The medieval settlements located atop the Lepini Mountains are real gems worth exploring. You will go on a wonderful voyage through time as you stroll through meandering lanes surrounded by walls that are thousands of years old and amazing historic buildings. Get ready to be charmed by their stunning appearance and interesting history. Here is a potential route.
Start by visiting the lovely village of Maenza. The town centre is perched atop a hill and ascends to the Baronial Castle, which was initially constructed as a watchtower between 1100 and 1200. Subsequent feudal families steadily upgraded it until the Counts Ceccano transformed it into a baronial castle. On his route to Lyons in 1274 for the Ecumenical Council called by Pope Gregory, St. Thomas Aquinas rested here. Along with the Castle, attractions worth viewing include the Loggia dei Mercanti, a medieval market where remnants of old shopfronts may still be seen, the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta in Cielo, and the Church of Santa Reparata.
Continue on to the quaint village of Prossedi. The Baronial Palace, the Porta con l'Orologio (the gate with the clock), the Church of Sant'Agata from the 17th century, the Church of San Nicola, the oldest church in the village, and the Church of Strammetta, which is perched above a narrow staircase with two opposing flights of steps, are all sights to behold in this area. Following your tour of the village, proceed to the hamlet of Pisterzo to see the ancient Palazzo Gabrielli and Palazzo del Capitano as well as the extremely old but newly reconstructed Church of San Michele Arcangelo.
Then reach the charming village of Priverno. Numerous places of worship can be found here: including the Cathedral of S. Maria Annunziata where the skull of St. Thomas Aquinas is preserved, the Church of St. Nicholas, the Church of the Suffrage with frescoes by the Roman painter Giuseppe Camponeschi, the Church of St. Anthony Abbot in Gothic-Cistercian style, the ancient Church of St. Benedict with 13th-century frescoes and the former monastic complex of St. Clare. However, you must travel to the nearby village of Fossanova to visit the Abbey of Fossanova if you want to learn more about the first Cistercian monastery complex in Italy. The Church, the Chapter House, the Convent, the Refectory, and the Cloister make up a beautiful monastic complex. On his trip to Lyon in 1274, St. Thomas Aquinas passed away in this location in Fossanova. In Priverno, you may explore the Archaeological Museum to learn more about the past of ancient Privernum and stroll through the Archaeological Area to take in the historic ruins.
Restaurants, trattorias, and inns serving traditional foods made using regional and seasonal ingredients can be found while visiting these towns. Each hamlet has its own unique cuisines that are significant examples of gastronomic heritage. You can thoroughly immerse yourself in the historical and cultural ambience of these regions by trying the characteristic goods and dishes passed down from generation to generation.