Majestically perched atop the Colle di Cerreto Piano and touched by the Velino River in an area inhabited in prehistory by the Aborigines and later by the Pelasgians (peoples from the Adriatic Sea), Cittaducale is a splendid example of late–medieval fortress city. Not far from Rieti and Rome, it can be reached in less than an hour and a half from Rome.
In today’s territory the Pelasgians founded three cities that were later destroyed with the arrival of a new people, the Sabines.
Today, visitors to Cittaducale find themselves moving through a network of orthogonal roads that lead up to Piazza del Popolo, the civic, religious and commercial centre where the aristocratic palaces and civic tower are located.
Even today some sections of the walls with defensive towers are still visible, including that guarding the main entrance, called Torre Angioina or Cassero di San Manno.
In the surrounding area, the Roman emperor Vespasian had splendid baths built, the Terme. Their remains can still be admired near the centre, in an archaeological area of great interest.
Today, near the ancient Roman baths, we find restaurants, gardens and thermal fountains with a sulphurous water pond.
The 14th-century Cathedral of Santa Maria del Popolo is definitely not to be missed if you visit this village. Its stone facade is of the Abruzzi gothic style (with horizontal crowning and rosette) and an 18th-century interior.
The traditional cuisine includes Sagne alla molinara, a typical local past dish made of poor ingredients such as flour and water, and hand-rolled in a special and laborious process.
To finish, chestnuts and vinbrulés characterize the town’s autumn flavours.