photo © Italo Caira
Castle of Alvito and Villages of Castello and Peschio
At the highest point of Alvito stand the Medieval castle. At the end of the 11th century the Counts of Aquino, in an agreement made with the Abbey of Montecassino, built an fortified outpost to protect the north access to the Val di Comino. Thus the first castle was constructed, however this was destroyed in the earthquake of 1349 which devastated the valley. Rostaino Cantelmi built a new formidible castle, trapeziod in shape, with several towers, one taller than the others. An additional perimeter wall was also constructed with four tall angular towers at its corners to further protect the castle and its surrounding village which became known as Castello. Up until the end of the 19th century the castle had remained roughly intact, however several earthquakes durin the 20th century and years of neglect, sadly caused the collapse and loss of some of the most striking architectural elements. It is now owned by the municipality of Alvito and has undergone some reconstruction work, but there is still much to be done. Today the castle is sometimes used for cultural events.
It is well worth the winding drive up to the summit to see the impressive fortress that once housed the nobility of Alvito. There are breathtaking views of the Comino valley.
Village of Castello
Located close to the castle is the old village named Castello. There are two churches in the village. The first is the Church of Santa Maria Assunta. A plaque on the façade bears the date 1010, when it was probably founded. In the crypt there is another church, dedicated to San Rocco. The second is the Church of Santa Maria in Porta Coeli. It is a delight to wander around the narrow streets of this sleepy little village.
Village of Peschio
Continuing downhill from the Castle and Castello you come to another village by the name of Peschio. Here is the church of the Santissima Trinità which is one of the oldest churches of Alvito, probably dating from the 12th century. The church we see today is 19th century. The village of Peschio was built around it. There is also the Palazzo Panicali with its characteristic dove tower.
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