Montenero in Sabino, a tiny fairy-tale medieval village, 70 kilometres from Rome, extends along an uphill spur, with a single main road between the two important points: the Church at the top and the Castle below.
This village is a rare example of the two ancient powers, temporal and spiritual, which faced each other and kept an eye on each other, not only metaphorically.
The location is spectacular, like a boat in the middle of the green mountains, and the structure is a perfect herringbone.
Montenero is about 300 meters long and 40 meters wide, a remote little space lost in the woods, worth a visit because you don’t often find yourself inside a masterpiece.
Of great interest are the Church of San Cataldo Vescovo, renovated in 1735, with baroque stuccos and frescoes and the statue of the Madonna, a 19th-century wooden sculpture, which the inhabitants of Montenero named the Madonna of Motherhood for the sweet facial features.
Worth visiting is the medieval castle from which the Baronial Palace was built. It offers a wonderful panorama.
The name “Montenero Sabino” seems to derive from the dense vegetation, characterized by the dark green foliage that covers the entire surrounding area, or by the special stone called “floca” found in numerous quarries.
Some fine local pasta dishes include fettuccine noodles with porcini mushrooms, fregnacce alla Sabinese, macaroni with pesto sauce or meat sauce, while main courses include lamb alla scottadito or dishes of wild boar, deer and fallow deer; do not miss the exquisite aniseed doughnut.