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In Fumone there is perhaps one of the best-known restaurants in the whole of Lazio, but it is not really a restaurant: it’s the Baron’s Tavern!

It is one of the first local eateries to retrieve the ancient traditions, which were found inside the cellars of the ancient stone palace in the historic centre of Fumone, inside the circle of walls.

The venue soon became famous for its waitresses dressed in traditional garb and the famous ‘ciocie’, the shoes from which the name Ciociaria comes, and the traditional music that is played every night. Stornelli (songs with rhymes such as limericks) and popular songs, some of which are full of double and triple meanings that allude to amorous games.

But how did the Baron’s Tavern come about? Who was so far-sighted that in 1991 he opened a place like this?

Sergio Caponera is a writer, poet and brilliant man. He was born on 22 August 1955 at Fumone and on August 28, 1977 he married Giovanna Pietrobono (but known as Viviana), with whom he has three sons: Silvio, Patrizia and Gianpaolo.

Sergio has always loved his town and in 1988 published his first work, an essay dedicated to the patron saint of Fumone, San Sebastian Martyr, followed by two years later by the book Fumone, Olympus of Ciociaria.

He clearly has a creative and enterprising spirit and practiced many trades until, at age thirty-five, he decided to dedicate himself to his great passion for the Middle Ages.

So, in 1991 “Baron’s Tavern” was born.

The restaurant is the synthesis of his passion for Fumone and the Middle Ages, a traditional place where guests are served dishes cooked according to ancient recipes in a very special atmosphere.

From that moment on, everyone knew Sergio as ‘The Baron’. Love for history led him to increasingly devote himself to the rediscovery of the Fumonese and Ciociarian traditions.

In 2000, he published the manual “Cucina Cioc1ara” in which he proposed Fumonesi recipes handed down for centuries by mother to daughter. Since 2001 he has devoted himself to writing at an even faster pace, publishing novels and poems and getting various awards.

In 2002, he released his first poetic collection, a collection of five volumes with the titles: Love, Earth, Ode to Wine, Travel, Thoughts.

His interest in the Middle Ages led him to frequent theaters and street artists with whom he invited to give live performances and historical recollections including the well-known Castri Fumonis Ludi.

From 2004 are novels A Family for Necessity and Carnival, Lent and … in 2005 he published Anna and in 2006 The Hill of Desire. The following year, the novel Adriana and the poetic collection Trenta pensieri per te e I pensieri volano were printed.

Sergio passed away on February 27, 2009 leaving an indelible mark on everyone who has been fortunate enough to meet him. In 2010 came the posthumous collection of Cartapaglia, which contains, in addition to his unpublished works, the poems of the 2010 Belli Prize and the first edition of the special prize of extemporaneous poetry dedicated to him.

Elisa Potenziani

ITA Elisa è storica dell’arte medievista e si è laureata in Storia dell’arte e archeologia, tutela e valorizzazione dei beni culturali all’Università della Tuscia. Dopo collaborazioni nelle attività di ricerca dell’università, oggi lavora al Museo delle Mura Aureliane a Roma. È da sempre impegnata in attività di promozione turistica e culturale, ed ha una predilezione particolare per i temi riguardanti lo slow tourism e le nuove tendenze nella divulgazione scientifica e culturale. È il presidente dell’Associazione culturale Il Guitto che promuove Fumone, il paesaggio, i siti archeologici e i sentieri storici nel territorio comunale.