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The area around Colfelice was inhabited since Roman times, as the remains of a villa prove, and has been inhabited since the first century BC. After the Lombard invasion, the population was allocated to be under the protection of the lords of the stewardship of Aquino. It was then fought over between the Papacy and the Empire, and it went to the families of Cantelmos, Della Rovere until 1583, and then the Boncompagni.

The name comes from the fusion of ‘Col’ names, from Coldragone, and ‘Happy’, as Villafelice, which are now both villages of Colfelice.

Coldragone dates back to the sixteenth century when the Duchy of Arce came under Giacomo Boncompagni and the Duke began “an intense and committed work of reconstruction of the Duchy with permanent housing and economic, commercial and cultural initiatives.” Among these works were the building of the Ducal Palace, the introduction of the art of wool in Isola del Liri and in 1583 the construction of a hamlet on a small hill in the fiefdom of Arce that was given the name Colle Drago because the dragon was depicted in the emblem of the Boncompagni family.

Another legend tells of a dragon that spread terror among the population and who lived in a dark cave in the hillside. The dragon devoured the grazing animals, until he was killed by a sow defending her piglets and who liberated the village from the terrible monster.

In the seventeenth century the fiefdom suffered an earthquake (1654) and the plague (1656), and the Boncompagni returned to be interested directly in Coldragone area in the mid-eighteenth century. In 1796 it became part of the Bourbon Kingdom.

During World War II, Colfelice was near the German defensive front, the Gustav line, and suffered heavy bombing.

Categories: Guid