the famous Fonte di Bonifacio VIII, built between 1967 and 1969 by renovating the previous one from the early 20th century and designed by the architect Garibaldi Burba. Admire the scenic entrance, the Art Nouveau-style fountain, and the large park surrounding it for pleasant well-being and healthy relaxation. Inside you will find numerous drinking fountains and a number of buildings for living to which other facilities such as bars, refreshments, multipurpose, and concert halls are added.
The spa can also be used during the winter thanks to heating systems installed in the large halls. And don’t forget to drink the famous water!
Less than half an hour from Frosinone, visit beautiful Anagni, a town of art and rich history in the heart of Ciociaria. According to legend, it is one of the five cyclopean cities created by the god Saturn. Visit the elegant Palace of the Popes or Palace of Boniface VIII, built in the early decades of the 13th century, and the baronial residence of the Conti family. You may know that in medieval times, the papacy took refuge in this town to escape the struggles of the Roman Empire. And it was in this palace that the famous affair of the Slap or Outrage, the humiliation of the pope in the Hall of Exchequer, took place. Also worth seeing is the Sala dei Colombi.
In the center of Anagni, you should visit the Cathedral of Santa Maria, in the charming Piazza Innocenzo III, one of the most beautiful squares in the Lazio Region, a most elegant outdoor space reminiscent of the Middle Ages. Admire the low-medieval buildings, the magnificent apses of the cathedral, the bell tower, the Crypt of San Magno, called the Sistine Chapel of the 13th century, and the Loggia of Bonifacio Benedicente, used in the summer for the prestigious Medieval and Renaissance Theater Festival.
A visit not to be missed includes the Palazzo Trajetto, the Leaning House, Barnekow House, and the Churches of St. Andrew, St. Balbina, St. Augustine, and San Pietro in Vineis.
Leave from Frosinone and, in less than 15 minutes, you arrive in Alatri, one of the most beautiful art cities in Ciociaria. It is known as the City of the Cyclops for the Acropolis of the Civita, a symbol of Lazio’s megalithic cities to which mysteries and legends are linked. According to legend, Alatri is one of the five Cyclopean cities created by the god Saturn.
Worth visiting are the medieval historic center contained within the circuit of the megalithic walls, the many fine churches such as Santa Maria Maggiore, a jewel of Romanesque-Gothic art, and the unique ancient architectural structures such as the Palazzo del Cardinale Gottifredo, a Romanesque building now housing the Civic Archaeological Museum.
Don’t miss a walk through the typical neighborhoods of the village for a pleasant and exciting historical experience and a visit to the Scolopi Church, the Pia Fountain, and the Conti-Gentili Palace. Also the medieval churches of San Benedetto and San Silvestro are must-see sights.
In short, a visit to this small town less than ten kilometers from Frosinone on a hill on the slopes of the Ernici Mountains is a truly unique experience that will leave you speechless.
For a short excursion immersed in nature, head for Pastena, a small but most interesting village famous for its caves and because it is the birthplace of the famous actor Nino Manfredi. Visit this small village at an altitude of 318 meters and 32 km from Frosinone; you can admire a unique agricultural landscape. You might like to know that the name itself comes from the Latin verb pastinare, which means to sow crops.
In this village, enclosed by a splendid medieval town wall, you can visit the 11th-century Collegiate Church of Santa Maria Maggiore in Piazza del Maggio and within it, the priceless relic of the Holy Cross and a fresco depicting St. Sebastian. If you are a movie buff, don’t miss a visit to the house of the actor of Nino Manfredi, where you can see photographic exhibitions and the theater, and finally visit the Museo della Civiltà Contadina e dell’Ulivo.
For an offbeat itinerary, plan an excursion to the famous Pastena Caves, just 5 km from the town in the Monti Ausoni and Lake Fondi Regional Nature Park. These caves are among the largest in Lazio and Italy. As you explore the caves, admire nature’s masterpieces created by the action of water, such as stalactites, stalagmites, pools, and waterfalls. Also important to see is the typical cave fauna with underground animals and insects that are found exclusively in this extraordinary underground environment. It’s a truly unique experience!
To Frosinone with Italo
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