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The river Tiber historically divided the Etruscans from the Sabines so along the hills near the river it was natural to build lookouts and control centres. Probably the origin of Ponzano dates back to the Etruscans (you can see traces in the town) and then this area may have been the site of a river port and a river crossing. This would explain the name of the centre and the Roman family name that here had its genesis, Gens Pontia (from which also came Pontius Pilate).

After the Romans these areas were taken into care by the Benedictine monks and their first settlement dates from the eighth century.

The town is located on a hill that has a wonderful view over the Tiber Valley and the first official record of the urban centre dates back to the thirteenth century. Since 1443 the village has been the domain of the Abbey of St. Paul and then of that of the Tre Fontane (Three Fountains) with Cardinal Alessandro Farnese.