Rieti is named after Rhea Sylvia the mother of the twins Romulus and Remus, founders of Rome. Rhea Silvia was descended from Aeneas who became king of Alba Longa. His uncle usurped the throne, and then killed the sons of his brother and forced Rhea Silvia to become a priestess of the goddess Vesta to prevent her from having offspring. Legend says that the god Mars seduced her in a forest.
When his uncle knew of the birth of the twins, he ordered a servant to kill Romulus and Remus. The maid, took pity and put them in a basket entrusting the waters of the Tiber.
Rieti is located in Sabina, an area connected to Rome from another well known legend: the Rape of the Sabine women. According to tradition, Romulus, after founding Rome, spoke to nearby populations to forge alliances and get the women to procreate and populate the new city.
The refusal of nearby populations responds was a mistake. He organised a great spectacular to attract the inhabitants of the region and kidnapped their women. From here began a rivalry between the Romans and Sabines which ended when abducted women threw themselves among the arms of the fighters, creating a truce and the birth of a collaboration between the two peoples.
After the fall of Rome, Rieti acquired new importance thanks to St. Francis who built four important monasteries in this valley, known as the “Valle Santa” on the traverse of the Walk of Francis .
Around the thirteenth century was a period of splendour and economic prosperity for the city of Rieti, who was often filled the Papal seat. In Rieti St. Dominic was canonised and Charles II of Anjou was crowned.