Capena stood on the hill of Civitucola in the valley of the Tiber north east of Roma, and was the capital of Capenati, a fair and elegant civilization previous to the Roman. This civilization was first incorporated into the Etruscan civilisation before becoming Roman. The old town is a few kilometers from the current one that is on “Civitucola” hill, commonly called “Castellaccio” because of the ruin.
During the Republican period Capena was rich and flourishing, as evidenced by the fame of the treasures of the Lucus Feronia sanctuary (the goddess of animals, forests and crops), which in 211 was sacked by Hannibal. In the imperial period, the territory was incorporated into the “Patrimonium Caesaris” and gave birth to numerous villas, such as the famous Villa Volusii. These villas in the late Empire period were beginning to have the look of a Middle Age fief with its castle and the fortified town at the central, “Castrum”. The “Patrimonium Caesaris” became a fief of the Church of Rome and was part of the assets of the Monastery of St. Martin which has long housed the Benedictine monks.
The current city of Capena was created on a very steep tufa promontory and was called Leprignano. The medieval part is characterized by narrow streets and squares, and you can recognize part of the city walls with a lava stone entrance with the coat of arms of the city of Leprignano. Around the medieval core the town developed following the renaissance.