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Valle di Comino the romantic road of Ciociaria an hour from Rome

Google’s annual search trends report, which includes statistics on tourism, was released today. Among the various data released by the technology firm is a list of the top ten most popular destinations on its online airline booking search service Google Flights, which reveals insights as to where Americans would like to go this year and beyond.

Travel-related queries surged substantially in 2022, as one might expect. Despite a strong summer travel season this year, Europe is home to four of the top 10 destinations searched by users.

Alessio Pellegrini, president of Living Ciociaria, emphasised that “Art, history, culture, landscapes and unique places abound in Ciociaria.

The organisations and people who grasped the relevance of being able to access financial support for the development of organisations that they had already indicated they needed several times in the past, in a place rich in tourist attractions and innovative and professional talent, were fascinating and wonderful opportunities.

Few people know that Ciociaria is a place located between Naples and Rome. In deep caves where the fiery Samnite tribes battled the bloodthirsty Romans and where the Gustav Line marched during World War II, our earliest ancestors’ skeletons were discovered.

The picturesque Valle di Comino lies peacefully in the sun, amid ‘living villages’ and ancient fortresses, fields of alpine pastures and vineyards, part of an area embraced by the Abruzzo Apennines and the National Park of Abruzzo, Lazio, Molise scattered with corners lost in time and traditions still deeply rooted to be experienced with simplicity an hour from Rome.

San Donato Val di Comino

It is a treasury of small streets, curving around churches, tiny squares, and flower-filled courtyards where time has stopped and life has flowed peacefully; here, they are also experts on oil and wine. It is one of the most gorgeous villages in Latium. San Donato Val di Comino, with its medieval layout in the green arms of the Abruzzo, Lazio, and Molise National Park, is unquestionably one of the most beautiful villages in the Ciociaria region. The old Castrum Sancti Donati, located in a picturesque setting, was once visited by saints and pilgrims, as well as storytellers and notorious brigands of Samnite origin. Lose yourself in the uphill streets leading to the top of the village, with its quadrangular tower, leave guides and beaten tracks aside. The traditional passageways in the rock alternate with panoramic overlooks from which to take a breath and enjoy the valley from above. A succession of historic gates, arches, and spuort alternate with them.


The municipality of Atina is a gem of under 5,000 residents nestled in the heart of the Mainarde, a group of Abruzzi-Lazio Apennines on the boundary between Latium and Molise that is a continuation of the Monti della Meta on the late Middle Ages to today. The settlement has grown from there to today’s Colle and Atina Inferiore. It is said that Saturn, along with the other “saturnian” towns of Arpino, Anagni, Alatri, and Aquino, founded it after fleeing Greece and seeking refuge in Lazio. The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, the Convent of San Francesco, the medieval Ducal Palace (now a national monument), with its towers, pointed arch gateway, and mullioned windows with two lights in the heart of Piazza Saturno, and guardian of a lovely black and white mosaic depicting military warriors are among the attractions to see in the center. Palazzo Visocchi, Palazzo Marrazza, and Palazzo Prepositurale in Piazza Marconi are some of the finest structures.


Among the town’s most majestic palaces, Palazzo Ducale, Palazzo Sipari, Palazzo Castrucci, the Peschio, and the 16th-century Palazzo Elvino-Panicali can be seen in a panoramic climb uphill between gourmet stops and breath-taking views of the Alvito Plain. The remains of the old Cantelmo Castle, an 11th-century defensive manor with a succession of perimeter walls, battlements, and 14-meter-high cylindrical towers set amid a pastoral landscape scented with fragrant scrub and olive trees, are at the summit.


To learn the story of a place of mythic beauty and historic significance, visit a tiny settlement with a medieval organization in the Meta Mountains. Only in the fifth century A.D. did the ancient pre-Roman village of Vicus (293 B.C.) acquire the name Settefrati (which means seven brothers). in honor of the seven martyrized sons of Santa Felicita, who were slain by the Romans in the 2nd century A.D., at the request of Benedictine monks who lived in the region. The Church of Our Lady of Graces (10th century) with a painting depicting the Last Judgement, as well as the Church of San Stefano Protomartire with an adjoining 12th-century Medieval Tower, are among the attractions in Settefrati’s center.


Gallinaro is located on a hill with a strategic view of the valley and crossed by a tributary of the Melfa (Rio Molle), and is a wine town in the Frusinate region with early medieval origins. The ‘Sagra del Cabernet e dei Vini Locali’ (Festival of Cabernet and Local Wines) of Gallinaro, which has been going for 30 years, features samples of regional wines as well as Cabernet tastings in the village’s open wine shops and basements.

Posta Fibreno

One of the most evocative and uncontaminated natural oases in central Italy is the Lake of Posta Fibreno, which lies at the foot of the south-western slope of the Marsica Mountains. It is of karstic origin and was created by several springs with a remarkable flow rate of 9 cubic meters per second, giving it a distinctive elongated boomerang shape. The water runs into the lake through streams and waterfalls, which is very clear and cold all year long, with a constant temperature of 10-11° C. It originates from numerous springs at the bottom of the lake as well as in its environs.

Campoli Appennino

A medieval hamlet named after the Land of Bears and Truffles, which clings to and surrounds the edge of a karstic sinkhole, where lush green plants thrive amid stony pathways, limestone walls, and small waterfalls. It’s a wonderful place for anybody looking for a day outdoors with the family and children, regardless of whether you have a salami or truffle sweet tooth, or are looking for something from Ciociaria. Three European bear specimens, no longer suitable for surviving in the wild, but here having the chance to exist safely in 15 hectares of forest, live in the Marsican Bear Fauna Area at the Campoli sinkhole.


For a tour of the region combining food and wine tours with hiking in the outdoors, this is an excellent base. Among the restorative and idyllic settings that characterize the region, which also attracted David Herbert Lawrence, who resided in Picinisco for a while and completed ‘The Lost Girl,’ one of his most well-known works are stone ridges, boundless meadows, and beech woods. In Orazio Cervi’s villa, which is now known as Casa Lawrence in honor of the English writer, one can stop for cheese tastings in the part of the house used as a Caciosteria and the lamb arrosticini. Picinisco is a place with mountainside pastures and crossings to explore, as well as the peace and simplicity of the location. During the winter season, excursions to Prati di Mezzo, where you may see deer, Apennine chamois, and golden eagles; or for mountain biking, horse riding, canyoning, orienteering, and trekking in the town center are easy to organize.


One ascends along old paths up the ancient Via Francigena, and amid perched, solitary, and watchful villages ideal for lovers of rural tourism or travelers in search of tranquil experiences. Leaving behind the lovely Posta Fibreno Lake Natural Reserve, which comes from a system of karst resurgences fed by the Sangro Valley basin and is characterized by cold, crystal-clear water dotted with periwinkle and emerald areas and a floating island (known as Rota). Vicalvi, a tiny village with a medieval castle, is one of them. It was founded in the 11th century during the Middle Ages. A relic from the Second World War, when the fortress was used by the Germans as a field hospital, is a large Red Cross painted on one of the façades of the fortress, which is still clearly visible today.