Valmontone is a comune
In Italy, the comune is the basic administrative division, and may be properly approximated in casual speech by the English word township or municipality.-Importance and function:...

(municipality) in the Province of Rome
Province of Rome
The Province of Rome , is a province in the Lazio region of Italy. The province can be viewed as the extended metropolitan area of the city of Rome, although in its more peripheral portions, especially to the north, it comprises towns surrounded by rural landscape.-Geography:The Province of Rome...

 in the Italian
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 region Lazio, located about 45 km southeast of Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...



The historic part of the town is situated on a tuffaceous hill, 303 meters over the sea level, part of a morphological system of valleys and low relieves, known as Alta Valle del Sacco
Sacco River
The Sacco is a river of central Italy, a right tributary of the Liri.The river is formed by the confluence of two streams of the Monti Simbruini in the Apennines of Abruzzo. It flows towards south-east for a total of 87 km, crossing Ciociaria between the mountain ranges of the Ernici to the...

 (High Valley of Sacco River).
The underground is rich of water and this causes the presence of many natural springs: for this reason the landscape is covered by forests and farmlands.

To preserve this water system, in Valmontone exists the C.E.R.I., a center for the prevention and control of hydro-geological risks.


The origins of Valmontone are uncertain: it seems that a village was founded before the rise of Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

 on a hill in the modern municipality of the town, and its ruins were visible until the 18th century.
Perhaps these are the remains of the ancient Labicum, which, according to the myth, was founded by Glaucus
Glaucus is a Greek name. In modern Greek usage, the name is usually transliterated Glafkos. It may refer to:*Glaucus, a sea-god in Greek mythology*Glaucus , a mythical Lycian captain in the Trojan War...

, Minos
In Greek mythology, Minos was a king of Crete, son of Zeus and Europa. Every year he made King Aegeus pick seven men and seven women to go to Daedalus' creation, the labyrinth, to be eaten by The Minotaur. After his death, Minos became a judge of the dead in Hades. The Minoan civilization of Crete...

’ son: the name of the village derives from a kind of Greek
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

Labicum was in war against Rome, but at last it was defeated and became a Roman castrum, a fortified castle: other testimonies of the Roman period are the post-station Ad Bivium, situated along the road called Via Latina
Via Latina
The Via Latina was a Roman road of Italy, running southeast from Rome for about 200 kilometers.It led from the Porta Latina in the Aurelian walls of Rome to the pass of Mons Algidus; it was important in the early military history of Rome...

, a village of coal-makers, some furnaces for tiles and vases, a villa and some other remains (two sarcophagus, memorial plates).

Later on, the castle was rebuilt on the actual site in the Late Roman Empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

The presence of a Castrum Lateranense goes back to the 1052, while the name of Vallis Montonis (Valmontone means “a valley overhung by a little hill”) appears the first time in a document dated 1139.
Valmontone became a fief under the Conti family until the 16th century, when, in 1548, the fief passed under the Sforza then, in 1632 and for a few years, under the Barberini
The Barberini are a family of the Italian nobility that rose to prominence in 17th century Rome. Their influence peaked with the election of Cardinal Maffeo Barberini to the papal throne in 1623, as Pope Urban VIII...

, until Camillo Pamphili
Camillo Francesco Maria Pamphili
Camillo Francesco Maria Pamphili was an Italian Catholic Cardinal and later nobleman of the Pamphili family. His name is often spelled with the final long i orthography; Pamphilj.-Early life:...

 bought Valmontone (1634).
The Pamphili family became Doria-Pamphili-Landi in the 18th century.
In 1843 Valmontone assumed the rank of “city” by decision of Pope Gregory XVI
Pope Gregory XVI
Pope Gregory XVI , born Bartolomeo Alberto Cappellari, named Mauro as a member of the religious order of the Camaldolese, was Pope of the Catholic Church from 1831 to 1846...


In 1944, Allies programmed the Operation Shingle
Operation Shingle
Operation Shingle , during the Italian Campaign of World War II, was an Allied amphibious landing against Axis forces in the area of Anzio and Nettuno, Italy. The operation was commanded by Major General John P. Lucas and was intended to outflank German forces of the Winter Line and enable an...

 in order to regain Rome: Valmontone was an important objective on the way to Rome, in according to the Operation Diadem
Operation Diadem
Operation Diadem, also referred to as the Fourth Battle of Monte Cassino was an offensive operation undertaken by the Allies in May 1944, as part of the Italian Campaign. It was launched at 2300 Hours on 11 May 1944 to break the German defenses on the western half of the Winter Line and open up...

