Fiuggi is situated on a gentle slope at the foot of the Ernici Mountains, which are named after the ancient pre-Roman people. From its hills it dominates the entire Valley of Anticolana with Lake Canterno.
After the conquest of the territory, with the Pax Romana, the first villas were born, which also had a task of social and agricultural organization of the area. Of the Roman period there is not much news but some remains of construction. It is said that a territory called Felcia was on the Prenestina Way and which, under the name of “Fons Arilla”, already knew the properties of the local waters.
The original old town, however, was formed in the Middle Ages on the hills during the period of Barbarian and Saracen invasions when the population abandoned the Roman villas on the valley and plains and retreated to castrum, or fortresses, on top of the hills.
The one in Fiuggi was partly under the control of the Abbey of Subiaco and partly by the Clergy of Anagni and had the name Anticoli. The little hamlet then passed under the direct control of the Pontifical State.
Its greatest splendour was perhaps with Pope Boniface VIII, originally from Anagni, who suffered from kidney stones and established one of his homes in this area. The pope is remembered in many frescoes and in the name of the main water source. After a period of autonomy the town was given as a fiefdom to several families such as the Sforza, the Borgia, the Margani and the Colonna.
The Colonna family is the one who has ruled the town for the longest time since 1517, when it had bought it from the Mangani family. True control began in 1569 when Pope Pius V conferred the title of Prince on Marcantonio Colonna II shortly before appointing him as Admiral of the Pontifical Fleet. Marcantonio Colonna is the engineer of the defeat of the Turks in Lepanto that has helped stop the Islamic advance in the West.
Fiuggi ‘bassa’ was created in a short time since 1905 when the exploitation of the waters was given to the company Anonima Fiuggi.
The change of the name of the village from Anticoli to Fiuggi took place in 1911 almost naturally with the industrial exploitation of the waters of Fiuggi and with the ‘first strategic plans of promotion’ of the waters and the spas. Before then, Fiuggi was just a district of Anticoli where a source had been found in chestnut woods.
Since 1910 with the opening of the Grand Hotel of Fiuggi, and then that of Palazzo della Fonte, accommodation for the thermal baths, and finally with the arrival of the electric train directly from Rome, Fiuggi became a true tourist and holiday town.
These were ‘roaring’ years until the Second World War, during which many areas of Ciociaria, including Montecassino, were heavily bombed. Some Fiuggi hotels were used as military bases
Today there are two thermal establishments, the Bonifacio Fonte VIII and the Fonte Anticolana, and Fiuggi has the largest concentration of hotels in Lazio, after Rome. The Grand Hotel has now become a top Hotel School appropriately named after Michelangelo who visited Anticolana to take the waters to break his ‘stones’. A banquet in the school is a great culinary and social pleasure.
To gain the most benefits from the curative waters of Fiuggi, and to experience the peace and charm of the town and its resorts, the traveller needs to stay close and sample the waters direct from the source. For the adventurous there are a range of peaceful and more strenuous relaxation options including the wonderful golf course.