Guide of Sutri

Sutri stands on an imposing tuff relief along the Via Cassia north of Rome and its ancient Etruscan origins are evidenced by the necropolis.

Legend has it that the name comes from its founder Sutri: the god Saturn, the father of all gods, called Sutrinas in Etruscan.

The images of Saturn on horseback, having put his sword down, raises a bundle of ears of corn, is reproduced in the emblem of the city as a symbol of fertility and abundance of this land.

It was conquered in 383 BC by the Romans and became an important commercial centre thanks to the Via Cassia, along which then the Barbarians came.

Since the fifth century it was a bishopric and, according to legend, the first bishop appointed was San Romolo, while the first resident bishop was Eusebius from 465.

Sutri was involved in the wars between the Lombards and Byzantines until it joined the possessions of Pope Gregory II in 728. This act is the first of the constitution of the Patrimony of St. Peter and hence the Papal States.

Sutri is also famous for the story of Berta, sister of Charlemagne, who here gave birth to Orlando (or Rolando), champion of France and hero of many stories of chivalry.

In 1046 Pope Clement II was elected to the Council of Sutri that ended the rivalry between the Papacy and the Empire.

In 1433 it was destroyed and burned by the mercenary Captain Nicholas Fortebraccio and since then the decline of the city began as it was excluded from the new trade route of the Via Cimina established by the powerful Farnese family.


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