Villa Latina or Agnone
Villa Latina is a sprawling township within the Val di Comino. It is made up a cluster of small hamlets that have overtime become merged into one. These include Colle Cavicchio, Colle Santo, Palombi, Panetta, Santa Lucia, Carletti, Ponte Sant’Anna, Pelino, Franchitti, Fontana Cocozza, Panara, Villaggio Peschiera, La Forma, Bianchi, Palazzo Franchi, Serra del Cavaliere, Saccocci, Gargaro, Dragonetti, Valenti, Pacitti, Fusco, Tosti, Colozzi, Marrocchio, Colle Santo, Riverenne, Carl’Annunzio and Valle Grande.
Villa Latina was originally known as Agnone, and formed a part of the comune of Atina. However in 1862 it took on its present name when it became an independent township in its own right.
Surrounded by natural beauty and greenery it is overlooked by the forest-clad slopes of Monte Bianco and the Mainarde mountains which form part of the Parco Nazionale d’Abruzzo. In the locality of Fontana di Bagni there are several fresh water springs. One of these, named Fontana Carletti, is known for its fresh spring water which has diuretic properties. At Rocca Malacucchiara there are the remains of the medieval fortress and the settlement of Agnone Vecchio.
The Town Hall or Comune
The town hall of Villa Latina is situated in Piazza Umberto I.
Nearby is the War Memorial which commemorates the fallen of Villa Latina. It is a curious design of a series of tall pipes adorned with swooping swallows.
Beside the Town Hall stands the Church of La Santissima Annunziata
Local Produce of Villa Latina
Agriculture continues to be an important industry in the area: this includes the cultivation of olive trees, fruit trees, vines, and legumes.
Cannellini beans grow particularly well here, the soil being rich in Manganese.
The rearing of sheep and goats provides a selection of fine cheeses, such as Pecorino, Ricotta and Marzonlina.
Villa Latina has several mountains trails to explore. One leads to the ruined Medieval fortress of Rocca Malcucchiara and up to the archaeological remains of a Roman aqueduct. Another follows a route along the German Gustav Line, of the Second World War.
The Museum of the Zampogna
The Villa Latina area is particularly renowned for the production of the traditional Ciociaria instrument La Zampogna. There is a Museum located in Contrada Pacitti which is dedicated to this craft, but sadly it is not always open to visitors.
Feast Days and Events in Villa Latina
February – Carnevale
25th March – Festa della Santissima Annunziata
May – Il Fuoco di San Michele – Bonfires and Food Tasting of Local Dishes
13th June – Festa di Sant’Antonio
August – Festival delle Storie
Mid August – La Festa dell’ Emigrante held in the Pacitti district
Late September – La Festa della Zampogna held in the Pacitti district
December – Candelara – when the town is lit up solely by candlelight. Christmas Market, Nativity Scenes, exhibition of local produce