Guide of Soriano nel Cimino

During the Etruscan era Soriano was already a thriving city and its name derives from the Etruscan “Surus”, the woods, and “ianus”, place, and that is “wooded location”.

In 310 BC the Romans developed it by building roads to cross the Cimina. And thanks to these roads the Goths immediately came, followed by the Lombards and the Saracens before Soriano was ruled by the monks and the Papal States. In fact, since the third century AD, the area was affected by the Christian evangelism and was in the list of possessions of the Roman Benedictine abbeys of San Silvestro in Capite and St. Lawrence Outside the Walls.

In the thirteenth century, the fiefdom was granted by Benedictine monks to Guastapane and then to Pandolfi. It had a period of splendour when the church gave it to the Orsini and it seems that Nicholas III Orsini died in Soriano in 1280. Nicholas III built the castle, now a symbol of the city, in the thirteenth around an ancient castle of the Guastapane – Pandolfi, who had been expelled because accused of heresy.

After a difficult period with the anti-pope, the estate came under the control of the Apostolic Chamber and was later owned by the Di Vico, the Colonna and the Sforza who were always competing with the pope. In fact, in 1435 Pope Eugene IV gave the fiefdom to cardinal Giovanni Vitelleschi who beheaded Giacomo Di Vico on the cathedral forecourt. In 1440 Soriano came among the possessions of the Holy See.

In 1489 it repelled the troops of neighboring Vignanello that intended to seize the fiefdom and who had assassinated the castellan of Soriano. For its loyalty to the church it was awarded by Pope Innocent VIII with the proceeds allocated to the Apostolic Chamber and with the authorization to add to the coat of arms the word ‘Fidelitas’.

Innocent VIII gave the fiefdom to the Borgias that were followed by the Della Rovere, the Caraffa and Madruzzo. Then, during the period of the Albani family it became a principality and had another period of splendour.

 


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