The name Valmontone probably derives from topography of the place on which the village stood in the Sacco river valley, “valley overlooked by a mountain”.
According to legend, its origins are linked to Glaucus, son of Minos and Valmontone was the ancient city of Volsci Tolerium. In Roman times there were several villas in the lower zone where the ancient Via Latina passed, that connected Rome to Naples.
In the Middle Ages, after the Roman Empire, the Benedictine monastery of San Zosio was founded and since 1052 it is recorded that the population took refuge in a fortified castrum to escape the Barbarian attacks.
Since 1200, thanks to Pope Innocent III, Valmontone became a transit stop for emperors and popes, like Charles VIII and Urban VI. Then it had a period of decline. Valmontone has been destroyed several times: in 1526, due to choosing the wrong alliances, it was sacked by the armies of Pope Paul IV and the troops of Marcantonio Colonna and salt was scattered on its ruins.
In 1634 Valmontone was acquired by the powerful Barberini family that destroyed the stronghold to turn it into a palace. Then, in 1651, it passed under the control of the Prince Camillo Pamphilj, nephew of Pope Innocent X and Valmontone reached its maximum artistic and monumental splendor. The Doria Pamphili built a magnificent palace on the highest hill with many decorations and frescoes. In 1843 Pope Gregory XVI issued a Bull which raised Valmontone to the “City” status.
During the Second World War Valmontone was heavily bombed as it was crossed by important communication lines such as the Via Casilina and the railway and during the bombardment period the entire population took refuge in the Doria Pamphili Palace where they lived for several months.
Recently Valmontone has been reborn ‘in its valley’ with a big commercial Outlet and Magicland entertainment park which attracts visitors from all over Italy.