A small town 1,000 metres above the sea level not far from Amatrice and the mountains, Cittareale is home to a triangular-plan fortress, the Rocca Aragonese, which makes it truly picturesque.
Important archaeological campaigns uncovered the remains of a villa which belonged to one of the most well-known Roman families of the 1st century AD, the Flavians. This confirmed the theory that this was the place of birth of Vespasian, the emperor of the Colosseum and who gave Rome public toilets known as “vespasiani”.
The tradition of taking a pilgrimage to the Sanctuary of Capodacqua can be traced back to the Middle Ages and it still attracts the faithful and tourists. The sanctuary was built to house a small statue of the Madonna and Child, believed to be miraculous, found at the nearby source of the River Velino.
Cittareale is charming both in winter, when winter sports can be enjoyed at Selvarotonda, and in summer. The town is also known for a local beer whose great taste is due to the altitude and the extremely pure water.
Truffles, honey, mushrooms and wonderful sheep-milk and goat-milk cheeses are the must-try local products, along with the typical dishes of the Lazio and Abruzzo mountains, such as the “panonta”, or fried bread dough, celebrated with a feast in January.