, May-June 1944.
So, during the Second World War, Allies
In everyday English usage, allies are people, groups, or nations that have joined together in an association for mutual benefit or to achieve some common purpose, whether or not explicit agreement has been worked out between them...

 thought the Nazi forces were garrisoning the city, so they bombed Valmontone with airplanes, nearly destroying it completely: Valmontone lost 80% of its ancient buildings, like the fortified gates, the monastery on Colle Sant’Angelo, fountains, churches.
With the post-war reconstruction the town lost its medieval and baroque appeal, of which only a few sights survive.

Main sights

Although World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 caused major destruction, in Valmontone there are still some important buildings:

Palazzo Doria-Pamphilj is the baronial palace: in origin it was a fortified castle, until the Barberini decided to replace it with a bigger fortress, and began the construction. When Camillo Pamphilj bought the fief, he wanted to create a sort of “ideal city”, a Città Panfilia (Pamphiljan Town), including the palace, the nearby church and the other buildings (stables, warehouses, house, etc.). For this reason he called in Valmontone many important artists. On the Piano Nobile (the second floor) there are some important frescoes, divided by themes: the four rooms of Elements, the four dedicated to the Continents (Americas
The Americas, or America , are lands in the Western hemisphere, also known as the New World. In English, the plural form the Americas is often used to refer to the landmasses of North America and South America with their associated islands and regions, while the singular form America is primarily...

, Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

, Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

 and Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

), the Sala del Principe and two chapels.
The ceiling frescoes were made between 1657 and the 1661 by Pier Francesco Mola
Pier Francesco Mola
Pier Francesco Mola was an Italian painter of the High Baroque, mainly active around Rome.-Biography:Mola was born at Coldrerio . At the age of four, he moved to Rome with his father Giovanni Battista, a painter...

, Gaspard Dughet
Gaspard Dughet
Gaspard Dughet , also known as Gaspard Poussin, was a French painter born in Rome.A pupil of Nicolas Poussin, Gaspard Dughet was the brother of Poussin's wife...

, Guglielmo Cortese, Francesco Cozza
Francesco Cozza (painter)
Francesco Cozza was an Italian painter of the Baroque period.He was born in Stilo in Calabria and died in Rome. As a young man, he went to Rome and apprenticed with Domenichino...

 and Mattia Preti
Mattia Preti
Mattia Preti was an Italian Baroque artist who worked in Italy and Malta.- Biography :Born in the small town of Taverna in Calabria, Preti was sometimes called Il Cavalier Calabrese...


Valmontone Archeological Museum, situated in the Palazzo Doria-Pamphilj. The ground floor houses a section which introduces the municipal area, the upper floor offers an introduction to the archeological sites and to related topics, through several media. Such topics include the coal miners's village in Colle Carbone, the "Colle dei Lepri" settlement, the "Mansio", the Thermal Baths and the "Colle Pelliccione" furnace.

Collegiata Church of Santa Maria dell’Assunta, built on the ancient gothic church (12th Century), with the same name, under Camillo Pamphilj, in the 17th Century. The architect was Mattia de Rossi
Mattia de Rossi
Mattia de Rossi was an Italian architect of the Baroque period, active mainly in Rome and surrounding towns.Born in Rome to a family of architects and artisans, he rose to prominence under the mentorship of Gian Lorenzo Bernini, and even inherited the position as chief architect of the Fabbrica di...

, who rose to prominence under the mentorship of Bernini: although this situation, for the Colleggiata de Rossi was inspired by Sant'Agnese in Agone
Sant'Agnese in Agone
Sant'Agnese in Agone is a seventeenth century Baroque church in Rome, Italy. It faces onto the Piazza Navona, one of the main urban spaces in the historic centre of the city and the site where the Early Christian Saint Agnes was martyred in the ancient Stadium of Domitian.The rebuilding of the...

, sited in Piazza Navona
Piazza Navona
Piazza Navona is a city square in Rome, Italy. It is built on the site of the Stadium of Domitian, built in 1st century AD, and follows the form of the open space of the stadium. The ancient Romans came there to watch the agones , and hence it was known as 'Circus Agonalis'...

 in Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

, which was edified by Borromini.
The church has a facade composed by two bell towers and a curved colonnade with four ionic columns. The plan is elliptic, with four chapels along each side, including numerous Baroque pictures; in front of the main entrance, between two other chapels, is the abside with the altar.

Fontana del Colle was erected in baroque style, and is part of the original Prince Pamphilj project. It is composed by a pedestal with four round-shaped basins, one for each angle, decorated with lion’s heads. On the pedestal there is a column surmounted by the bronze statue of the Labicanus, a Roman warrior, symbol of Valmontone. This fountain was completely destroyed under the World War II bombardment, except one of the basins and the pedestal: the monument was rebuilt in 1968.

