Rieti is located about 80 Km from Rome, in the middle of a valley brimming with history.
The city stands on the banks of the Velino River which, in Roman times, thanks to the large bridge at the entrance to the city, was the main link with Via Salaria, a direct connection to the capital. The link with the Roman world is also visible in Rieti’s Subterranean areas, which preserve the remains of the Roman viaduct, an impressive artefact that allowed for direct entry into the city, avoiding the swamping of the Salaria.
After the Romans, the city flourished during the Middle Ages as well. Beyond the city walls, dating back to the 13th century, we come to the historic centre.
Here we find the Civic Museum of Rieti, inside the Palazzo Comunale (city hall), which houses a collection starting from the late Renaissance. Many priceless works of art have been added, paintings, sculptures, and elegant expressions of the goldsmith’s art.
Among the things to see in Rieti are the Palazzo di Governo, with its elegant double loggia, the 12th-century Cathedral with its grandiose bell tower and Palazzo Vescovile, the Episcopal Palace, heralded by a majestic portico divided into two parts by pillars.
Definitely worth a visit is Teatro Flavio Vespasiano, Rieti’s main theatre, inaugurated in 1893, after 10 years of work.
The tourist offerings do not stop in the city centre: the surroundings are rich in history and culture.
In the valley there are the Franciscan Shrines, also reachable on foot in the warm seasons. Worth mentioning is the Convent of Fonte Colombo, called “the Franciscan Mount Sinai” because in 1223, after fasting for 40 days, St. Francis dictated the Rule of the Order there.
There are also castles and small fortified villages, a truly fascinating trip into the past.
Most of the castles are located south of the city, set in the greenery of the valley.
In Fiamignano there is the majestic Castle of Poggio Poponesco of Norman origins.
Near the small fortified village of Castel Menardo are three more castles, Corvaro, Torano and Collefegato, also from the Norman period.
You absolutely must taste the typical dishes of the province of Rieti. There is something for everyone: stracciatelle pasta in broth, spaghetti alla carrettiera and the famous stewed lamb, without forgetting the fregnacce noodles alla sabinese, pasta with a sauce of olives, mushrooms and artichokes.
Strong flavours that speak of an authentic intense land.
For more information: Comune di Rieti