Ciociaria, unlocking all of your emotions
La Ciociaria is a land of ancient traditions, with a mosaic of different cultures and ancient civilizations. The fossil remains of one of the oldest men in Europe, which are preserved in the prehistoric museum of Pofi, date back to about 800,000 years ago. As evidence of an ancient past you’ll see the mighty megalithic or cyclopean walls, the archaeological remains mostly from the Roman era, the castles and the medieval fortifications. Located in a demarcation point between the Papal State and the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies (still marked by interesting, clearly visible milestones), and in the exact midway point between Rome and Naples, the seat of the temporal power of the Popes and with the powerful feudal dynasties that alternated during conquests of the fertile valleys, the Ciociaria was the scene of bloody clashes up until the Unification of Italy and beyond, if we think of the fight against banditry and the many episodes of violence during the Second World War. The traveller of the new millennium will be able to marvel at the many medieval villages perched on the hills, the Benedictine and Cistercian monasteries, and the breathtaking mountain scenery as it opens up like an ancient and precious book.
Ancient pre-Roman towns
Towns like Alatri, Anagni, Arpino, Atina, Ferentino, and Veroli, with their walls dating back to the 4th century BC, are extraordinary legacies left by the Ernici and the Volsci, the pre-Roman people that colonised these lands. The remains of the ancient city of Fregellae, the archaeological area of Cassino, the Roman market of Ferentino and the glories of Veroli are the most tangible evidence of the great Roman expansion in this region, which gave us important men like Caio Mario and intellectuals like the great Roman orator Cicero.
The Medieval Abbeys
Discovering the Ciociaria means taking a trip to the most hidden historical churches, in search of a mysticism that has survived throughout the ages. It is certainly worth visiting the many abbeys in our lands, such as the Monastery of San Benedetto and Santa Scolastica in Subiaco, the Certosa di Trisulti in Collepardo, the Abbey of Casamari in Veroli, the Abbey of Montecassino, and the Abbey of Fossanova . Besides rediscovering the values connected to the precepts of Christianity, you’ll also have the opportunity to admire the works of artists of the past, who by virtue of their devotion have made these monastic buildings an indelible testimony of art and religious culture.
Reserves and natural parks
Ciociaria is unique in the fact that is natural beauty is so vast. Discover wonderful itineraries like those of the Monti Simbruini Natural Park (www.simbruini.it); the border areas of the National Park of Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise, the gorgeous territory of the Val di Comino, the ski resorts of Campo Catino, Campo Staffi and Prati di Mezzo, the Natural Reserve of Lago di Canterno, the Nature Reserve "Città di Fregellae ", and the Posta Fibreno Reserve.
Enjoy the beautiful landscapes as you take in the hills connected to the Aurunci, Ausoni, Ernici, Lepini, Simbruini, Mainarde and Meta mountain chains. Their enchanting valleys and the Val di Comino have ancient castles and medieval villages, with rivers such as Amaseno, Aniene, Melfa, Rapido, and Liri, which ends in a spectacular waterfall in the heart of the town of Isola.
Food and wine
You cannot come to Ciociaria without appreciating the joys of food. The cuisine of this ancient region of southern Lazio is a mosaic of flavours and qualities of the highest order and surprising variety. The underlying fabric of the cuisine was inspired by the farming culture and it is quite varied and rich, like the multitude of people who inhabited the Ciociaria; from cured meats to pecorino and caprini cheeses to precious extra virgin olive oil. Among the most renowned products we have the Cannellino DOP of Atina, the flavoured Caciotta from Ciociara cows, the Peperone of Pontecorvo, the Coppiette ciociare, the Prosciutto di Guarcino, the bread of Veroli, the ciambella of Morolo, the Fagiolone of Vallepietra, the Marzolina , and of course the exquisite Amaseno buffalo mozzarella (which comes from a town of 4,000 inhabitants and 14,000 buffaloes). Among our prized wines we have unmissable DOCGs such as the Cabernet of Atina and the Cesanese del Piglio, which are also produced with biodynamic methods and conquering important international markets. If you happen to go to a restaurant in these parts be sure to taste everything!