Guide of Labico

Labico is perched on a tuff spur in the Valle del Sacco or Valle Latina south east of Rome along the Via Casilina which once connected Rome with Capua (Casilinum). On its territory stood the ancient pre-Roman city of Bola, mentioned in Virgil’s Aeneid, while the ancient city of Labicum is located in the territory of neighboring municipalities.
A legend tells that this city was founded by Claudius, brother of Minos king of Crete, who was looking for new lands in Italy.
Until the nineteenth century Labico was called Lugnano and its name was modified in 1872 following the indications of Francesco de ’Ficoroni who stated that this was the area where ancient Labicum was located.
Both Bola and Labicum were then destroyed by the Romans in their first expansion and the territory was “Romanised” and assigned to Roman colonists.
In any case, the present village is formed along the Via Casilina, which in the initial stretch coincided with the Via Labicana, around a post station which today is Palazzo Giuliani, today the town hall. Here the Via Casilina met the shepherds’ and transhumance route that connected the Prenestini Mountains and Abruzzo with the sea.

During the Roman period in this area there were villas which were later abandoned after the fall of the Roman Empire and with the incursions of the Lombards.
Labico is mentioned for the first time in an act of 715 AD as “Fundus Longeianus”, the name of an ancient villa, which Pope Gregory II donates to the property of the church.

Around the 11th century a fortification began to be built: it was the period in which the population sought refuge from the barbarian invasions inside fortresses from which castles were later born.
It belonged initially to the Roman Church and then followed the events of the nearby Valmontone with the various feudal lords: from the Counts, to the Sforza, to the Barberini and finally to the Pamphili family.

 


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