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Frosinone

  • Description
  • What to See
  • What to Do
  • What to Taste

Still little-known despite the many beauties of the territory, the Ciociaria area and its Capital, Frosinone, offer visitors stunning sceneries, charming villages surrounded by green countryside and historical sites.

Home of ancient Italic populations such as the Ausonians and the Samnites, Ciociaria includes the area of the Ernici and Ausoni Mountains, and the Liri and Sacco Valleys that lead to the Gulf of Gaeta. The River Cosa, running along the rise of Frosinone before flowing into the Sacco River, has always been important to the city's history, attested by the finds from the necropolis discovered along the river's course. The springs that gushed from the ground signify that the river was the city's only water supply source, even in later periods.

The hills alternate with ranges of mountains, often corroded by karstic phenomena - for example, the Caverns of Pastena, a complex of caves and underground cavities with spectacular stalactites, stalagmites and subterranean lakes, and the Caves of Collepardo tha,t in addition to the beauty created by dripping water, have yielded discoveries dating back to the Bronze Age. 

In addition to the trails and itineraries that privilege the Province's green lands and nature, the Ciociaria zone and its capital are an ideal begin point for visiting ancient villages and age-old abbeys perched on hills.

Sitting on an irregular hill and developed in like manner, Frosinone is a center of Volsca origin, conquered by the Romans in 386 B.C. The old part of town is located on the hill overlooking the plain, while the more modern city lies on lower terrain. Piazzale Vittorio Veneto is a natural balcony over the surrounding valley, while the Cathedral, dedicated to Santa Maria Assunta, is in the Romanesque style, although largely rebuilt in later periods. 

Among the historic monuments here, the Pietro Tiravanti Building is one of the most impressive in the city. The Palazzo del Governo (Governmental Palace), the seat of the Prefecture, whose construction started in 1825, holds furniture from the Reggia di Caserta (Royal Palace of Caserta), while the Palazzo della Provincia, in neoclassical style, contains, among others, works by Renato Guttuso and Umberto Mastroianni.

Some of the most important towns of the Province of Frosinone are Anagni, with its splendid Romanesque Cathedral and (with subsequent Gothic influences) and the interior crypt frescoes, the Palazzo dei Papi (or of Bonifacio VIII), housing the Boniface Historical; Ferentino, with the Romanesque Duomo, and the remains of the Roman market and theatre; Alatri and its acropolis tjat occupies the top of the hill, enclosed by polygonal walls, one of the best-preserved examples of polygonal construction in Italy. 

Severely damaged by one of the bloodiest battles of World War II, the Abbazia di Montecassino (Abbey of Montecassino) was founded by St. Benedict in the 6th century, and is considered one of the best-known monasteries in Christendom. The Abbey of Casamari in the territory of Veroli is another example of Cistercian architecture in central-southern Italy, immersed in an enchanting landscape, framed by the mountains. 

The presence of hills, green areas and highlands make Ciociaria a suitable place for excursions and outdoor sports. Numerous natural spots nature offer outdoors, active types opportunities to go trekking, hiking and riding. Among them are the Natural Reserve of Lake Posta Fibreno, the Natural Parks of Selva di Paliano (Paliano Forest), Lake Cardito, the Vallerotonda pine forest, Lake Canterno, the monumental castagneto (chestnut forest) of Terelle, the waterfalls of the River Liri in Isola del Liri, and the Caverns of Collepardo and Pastena.

The terme spas are another attraction, and Fiuggi is an important thermal center. The therapeutic use of its waters has been happening since the year 1000. Suffice it to say that by the end of the 13th Century, Pope Boniface VIII were regularly sending legates to Fiuggi in order to collect the miraculous water. Michelangelo Buonarroti also loved to take advantage of their valuable therapeutic properties.
For those who enjoy skiing and snowboarding, Campo Staffi and Campocatino are well-appointed ski resorts, located at an altitude of about 1,500-2,000 meters.

As for events and folk festivals, one should mention the Festival del Folklore in Alatri, and the Palio dei Rioni, an historic tournament. The Festa delle Stuzze in Fiuggi is quite evocative, unique in its kind, in which large, fire-lit tree trunks are carried by participants on their shoulders through the city streets. According to legend, the symbolism of the fire refers to the miraculous intervention of St. Blaise, who deterred those attacking the city by making them believe - by way of huge flames and fire - that the city was already attacked.

In Pastena, the "Festival of the Holy Cross and May" takes place every year, an event to welcome spring with crop fertility rites and the preparation of local delicacies. 

The local gastronomy shares the approach and basic products of the cuisine of Lazio, but is also influenced by the Region of Abruzzo. The dishes are based on ingredients from the land, simple but of outstanding quality.

The most common types of handmade egg pasta are: maccaruni; very thin fettuccine, seasoned with meat or tomato sauces; gnocchi with polentacannelloni; and the famous timballo Ciociaro, a savory pie made with macaroni seasoned with chicken, meat sauce, meatballs, mushrooms and truffles. Traditional soupssagne and beans, and various pasta with legumes, cooked according to traditionm using the flavors of Ciociaria.

A very tasty rustic mealis the calascioni, made with filled pastry, ideal as a snack or appetizer; meanwhile, the meat is mostly pork, lamb, chicken and rabbit, combined with seasonal vegetables for dishes of peasant origin.

The desserts are very simple, mostly dry confectionery, baked and prepared following recipes handed down from generation to generation. Among these are the characteristic ciambelle al vino (doughnuts made with wine); susamello, a typical Christmas cookie similar to Siena's tozzetto; the pigna, a typical Easter cake spiced with aniseed, candied fruit and delicate aroma of liqueurs; finally, the amaretto of Guarcino is divine.