Guide of Giuliano di Roma

Giuliano di Roma is located between the Sacco valley and the Amaseno valley on a panoramic hill just above the foot of Mount Siserno, in the Monti Ausoni, which reaches nearly 800 meters. The geology is of karst origin and reveals surprises as small springs that have encouraged livestock rearing.

Small findings of arrows suggest that the whole area was inhabited since prehistoric times but without settlements. Its position made it a point of passage between the hinterland and the coastal areas with Priverno and Terracina via the Maritime route. For this reason during the Roman period two rustic villas were built where the land was cultivated and livestock was raised for the nearby centres.

The fall of the Roman Empire led to a collapse of the socio-economic systems and the populations in the valleys, fearful of the arrival of the Barbarians, took refuge in the heights around towers and small fortified castles.

Its name derives from the medieval Castrum luliani the castle around which was formed the medieval village documented in 1125 in the pages of the “Chronicle” of the Abbey of Fossanova where it is told of Pope Honorius II who with his army had attacked and burned Julianum and other nearby castles.

These writings are also called Annales Ceccanenses which are of uncertain origin but refer to the history of the family of the Counts of Ceccano who were feudal lords from the eleventh century.

Because of its position along a strategic road axis, during the period of the struggle between the papacy and the empire, the area was the subject of numerous looting by the continuous passage of troops in the area.

The Lords of Ceccano were in opposition to the papacy and for a time they were so powerful that their family wrote the pages of history and their county was among the richest in Europe. After the oath of loyalty to the pope by the Counts of Ceccano, Giuliano was attacked and sacked by Federico Barbarossa in 1165 and then by the troops of William I, the kings of Sicily who brought it under the control of the church.

Famous people like Innocenzo III stayed there for whom in 1208 Count Giovanni da Ceccano set up a very rich boarding school and organized a carousel. It was Pope Innocent III, who had ties with the Counts of Ceccano, who returned the feud of Giuliano to this family.

For a few centuries the position of Giuliano di Roma gave it an important role in geopolitical balances because it was the access to the coastal area passing from Priverno to Terracina then to Gaeta, and avoiding the Appian Way that, after the fall of the Roman Empire, became swampy and was no longer viable.

The country was governed by several families: the de Ceccano until the fourteenth century, then the Caetani and finally the Colonna. The passage between the Caetani and the Colonna took place thanks to a marriage and a legal struggle.

An unusual indicator of medieval struggles occurred in 1420 when the feud of Giuliano was lost from a will and returned to Sveva Caetani in Colonna thanks to the Tribunal of the Apostolic Chamber. The fief was then left to the Colonna family until the unification of Italy except for a break due to Pope Alexander VI Borgia, Pope Paul III Farnese and Pope Paul IV Carafa.

At the end of the eighteenth century the French army arrived with the Republic of Rome and the compulsory conscription that drove young people to become brigands, such as Luigi Masocco and Giovanni Rita, who were part of the Antonio Gasbarrone band, and who were supported by the population.

Many Julians began to emigrate from the early twentieth century especially immediately after the destructive earthquake of the Marsica of 1915 and the entry into the First World War. Giuliano suffered considerable destruction during the Second World War because it was involved in a short but intense battle.


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