The 10 attractions to visit in Ciociaria in winter

Ciociaria is a region located in central Italy, famous for its scenic beauty, history and traditional cuisine. In winter, this region offers many opportunities to explore and discover its tourist attractions. Here are some examples of itineraries and tourist attractions to visit in winter in Ciociaria:

The Simbruini Mountains Regional Park

Located in the northern part of Ciociaria, this nature park offers a wide range of hiking trails to explore the region’s winter nature. The park is also an important protected area for wildlife such as wolves and chamois.

The park is one of the significant orographic formations in the area, located within the Apennine system. Trevi and Filettino near the upper Aniene basin, Vallepietra within the Simbrivio Jenne basin, Subiaco in the middle Aniene basin, Cervara di Roma and Camerata Nuova on the Abruzzo side are among them.

The demography is very varied. The park’s objectives are: to protect and enhance the region’s natural, environmental, cultural and landscape resources in relation to their social function; to evaluate the living and working conditions of local residents in terms of the interaction between the environment and people; to develop new levels of employment; to promote environmental information and education; to determine the conditions for scientific and economic experimentation for forestry, fauna, agro-zootechnics, hydrography and other activities.

Castle of Fumone

Situated on a hilltop, this castle was built in the 12th century and offers a panoramic view of the Ciociaria region. The castle is famous for its history, including the imprisonment of Pope Boniface VIII in 1300. Today, the castle houses a museum with historical exhibits and an exhibition on medieval life.

The Anagni Cathedral Museum

The Cathedral has been governed by a Chapter since at least the 11th century and contains the tangible legacy of more than two millennia of human creativity. A visit to the Cathedral Museum of Anagni starts in the Library and the Chapter House, then moves on to the New Sacristy with its modern pieces such as chalices, bishop’s mitres and precious reliquaries, before reaching the underground vaults of the Cathedral.

St Peter’s Oratory is visible from here. The Crypt of St. Thomas Becket, an ancient mithraeum with paintings from the late 12th and early 13th century, is also on the premises.

Magnus houses one of the most significant Western medieval painting cycles, both in terms of subject matter and degree of preservation. The tour concludes at the Lapidarium, which is located in the cloister arcades and houses marbles with cosmatesque decorations, plutei from the ancient 9th century cathedral and an archaeological section with objects of rare beauty.

The Sanctuary of the Madonna delle Cese

The Sanctuary of the Madonna delle Cese, an important and evocative place of devotion that is immediately striking for its setting, is certainly one of the places not to be missed in Ciociaria. The sanctuary of the Madonna delle Cese, despite its modest size, attracts the attention of those who visit it due to the fact that it is carved into a rocky wall and defended by a cave that was historically used as a dwelling by hermit ascetics passing through the region.

The Archaeological Park of Fregellae

The 90-hectare plateau on which Fregellae once stood is today largely occupied by the contemporary municipalities of Arce and Ceprano, as surface archaeological studies show. The University of Perugia, under the scientific guidance of Prof. Ginoforo Fusco, started a series of excavation operations in 1978. The public area of the ancient city, a residential area and various sanctuaries, both urban and extra-urban, were excavated. Filippo Coarelli was able to gather substantial information on the structure of the city. The existence of a main north-south road axis, perhaps to be recognised with an urban segment of the via Latina, was revealed by the city’s road structure in the central area.

Teofilatto Castle

The Castle of Teofilatto is located in one of the most picturesque areas of Ciociaria, on a rocky hill behind the Ernici mountains, popularly known as the Castle of Torre Cajetani. From the top of the manor’s majestic medieval tower one enjoys an incomparable view of the huge surrounding valley and Lake Canterno.

The castle continues to be a palpable sign of historical continuity, an enchanted witness to the Middle Ages that strikes the visitor’s imagination. The tranquillity that reigns everywhere transports one back in time and revives the ancient atmosphere of the feudal fortress: it was built in Roman times to defend the ancient village of Torre Cajetani and today is a fortified site. Since then, important personalities and events have stayed in the monastery, including the stay of St Benedict during his journey to Montecassino in 529.

It was always coveted by noble dynasties for its location. Throughout the period between 900 and 1100, it was owned by the Roman family of the Counts of Tusculum Senator Teofilatto, until it was granted as a fief to the Caetani family at the request of Pope Boniface VIII at the end of the 13th century.

The Diocesan Museum of Ferentino

With documents from the Diocese and the Rector of the Province of Campagna and Marittima, the exhibition traces the evolution of the Palace and its tasks. A portrait of bishops, an archive of papers, maps and detached frescoes from the Church of Santa Maria are among the objects in the collection.

Giuseppe Cesari, also known as Cavalier D’Arpino, master of Guido Reni and Caravaggio, and Andrea before his death are among the paintings attributed to him. Jewellery, sacred ornaments and liturgical robes from the 17th to the 20th century are also on display, including the mitre of Celestine V.

The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Canneto

Canneto is a place name that most probably derives from the abundance of reeds on the ground, which have since disappeared. The old and new temples are set against a backdrop of mountains and beech forests, with the Camosciara mountain range dominating the background. Canneto, on the other hand, is becoming a centre of Marian irradiation over time. Devotees go there between March and November to venerate the ancient image of the Madonna Bruna. St Anne’s Day is an important occasion, celebrated on 26 July.

The most important religious rituals, however, take place from 18 to 22 August. Pilgrims incessantly climb to the sanctuary in large numbers, with hundreds of thousands of people, dressed in the most varied and typical costumes. They want to revive the ancient and evocative practices of faith. They sing hymns accompanied by bagpipes and accordions and come from Abruzzo, Molise, Lazio and Campania. The pilgrims circle the shrine three times, distributed in long psalmodic theories with food wrappings on their heads. The encounter with Our Lady is always different. They sleep under the porch, near the river bed around the bonfires, which are lit throughout the valley, at the edge of the beech woods. A beautiful and imaginative spectacle!

The Archaeological Park of Ferentinum

Located near Ferentino, this archaeological park houses the remains of an ancient Roman city, Ferentinum. The park includes an amphitheatre, a temple and a forum, which offer a unique insight into daily life in the ancient Roman city.

The Castle of the Counts of Ceccano

Ceccano è una città volsca fondata intorno al 330 a.C. lungo le rive del fiume Sacco, che i Romani chiamavano Trerus o Tolerus. Antiche iscrizioni scoperte nella regione comunale tra il XVIII e il XIX secolo collegano Ceccano all’antica Fabrateria. Il cambio di nome avvenne nel VII secolo in onore di Petronius Ceccano, Console di Campagna e antenato dell’Imperatore Tito, nonché padre di Papa Onorio I, secondo lo storico locale Michelangelo Sindici.

In summary, Ciociaria offers a wide range of tourist attractions, each with its own unique and interesting history. From natural parks to Roman cities, from medieval castles to religious sanctuaries, Ciociaria has something to offer all history and culture enthusiasts.

In addition, the region is famous for its traditional cuisine, with specialities such as fusilli alla ciociara, ricotta meatballs and porchetta di Ariccia. During your visit, don’t forget to taste the local wines, such as Cesanese del Piglio and Cannaiola.