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Ceprano was founded at a point of the Liri river where the width is reduced so that the construction of a bridge was enabled. The river was the link between the Abruzzo, Lazio and southern Tyrrhenian coast. The name of the town probably derives from St. Cyprian, bishop of Carthage, worshipped by a colony of African Christians settled along the Liri.

The Liri has always been a geographical and political border, and Ceprano has always played a strategic role in the historical events from the Roman-Samnite Wars to the Middle Ages and on to the Second World War. In this area stood the ancient Roman city of Fregellae built precisely to counter the Samnites advance in their conquest of all Italy.

The castle was built after the year one thousand and is surrounded by two legends: one related to a siege by the Saracens, the other to the presumed father of Pope Onorio I, Petronio Ceccano who also owned Ceprano.

Due to its strategic location, it was ruled directly by the Roman Church who appointed their vicars or governors. Its “right of passage function” is also underlined by a settlement of the Templars in the ancient church of San Paterniano, turned into a place of hospitality for pilgrims of their order.

In 1230 Emperor Frederick II and in 1254 his son Manfredi were forced to humble themselves before the pope. Manfredi had to wait for Pope Innocent IV at the beginning of the bridge and walk up and down the deck, holding his horse.

In the sixteenth century, the castle was taken by the Spaniards, allies of Pope Paul IV. For Ceprano the sixteenth century was a time of recovery with the construction of the church of San Rocco and the establishment of a fair.

Ceprano has followed the events of the Kingdom of Naples, and in 1615 the old bridge was rebuilt.

With the unification of Italy there was strong emigration that continued until after World War II, during which Ceprano was a theater of war.

Categories: Guid