Castrum Montis Nigri, the current Montenero, is a small town on a ridge of the Sabine Mountains. The name derived from the thick and dark woods of Montenero but also from the “black stone” or “flint” which in the past had a lot of importance. This stone was used until the beginning of 1900 for the manufacture of flint locks and firearms (especially during the Papal States).
The town was founded in the Middle Ages when the population took refuge in Castrum (fortress) in the high ground to escape the Barbarian invasions. The first records of Montenero dates back to a document of the Abbey of Farfa in 1023. Montenero was under the domain of the Abbey for about three centuries before moving successively to the Orsini, Mareri, Salvelli and Mattei.
The last family was that of Vicentini, Marquis of Rieti.
The appearance of the village is in a herringbone pattern along a route that connects the Church at the bottom with the imposing bulk of the castle at the top.