Maenza, a journey into the Middle Ages
Maenza is a small medieval village perched on the Lepini Mountains.
It was established due to some settlements fleeing from Priverno because of the Saracen invasion, but it is from the Middle Ages onwards that there are definite records of it. The village was passed down from hand to hand by various noble families: the Ceccano, the Annibaldi, the Caetani and then the Aldobrandini. It has been through a lot! In 1928 Maenza was suppressed and united with Priverno and only in 1947 did it finally return to its own identity.
Maenza is an extraordinary cultural and natural treasure chest.
From afar it can be seen with the imposing Baronial Castle, which dominates the Amaseno valley below from its summit. Around it, the forests frame the fantastic shades of the trees. It's just like being in a fairytale. The walks in the centre are a delightful treat. Picturesque alleys to be immortalised that follow the curved lines of the hill on which the town stands. Walking towards the centre, you find La Loggia dei Mercanti, a small square used for the market in the Middle Ages, with flagged doors that bear witness to the old shops. It is said that here in the loggia people found shelter when the city gates were closed in the evening. From up here, a wonderful panorama opens up over the Amaseno Plain. On fine days you can even admire the sea and the Pontine islands. The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta in Cielo with its unmistakable neoclassical lines is worth a visit. And right next door is the majestic Baronial Castle. Step inside and you will be amazed. Wall paintings, medieval and Renaissance costumes, ceramic fragments, maps of the territory from the 16th century onwards and the room of St Thomas Aquinas. Yes, because this is where Thomas Aquinas stayed on his way to Lyon for the Ecumenical Council convened by Pope Gregory X. The location is so beautiful that it is ideal for sacred and classical music concerts, exhibitions, shows and even weddings. Wandering around, you come across the Church of San Giacomo, the oldest church in the city, the Church of Santa Reparata and Palazzo Pecci, now the town hall.
Maenza is a plunge into the past.
The sacred representation of Good Friday with medieval costumes and the living nativity scene, framed by the splendid architecture of the village, immerse you in the enthralling atmosphere of the past. So does the re-enactment of medieval and Renaissance dinners. Traditional dishes are ever-present on the tables: polenta sulla schiazza, ciammella all'acqua, caciatella, ricresciuti, crespelle, ciammotte.... The genuine flavours of yesteryear.
Maenza means unforgettable walks.
The nearby Lepini Mountains and the enchanting Monte Gemma, Monte Sentinella and Monte Calvello, with large areas covered by chestnut, beech, holm-oak and oak forests, offer suggestive experiences if you love sport and nature. There are many paths for walking and cycling. Among the long routes that also cross Maenza are the via Francigena del Sud and the Cammino della Regina Camilla. Slow and relaxing walks in the midst of nature to discover culture, environment and traditions.
Maenza is the magic of the village as it once was.