Guide of Vicovaro

Vicovaro, east of Rome along the Via Tiburtina Valeria in the Aniene Valley, is the heir of the ancient Varia. This area was held by the Equi and there are remains of Roman walls of the third century BC. Near here and Licenza was the country villa of the poet Horace given to him by Maecenas in 32 BC. There are much archaeological evidence of Varia: remains of rural and residential villas, inscriptions and various architectural and decorative materials.

In the late Roman period, with invasions, Varia declined and the population gathered around residential villas and churches.

Christianity penetrated in these lands along the Via Valeria, although pagan customs were slow to die, yet Monasticism flourished in these areas since the V-VI centuries. Here, according to tradition, occurred the attempted poisoning of St. Benedict, who was elected abbot of this monastic community.

The Barbarian invasions, first raids on Totila in 545 then Autari in 589 and then Agilulfo, resulted in mortal blows to these locations.

The history of the medieval village of Vicovaro begins in 1191 when Pope Celestine III granted the fiefdom of Vicovaro to the descendants of Orsini, and the Counts of Tagliacozzo. As a result of  their rule that lasted from 1273 to 1464, the ancient settlement of Vicus Variae became a Ghibelline fortress.

With the Orsini came the moment of maximum splendour when the fortress withstood the siege of Cesare Borgia, the Valentino, at the beginning of the sixteenth century.

In 1672 the Orsini were succeeded by the Bolognetti, who were the last owners.

 


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