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How to get
by public transports: take the metropolitan line FL1 Fiumicino-Orte and get off at the train at the Poggio Mirteto station, then take the bus COTRAL to reach the village. Check the website for more information www.cotralspa.it
by car: on the A1 highway take the exit signposted Ponzano Romano-Soratte, follow the SP 52/c in direction of Tarano-Torri, go along and take the SS 313 and follow the directions to Cottanello. Turn on the SP 48.
Pharmacy: Via Forcella 18 – tel: 0746.66207
Carabinieri: Via Fontecerro – tel: 0746 66118
Post office: Via della Passeggiata 6 tel: 0746 66225
The name of Cottanello comes from an important branch of the Aurelia family, the Aurelii Cottae that seem to have descended from the king Numa Pompilio and who lived in the territory. The first mention of Cottanello dates back to 1027 when the Longobard Susan cave the lands to Farfa Abbey as a gift against her sins.
The Rock was an important strategic location because it was positioned between the conca reatina and the Tiber Valley. In the 12th century the castle came under the control of the Church. During this period,the village was subject to the tyranny of Vir sanguinuum and was finally freed in 1263 with the help of Pope Urban IV who delivered the castle and the tower to the Orsini’s. The Orsini constructed three defensive walls. The role played by the castle of Cottanello around the middle of the 15th century was extremely important in the ar between Narni and Rieti.
During the reorganization of th Church State in 1817, Cottanello was a territory under the jurisdiction of Contigliano, finally coming under the leadership of Poggio Mirteto in later years.
Did you know?
During the Baroque period the marble of Cottanello, also known as pietra persichina, quarried from Lacerone mountain became very famous. The marble, red with white and grey veins, was used for paving because of its rigidity and solidity in the area near the quarrying site( for instance the Roman villa which belonged to the Cotta’s family), during the 1st century BCE. It became very famous outside the local borders between 1640 and 1690. The marble was also used by Bernini to build 44 columns, which surround the lateral altars in the Saint Peter’s basilica.
Places of interest
The old town, a free-car zone, still keeps all the features of a castrum: two defensive walls and an in-between space for patrol, the current via del Corridoio. The south door is called Porta Romana and the north door, rebuilt in 1572, is called Porta del Regno because it overlooks the Kingdom of Naples. Passing through the second door you will meet the church of Saint Louis, a former oratory belonging to the Company of the Blessed Sacrament. After the Rinaldi institute and the peculiar windows called finestroni , on the left side of via dei Corridoi you can see the ancient Orsini Palace, the Baron’s House. Outside the old town, it is possible to admire the hermitage of San Cataldo. There is a small chapel inside the hermitage where you can find many Byzantine frescoes as the ancient painting of the Christ the Redeemer, found in 1944. The Roman villa owned by the Cotta’s family, in Collesecco, is one of the most important rustic villa in Sabina. It experienced many changes over the centuries and thanks to the architectural technique opus incertum, we are able to identify two different phases: the first one ( 2nd – 1st century BCE) , and the second one (1st century AD). During the second phase the look of the villa changed, because it became larger, thermal baths were added and mosaic floors were built and also because of the use of the opus reticulatum.
Pleasant stroll through Cottanello’s field until you reach Stroncone and Greccio