Cantalice is a little gem built vertically along a steep spur of rock from which you can admire the lakes along Ripasottile. It is located in a part of Sabina which has always been the land ‘border’.
In 774, with the arrival of Charlemagne, the Sabina was the “Terminatio Confinorum” border between the Ducato Longobardo and the rising Papal States. For this reason, the Sabina is divided into “Roman” and “Rieti”.
In 1200, with the annexation of the Diocese of Rieti to the Papal States, Sabina entered the Papal States, although some towns were part of the Norman kingdom and then Angevin.
The village of Cantalice is part of Anjou and was formed around the XII century along the path that connects the Rocca di Sopra Castello, the small fortress of the Valley and the Rocca di Sotto, on a slope leading down to the valley.
Conflicts between Rieti and Cantalice continued for centuries and reached a peak in 1577, when the people of Rieti violently assaulted the town which resisted and drove the enemies back.
It was during these battles that the motto “Fortis Cantalicia Fides” was established, and it is still reported in the town’s coat of arms that represents an eagle with open wings on a tower flanked by a lion and a holm oak. Cantalice takes its name from Holm Cantalice.
Cantalice was given in 1539 by Emperor Charles V to his daughter Margaret of Austria, second wife of Ottavio Farnese. The Farnesi ruled the town until the eighteenth century when, as a result of family problems, it was returned to the Kingdom of Naples.