photo © Domenico Capodanno
Villa Latina in The Val Di Comino
Villa Latina is a sprawling township within the Val di Comino. It is made up of 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.
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, Lazio e Molise. 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 a medieval fortress and the settlement of Agnone Vecchio.
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 and became an independent township in its own right.
The Town Hall or Comune
The town hall of Villa Latina is situated in Piazza Umberto I.
The War Memorial
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
The Surrounding Countryside
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. Read More About the Cannellini Beans of Atina
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.
The German Gustav Line
Another trail follows a route along the German Gustav Line, of the Second World War, where several bunkers are visible that were hollowed out of the rock sides by the Germans and artillery placements.
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.
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