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The village lies on a hillside of the Ruffi mountains bordering Subiaco, in an area characterized by olive trees and Mediterranean bush.

According to a scholar of ancient civilizations, the name Canterano comes from “kan” (founder of the Pelasgian race) and “terapne” (house) and means “abode of Kan”. The validation of the Pelasgian culture, perhaps arrived from Syria, is in the polygonal walls, partially demolished in 1880 for the construction of a road. As further proof of this legend, the emblem of Canterano shows a ship in full sail (that crosses the Mediterranean Sea).

In 1884, in Canterano, seven bronze axes were found that are now stored in the Terme Museum in Rome.