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Atina and the Val di Comino


The small town of Casalvieri is situated on a hill at a height of 380 metres above sea level on the eastern side of the Val di Comino.

The area has been inhabited since the Palaeolithic age and became the territory of the Volscian and Samnite tribes before passing eventually passing into the hands of the Romans. Indeed many Roman remains can still be seen today such as a bridge over the River Melfa, a tomb in the Valloni district, and the remains of a road in the Casal delle Mole district.

The Museum, Il Museo Civico "Padre Iacobelli" houses examples of fossils, votive objects, blocks of polygonal walls from the pre-Roman city of Cominium, as well as coins of the imperial and republican eras.

The town was first documented in 1017 and in 1046 and was described as having a castle and two convents, San'Angelo Pescomascolino and San Nazario.  In 1076 it came under the ownership of Montecassino.

Casalvieri held a strategic position which controlled the narrow passage along the River Melfa leading into the Val di Comino and the Liri Valley through Roccasecca. There were many mills constructed along the river bank.  It came into the ownership of the D’Aquino family, and then passed on to the Della Rovere’s and finally the Boncompagni family who held possession until 1796.

The remains of the town walls and two watchtowers can still be seen today. The Porta Maggiore was the main entrance into the town.

The Church of Santi Giovanni Battista, Evangelista e Nicola dates from the Medieval ages but has been restructured many times over the ages.   It has a fine Baroque façade with two niches which hold statues of the saints. Inside it has some notable paintings and carved statues and some decorative woodwork such as the compass, the choir, the organ and sacristy.

Other local churches in the Casalvieri area include:

The ancient Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Rose located in the Rosselli district

Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Grazie e San Pietro in the Purgatorio district

Chiesa di San Giacomo Apostolo in the district of Sorrelle

Chiesa di  Sant’Antonio Abate in the district of Collefosse

Chiesa di Sant’Antonio di Padova in  the district of Casal delle Mole

Chiesa di Santa Maria di Loreto in the Frittata district

Within the town there are several grand palaces to be found.  In Piazza della Collegiate stands the Palazzo Jacobelli, built in the second half of the sixteenth century and enlarged in the eighteenth century.  The 17th century Rezza Palace is in the western section and incorporates one of the towers of the town’s fortified walls.  There is also the 17th century  Palazzo De Vecchis.

There are many narrow cobblestoned alleys of ancient houses to explore. There is something of interest around every corner.

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Last Update May 2016

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