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Forano is located on a hill in the Tiber valley north of Rome, and its roots are very old. It was a Sabine village in the eleventh century BC, then became Roman. In the eighth century BC it was called Iani Forum in honour of a temple dedicated to the god Janus. The present village began to form in the Middle Ages when people were running away from the Barbarian invasions and taking refuge on the heights.

It belonged to the powerful Abbey of Farfa until the twelfth century, when it passed to the Saint Eustachio (Eustace) and to the Savelli. In 1589 it passed to the Florentine Strozzi family who embellished it with palaces, churches and works.