At 750 msl, this quaint medieval village, Santopadre. enclosed within walls, surrounded by woods, vineyards and olive groves, is not far from Gole del Melfa.
Stairs and soffits, alleyways and protrusions, steeped in silence, create the structure of this small historic centre on a high hill, built in stone.
The vestiges of the defensive system, with thick walls and circular towers, recount the importance of Santopadre, already in Roman times a privileged place for the villas of celebrities such as Juvenal and Pomponius Atticus, brother of Cicero.
The origin of the name is interesting: in ancient times it was called Fiorolo or Forolo, probably a diminutive of Forum, small market place. Following the fortification of the village it was called Castro Forolo; but the miracles attributed to St. Folco, who lived and died in the village was behind the devotion to Folco, holy father or “santo padre”. Dedicated to the saint is the 16th-century church, which conserves a beautiful canvas, painted on both sides, by Cavalier D’Arpino, and the body of the saint inside a special urn.
A few km from the village is the Gole del Melfa, a wonderful green jewel of Ciociaria, a natural canyon with crystal clear waters and beautiful rocky walls 14 kilometres long; the landscape is wild, made of woods and cliffs, caves and hermitages, waterfalls and rapids, also accessible by Mbike, a natural gateway to the National Park of Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise.
You must try the polenta, trippette (tripe) and snails, typical local dishes, authentic and tasty.