The Alba Fucens ruins are in the beautiful Mount Velino setting, approximately 1,000 metres above sea level. Founded by the Romans in 303 BC when the Equi territory was conquered, the ancient Roman colony now stands in Massa d’Albe, in the L’Aquila province, north of the Fucino plain, close to Magliano dei Marsi. The Latin name derives from the fact that from here the sunrise could be admired over the ancient Lake Fucino, which was then drained in October 1878. It was one of the most prosperous and most loyal colonies in the Empire. Surrounded by mighty walls, it experienced a long period of prosperity and wealth. Numerous buildings were built: the forum, the amphitheatre, the basilica, the macellum, the baths, the aqueduct, temples and the sanctuary of Hercules with its grandiose statue of Hercules now in Abruzzo Archaeological Museum in Chieti. With the fall of the Roman Empire, Alba Fucens began its slow decline until it became a Byzantine city in 537.
The Orsini castle on one side and the beautiful church of San Pietro d'Albe with its sculptural display on the other testify to the mediaeval period that flourished in the area, thanks to the monitoring of transit on the Via Tiburtina.