The city of Palestrina has sat on the slopes of Mount Ginestro for almost three thousand years dominating the countryside south-east of Rome. From this position the previously named Praeneste controlled the roads of communication along the Tyrrhenian coast from north to south, deriving from that its wealth and power.
To get closer to understanding the reality of an ancient city like Palestrina, its archaeological remains, its churches and its surroundings, there are many interpretations to study.
The historical one sees the city founded about nine centuries before Christ, committed to the Latin league against the rising power of Rome, then in the battle between Colonna and the Papacy, and lastly being bombed during World War II. The monumental sign of a glorious past, rich and open to cultural innovations, is witnessed by the stunning Sanctuary of Fortuna Primigenia.
The cultural signs include Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina – prince of polyphonic music, the Latin grammarian Verrio Flacco, and the brothers Heinrich and Thomas Mann, who during their summer stays in the city found the inspiration for some of their major works.