Montopoli di Sabina

Web site
http://www.montopoli.org
Montopoli
Montopoli

How to get

  • by train, get off at Fara Sabina-Montelibretti station of the FL1 Fiumicino-Orte railway and take the COTRAL. bus. We strongly suggest checking the website

  • by car, exit at Fiano Romano highway A1 and follow the indications in the direction of Rieti. When you get the traffic light on Salaria, turn left and then at the roundabout take SS 313. Follow the indications in direction of Montopoli.

Useful numbers

Municipality: 0765 27611

Pharmacy: Dr. Del Bufalo Sabina, Via Roma 33 tel: 0765 279055

Post office: Via Roma, 33/35  tel: 0765 279668 and Bocchignano via del Borgo 17 tel: 0765 441208

Historical overview

The name of this town has changed numerous times. Ar first it was Mons Pollionis, then Mons Operis, probably because of its hard working people, then Montis Opuli because of the prosperity of its land.

The legend tells that Numa Pompilio, King of Rome, was born here. Anyway the findings demonstrate that the town, that hosted the latin writer Caio Asinio Pollione, was founded during Augustos’ Empire.  After two thousand years visitors can still see the roman walls and sometimes even the fifty jugeri (this was the quantity of land that each slave with two oxes had to plough, more or less a quarter of a hectare). History tells us that around year 1000 Montopoli fell under Farfa Abbey domination and from that on time was subjected to the events concerning the Abbey. In 1243 Pope Gregorio IX ordered the looting and destruction of Montopoli. After this terribly hard period Montopoli became first a medieval town and then a municipality. After the rebuilding of the town, it became part of the Colonna family’s properties and then returned to the Abbey. For a short time Montopoli hosted abbots Arnaldo and Nicolò XI. Many years later the Orsini and Felici families ruled it and started a period of prosperous. and active period.

Did you know?

Its inhabitants are called “Corsairs”. Since the town is very far from the seaside and the culture totally agricultural  none could understand the reason of this strange nick name.

The answer is written in  an old document saying that the inhabitants of the town used to be with the dog Cane Corso.

Places of interest

Thanks to its hilly position, from Montopoli the visitor can admire stunning views of the famous Farfa Abbey, on Farfa river, Tancia Mountain and Umbro-Sabin Mountains. Through Porta Romana, dating back to the Renaissance period, you can access the town and the Orsini Palace. St. Maria degli Angeli Church preserves frescoes (half of XVII century) and baroque decorations with stucco. St. Maria delle Grazie Church (XVII century) and hosts an Enthroned Holy Virgin with Child painted by Andrea Bacciomei. The ancient St. Michele Arcangelo Church has a beautiful bell tower that dominates the town. We strongly suggest visiting Montecavallo square and the very narrow  passage that leads to Campo di Fiori Square called Vicolo baciadonne (Kiss women alley). The town is also characterized by houses built up on arches with medieval porticous. In front of the Municipality building there is a very precious fountain with an octagonal shape. On the opposite side of the town there is the oldest building of the area, Torre Ugonesca, built in a square around year 1000. Today it holds the Modern Automata Museum and Art Gallery. Last but not least, in this area you can also visit many roman villas: Casoni, degli Emili, Grottoni, Torrette and other archaeological areas. 

Bocchignano

Exactly on the opposite side of Montopoli, Bocchignano is situated at the confluence of three torrents. Its three city walls make the Castle one of the most ancient castle in Sabina. Probably Romans were the first  population who strengthened the rock and later chose Bocchignano as a location for their camp. This thesis seems to be confirmed by the incisions visible from the Square in front of the lift bridge. These incisions are attributable to the Tris Game largely used by Roman soldiers during the shift change. In the 1600's the fortress was used for various services and as a Parade Ground for soldiers. You must visit the stunning medieval town and the St. Giovanni Evangelista Church with a romanic bell tower where you can admire works by the Bolognese and Roman school.

At the end of Paradise Street there is an old cavity called “Grotta della Santaccia”. Its interior shows a wonderful view of stalactites and stalagmites. Part of the cavity has been naturally built on sediments and on it the population used to venerate Turan Goddess, the Venus of Sabins and Etruscans.

There is an old interesting legend about this cavity still alive in the culture: the evil snake called “u Regulu”.

Nature tours

  • Riserva Nazzano-Tevere Farfa, It’s possible to join a boat visit on ecologic ferries on the Tiber river, walk along the river on pathway with picnic areas.

 

Cycle paths

  • Pista ciclabile Torrente Farfa: from Granica until Caprareccia street along the Farfa torrent (3 km)

Stables and riding trails

  • Piedimonte Equitazione Western, via Piedimonte loc. Bocchignano – Tel: 377 4840192, 328 245206
  • Agriturismo Rodeo, Via Caprareccia 6 Montopoli – Tel: 0765 279230 - www.agriturismorodeo.it

 

Typical products

  • Extra Virgin Oil
  • Wine
  • Honey