Cori is a small hillside village in the province of Latina nestled on the slopes of the Lepini mountains. This territory, already inhabited in archaic times by Latin people, was soon conquered by the Romans, who left precious evidence of their passage here.
A stop at the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Carmine, one of the highest points of the town, gives us a wonderful view of the city. The ancient and characteristic historical centre of Cori can be divided into two parts: Cori Monte and Cori Valle, each with its own charm.
Cori Monte welcomes us with the soaring bell tower of the Church of Saints Peter and Paul. The settlement, typically medieval, spreads between alleys and palaces. Famous is the fountain in Piazza Monte Pio where it is said that Frederick Barbarossa took a regenerating bath after looting the city. Not far away, we find the ancient structure of the Temple of Hercules, which, due to its position, offers unmissable views, especially at sunset, of the Pontine Plain.
Continuing our walk through the alleys and the historical centre of Cori, we are amazed by the 'Mura ciclopiche' or 'opera poligonale' walls found at various points in the village, by the church of St Oliva, with its chapel of the Holy Crucifix, designed on the model of the Sistine Chapel in Rome, and by the unmissable Oratory of SS. Annunziata, with its stupendous medieval frescoes.
Among the narrow streets of Cori Valle, the temple of Castor and Pollux or temple of Dioscuri, dating from the first decade of the 1st century BC, is certainly worth a stop. Of it, only the two central Corinthian columns are preserved, of the original six that decorated the temple's pronaos. Once, inside the central cell, there were statues of the Dioscuri, which, according to reconstructions, must have been of imposing dimensions: Castor and Pollux appeared armed and held 1.70 metre high horses at the bridle. The architectural and sculptural fragments from this area are today preserved and exhibited at the Museum of the City and Territory of Cori, where a 1:75 scale model of the temple can be admired.
We cannot leave Cori without trying its gastronomic specialities (such as its bread, the 'pizzette coresi' with tomato sauce, or, for those with a sweet tooth, the tasty typical sweets), perhaps accompanied by the excellent Cori Doc wines.
04010 Cori LT, Italia