The Church of Sant'Antonio was not bombed during World War II, and is the last medieval building of Valmontone. The real name of the church is Santa Maria delle Grazie and was erected in the 9th Century: the construction is made with blocks of tuff
Tuff is a type of rock consisting of consolidated volcanic ash ejected from vents during a volcanic eruption. Tuff is sometimes called tufa, particularly when used as construction material, although tufa also refers to a quite different rock. Rock that contains greater than 50% tuff is considered...

, with two closed windows, one of them decorated with a little arch.
The interior is decorated with baroque stuccoes, a Madonna
Mary (mother of Jesus)
Mary , commonly referred to as "Saint Mary", "Mother Mary", the "Virgin Mary", the "Blessed Virgin Mary", or "Mary, Mother of God", was a Jewish woman of Nazareth in Galilee...

 with the Son and a Sant'Antonio Abate
Sant'Antonio Abate
Sant'Antonio Abate is a commune in the Province of Naples in the Italian region Campania, located about 30 km southeast of Naples....

, both painted by anonymous.

Colle Sant'Angelo: on this hill there are the cemetery
A cemetery is a place in which dead bodies and cremated remains are buried. The term "cemetery" implies that the land is specifically designated as a burying ground. Cemeteries in the Western world are where the final ceremonies of death are observed...

 of Valmontone and the convent of Sant’Angelo: build on the ruins of a Roman sanctuary, also this was nearly destroyed completely during the last war, and rebuilt immediately. It was erected in the 8th Century by the Benedictine Order, and there are some remains of the old monastery in the cloister
A cloister is a rectangular open space surrounded by covered walks or open galleries, with open arcades on the inner side, running along the walls of buildings and forming a quadrangle or garth...

 and in the refectory
A refectory is a dining room, especially in monasteries, boarding schools and academic institutions. One of the places the term is most often used today is in graduate seminaries...

: two bells, one of them of 1523, the other of 1744, are visible in the cloister.

Santuario della Madonna del Gonfalone: this church was built in 1508, with a Gothic
Gothic architecture
Gothic architecture is a style of architecture that flourished during the high and late medieval period. It evolved from Romanesque architecture and was succeeded by Renaissance architecture....

 plan, out of the old town's walls. In origin, the sanctuary had 15 altars. Destroyed during World War II, it was rebuilt in the 1950s and the only original part is the renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

’s portal with the pediment
A pediment is a classical architectural element consisting of the triangular section found above the horizontal structure , typically supported by columns. The gable end of the pediment is surrounded by the cornice moulding...

. The interior maintains as original the apsidal zone, with the main altar, and a fresco
Fresco is any of several related mural painting types, executed on plaster on walls or ceilings. The word fresco comes from the Greek word affresca which derives from the Latin word for "fresh". Frescoes first developed in the ancient world and continued to be popular through the Renaissance...

 (1514) of the Virgin who nurses Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...


Fortified wall's gates. Before the last war in Valmontone there were three gates, but one of them, Porta Romana, in Renaissance style, was completely destroyed. The other two are Porta Napoletana and Porta Nuova: the first one was a medieval fortified gate, with two massive towers on sides, partially visible nowadays. The other one was erected on the Via Nuova by Camillo Pamphilj, in baroque style, as a gate on the road to the central town square on the hilltop.

Not far from Valmontone is the large Valmontone Outlet, a shopping center built like an American town, with squares, buildings, streets, a fake train-station, etc. Near this complex, the biggest theme park in Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 is going to be constructed.


The town is crossed by via Casilina
Via Casilina
The Via Casilina was an ancient Roman road in Latium.It was created from the fusion of two other ancient Roman roads, the Via Latina and the Via Labicana. It connected Rome to ancient Casilinum . It entered Rome...

, a modern road following the ancient road with the same name built by the Romans, now the town's main street: moreover it is connected with the Autostrada A1
Autostrada A1
Autostrada A1 may refer to:*Autostrada A1 *Autostrada A1...

 (Autostrada del Sole), on the Roma-Napoli branch (exit to Valmontone).

Valmontone has a railway station, served by the line Rome-Cassino-Naples.

Twin towns — Sister cities

Valmontone is twinned
Town twinning
Twin towns and sister cities are two of many terms used to describe the cooperative agreements between towns, cities, and even counties in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties.- Terminology :...

 with: Benifaió
Benifaió is a municipality in the comarca of Ribera Alta in the Valencian Community, Spain.In the central plaza, it contains a tower built by the Moors-Twin towns - Sister cities:Benifaió is twinned with:...

, Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

, since 1987 Weiler-Simmerberg
Weiler-Simmerberg is a market town in the Swabian Lindau district.-Geography:Being located in the Westallgäu, the market town is bordering on the region of the Bregenzerwald, which already belongs to the Austrian administrative region of Vorarlberg...

, Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

External links

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