Norma stands on a rocky wall overlooking the Agro Pontino, with a view that reaches to Monte del Circeo, and the plain where the wonderful Gardens of Ninfa are easily distinguished.
The village is divided into two parts, the medieval section sitting on a sheer rock and that of the ancient city of Norba on a nearby plateau with one side too overhanging the Pontine plain.
Norba was initially built by the Volsci and is surrounded by a defensive system of polygonal walls, locally also called cyclopean walls due to the large size of the boulders that compose it, with the imposing Porta Maggiore which was one of the 4 accesses to the city.
This structural arrangement dates back to the 6th century BC and the city was part of the Latin League that was defeated by the nascent power of Rome in 499 in the famous battle of Lake Regillo.
From that date Norba became a Roman city and in the structure of the city one recognizes the typical Roman road system with still perfect roads and also with pedestrian crossings.
The city was then destroyed and abandoned in 79 B.C. and this has preserved it from any subsequent modification, for which the implantation of the late republican Roman cities can be recognized. The story of the destruction is part of the civil war between Mario and Silla and the fact that Norba had sided with Mario, the loser of the dispute.
In order not to surrender to General Emilio Lepido in the war between Mario and Silla, the inhabitants of Norba committed suicide and destroyed their city. A sour and proud gesture that still marks the character of these inhabitants of the Monti Lepini.
The medieval village was formed later when, with the fall of the Roman empire, the whole plain returned to be an unhealthy and impracticable swamp and the trade and the passage between Rome and the coast of Lazio took place through a mountain walking road known today as Via Francigena del Sud .
In the older part, Norma has the characteristics of a medieval hill town built around a castle with narrow and steep streets and houses built in a row. The core of the castle is just recognized among the houses that were built from its original structure.
Today Norma is a cheerful village of the Monti Lepini, much appreciated by tourists who visit the ruins of Norba and appreciate the typical cuisine of the Lepini Mountains and the chocolate factory (not open in summer).
It is also known to all paragliding enthusiasts and here there are very interesting international flight competitions because the launch area is right next to one of the two acropolis of ancient Norba.
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