Filettino is the highest town in the Lazio (1075 metres above sea level), and is surrounded by high mountains covered with beech forests. Before the unification of Italy, the border between the Papal State and the Kingdom of Naples passed along the mountains of Cotento and Viglio. Even today you can find stone cairns that witness the border.
Filettino was founded by people who sought shelter in the aftermath of the fall of the Roman Empire. The first houses were built on the “Cotard” (name derived from the Latin “Costis burn”, steep cliff) and, because of the topography of the place, were built “in a row” one after the other, from which probably derives the name of the area.
In 1297 it came under the control of Pietro Caetani, nephew of Pope Boniface VIII. The Caetani era was known as being particularly cruel for over 3 centuries until the last of the Filettino Caetanis from Filettino was executed in 1602 . That year it became a member of the Apostolic Chamber under Pope Clement VII and therefor became part of the Papal States until in 1870 it joined the Kingdom of Italy.
The history did not stop with the founding of Italy. In August 2011, following an Italian government announcement that all villages with under 1,000 residents would have to combine with nearby villages in order to cut city hall costs, meaning that Filettino must merge with the neighbouring town of Trevi nel Lazio, a futile campaign was initiated for Filettino to become an “independent state”.