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The area around Sgurgola area was inhabited in ancient times, as evidenced by the tomb found in 1880 in a cave near the present day station below the town. The remains have been attributed to the Rinaldone culture, of the 3rd millennium BC.  The man of about 30 was buried with stone implements painted with cinnabar and a copper pointed dagger.

Sgurgola, appearing for the first time in 1088, is derived from some older language and inhabitants. Ignoring the claimed Spartacan origin, that would justify the traditional local belligerence, the most likely original name of Sculcula is from the Latin ‘sculca’ meaning ‘lookout’. This name is appropriate for this site overlooking the Sacco valley and down past Frosinone. Other theorists suggest the same entymology as Gorga town, Sgurgola’s ‘mirror image’ on the other side of the Lepini Mountains, which derives from the latin word for spring (water source).

In any case the origins of today’s Sgurgola date back to the Barbarian invasions, when the inhabitants of Ferentino and Anagni sought refuge on surrounding high ground, in safer places.  Various rustic Roman villas confirm the existence of pre-Roman settlements in the old towns.

In 1253 Sgurgola was a possession of family Conti of Ceccano who in 1319 sold it to Torelli and then to the Caetani. In the fifteenth century it became part of the possessions of the Colonna family, who held it until 1818.

Of prior historical interest is that, in April 1300, Sgurgola was also the venue of a meeting of Boniface VIII with the emissaries of the king of England Edward I Plantagenet. The aim of the meeting was to mediate conflicts with France and with Scotland (Dupré Theseider).

The differences between the Caetani and Colonna families contributed to the unfolding of the events of 1303, culminating with the “slap of Anagni”. According to tradition also saw Sgurgola as theatre even though no definite stone has been unturned.




Traveller's Guide to Italy