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Vico nel Lazio, perched at 721 meters high on a limestone relief covered with olive trees at the foot of Mount Monna, is a rare and typical example of a medieval village in southern Lazio. A cobblestoned street that crosses into an exclusive labyrinth with appealing portals with stone jambs and lintels and a mighty walled town, marked by three entrance doors and twenty-four towers.

It is believed that the walls of Vico were built around 1000 and served to discourage the enemies and to secure the people in the castrum. The wall is about 950 meters long and follows an ideal ring around the top of Vico hill.

In the wall, there are three gates that still serve today to enter and exit the village of Porta a Monte, Porta Guarcino and Porta Orticelli. The towers end with rectangular battlements, like all the guelph walls that supported the pope.

Porta a Monte is the most important door that leads directly to the square of the town, the centre of political and religious life, municipal offices and the Governor’s Palace. The name derives from the fact that it is located in the north-east of the circuit, just in front of the Ernici group mountains, Monna, Forchetta and Rodonaria.

The second is Porta Guarcino that externally shows a beautiful ogival arch, surmounted by a window, with shaped jambs, from which one could have a wide angled view. The remains of 14th-century frescoes can be seen in the afternoon light.

Porta Orticelli opens on a South West position with respect to the Town Circuit. In ancient papers, it was called Porta Otricoli, probably for the numerous small workshops for barrels and wineskins. The bow of the door is all round. Like Porta di Monte, it is flanked by two towers, one on the right and one on the left, aiming for a better defensive strategy.

The walls of Vico have lasted, thanks to the love of the people who have always taken care of the towers, gates and walls that are now over a thousand years old.

On occasion of art exhibitions, a group of sculptors from the school of Vincenzo Bianchi has made some sculptures drawing profiles in the limestone stones on which the walls of Vico are founded

 

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