photo © Tonino Bernardelli
Posta Fibreno in the Val di Comino
The historic centre of Posta Fibreno is perched on a rocky ledge at a height of 430 metres, and has a splendid view of the Sora basin and the lake below. The territory includes a series of small rural districts, some of which overlook the lake – namely: Camminate, Campo Gizzi, Carpello, Casalvittoria, Centro Storico, Colleroccia, Cona, Lollo, Piscina, Pizzone, and Tagliata. It has a population of approzimately 1,100.
The most probable origin of the name Posta refers to its position midway between Rome and Naples, a resting place for travellers, a place for changing horses that were delivering the mail. It was also situated along traditional trails of transhumance (the practice of moving livestock from one grazing ground to another in a seasonal cycle).
The River Fibreno
The second term of the name Fibreno was added in 1877 to highlight the presence of the river that is the only outlet of the lake.
The earliest inhabitants of this territory were the Volsci who were followed by the Samnites. These people lived in small village settlements and were involved in hunting, fishing, agriculture and the breeding of animals. In 293 the area was conquered by the Romans. Many wealthy and noble Romans were enchanted by the beauty of this area and had villas built here. Cicero wrote in praise of it in a passage of his “De Legibus”.
Following the fall of the Roman empire the territory was subjected to numerous invasions. The local inhabitants moved to to higher ground on a hill overlooking the lake and a fortified settlement was established. Posta is first documented in 970 relating to a donation by Rachisio, manager of Vicalvi, in favor of Montecassino, The Lordship, however, belonged to the Dukes of Capua. In 1017 they gifted it to the monks of Montecassino, who in turn in 1067 passed Posta to Counts of Aquino. A castle was built protected by strong walls and towers. In 1157, involved in the clashes between the papal troops and the troops of the empire, it was set on fire by Count Gregorio de Ceccano. The Counts of Aquino held Posta until it was granted to the Cantelmo family, as part of the Duchy of Alvito. Later it then passed into the hands of various feudal lords of the Borgia, Navarro and Cordona families. In 1574 the writer Prudentius describes Posta as a small village known for its fish (carpioni) and for the thriving fishing activity.
In 1595 the Duchy was bought by Cardinal Tolomeo Gallio, of Cernobbio with the permission of Pope Gregory XIII. Cardinal Bartolomeo Gallio created a splendid house near the Lake and River Fibreno on the site of a simple rural villa. This had been built by the notary Giulio Licio di Posta, a wealthy man from the county of Alvito.
However when the Gallio’s took over the property it was enlarged and restructured. and decorated it with French fireplaces, stuccos, statues, friezes and coats of arms. The house was surrounded by land extending over 60 hectares, and had a botanical garden, a pomario, an aviary, fountains, avenues and groves. It was approached through a grand gateway. Villa Gallia was finally completed by Francesco I Gallio. Inside the house are some interesting stucco friezes representing Cassino and all the towns of the Duchy of Alvito, an it contains many other valuable works of art.
Posta lost its autonomy at the beginning of the nineteenth century, and was associated with Vicalvi, to which it remained linked, despite several attempts to become independent, when, with a special law, it returned to be an autonomous municipality. In 1957 it became one of the municipalities of the Province of Frosinone. It’s main economy was agriculture.
The earthquake of 1915 destroyed half of the urban centre and emigration resulted in the depopulation of the town.