(left) Main entrance; (centre) statue of Hermes; (right) parish church (a detail of which can be seen in the image used as background for this page)
In the late XVIth century and in the following century the lords of some medieval small
towns near Rome, felt the need to give to their possessions a modern appearance and
to make their urban layout more responsive to the needs of modern farming:
S. Martino al Cimino and Filacciano are
among the best examples of these changes.
Cantalupo lost its medieval gate at the end of the XVIth century when Cardinal Donato Cesi redesigned the access to the town and placed there two ancient statues to greet the visitors. A straight road allows a direct view of the parish church (redesigned in the XVIIIth century).
(left) Loggia of Palazzo Cesi Camuccini; (right-above) detail of a pillar; (right-below) Cesi coat of arms
Cardinal Cesi modified the medieval fortress at the top of Cantalupo and he did so
in a radical way by giving it a splendid Renaissance fašade, which some believe was designed by il Vignola, who worked for the Farnese
at nearby Caprarola. The portico and the loggia follow classical patterns, but
the pillars show those laughing masks which will
become a common feature of Baroque architecture.
The design of the fountain at the centre of the square is based on the coat of arms of the Cesi.
(left) S. Biagio (deconsecrated); (right) rear view of Palazzo Cesi Camuccini
The Cesi completed their modernization of Cantalupo by building an elegant church immediately outside the town and by modifying the rear part of the old fortress.
View of the walls and towers
Chiantishire is the name given to the region of Chianti in Tuscany, because of the many foreigners who have chosen to live there. Over the years the borders of Chiantishire have expanded to include Umbria and Northern Latium. Casperia has recently joined the club of Italian small towns which host such a foreign community.
(left) Main gate; (centre) a Renaissance Loggia; (right) S. Giovanni Battista
Casperia (in the past called Astra - Casperia is the name of an ancient Sabine town mentioned by Virgil) is located on the top of an isolated hill and it is still surrounded by its ancient walls. Some buildings show Renaissance features, but overall Casperia retains a picturesque medieval atmosphere, especially owing to its winding streets.
Picturesque streets in Casperia
View of Roccantica
Roccantica (ancient rock), on a hill opposite Casperia, is another small town surrounded by olive trees which certainly will attract those in search of a peaceful and picturesque buen retiro.