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Surrounding area

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The village of Nazzano is medieval in origin but older settlements found on the site date back as far as the bronze age. Traces of a seventh-century necropolis have been discovered in the area as well as remains of Roman villas and temples.

Situated near ancient Serpenas – one of the three cities of the Capenati confederation – Nazzano had a key role defending the territory and controlling the Tiber valley. Subsequently, thanks to its port on the river, Nazzano became a strategic trading centre between Rome and Sabina. The Nazzano we see today is a typical medieval village, built on a defensive hill around its eleventh-century castle. In the middle Ages Nazzano, along with other centres on the right bank of the Tiber, developed a defensive role, defending the Papal state against the Abbey of Farfar, which was allied with the German empire. For this reason the fraternity of Saint Paul exercised extensive control over the rock of Nazzano for a long (though interrupted period) until the beginning of the sixteenth century, when the monks were granted definitive ownership of the castle by Pope Leo X (1516). They fortified and enlarged it, and were still using it until a few decades ago. Today the castle belongs to CESMIL (the Lazio Centre for Medieval Studies).

The Rock of the Savelli

The castle stands in a panoramic setting high above the Tiber valley, with the fascinating medieval village huddled around it. It is currently closed to the public

The River Museum

The river museum is located in the old town of Nazzano at the foot of the Rock of the Savelli; the building was originally part of the castle, housing the stables and storerooms. There are two sections – one naturalistic dealing essentially with the river Tiber and the reserve, and one archaeological. Opened in 2000 the museum makes use of various multimedia and other new material to actively involve children in understanding the exhibits.

The Church of Saint Antimo

First mentioned in tenth-century documents, the church underwent re-building under Roman master-craftsmen between the twelfth and thirteenth centuries; from this period we can see characteristic features of romanesque architecture such as recessed windows, and cosmatesque mosaics. The interior is laid out in the form of a latin cross, with three naves. Part of the marble used in the columns of the naves, the ‘schola cantorum’ and the ambo was probably taken from a pre-existing pagan temple of circular design, dedicated to a female deity; numerous latin inscriptions found in the hill of Sant’Antimo bear witness to this temple. The fifteenth-century frescoes in the apse are attributed to Antoniazzo Romano: ‘the Coronation of the Virgin’ and ‘the Madonna and Child between two angels, Saints Peter, Paul, Andrew and Antimo’.

The Church and Convent of Saint Francis

The first Franciscan foundation was established by Saint Anthony of Padova in 1299. First built on land granted by the Benedictines the convent was destroyed by an earthquake and rebuilt. From 1655 it was used for novice monks. It underwent continuous modifications until 1843, when the supporting buttresses were finally built. The church had a similar history, with the final building work taking place only between 1752 and 1759. The church and convent are situated in an ancient wood of oaks and holm oaks. Of particular note inside the church are a marble altar by Frate Antonio of Rome, beautifully crafted confessionals and a wooden choir, as well as paintings and frescoes attributed to Giovanni and Sebastiano Conca. Abandoned at the end of the nineteenth century, the convent is now in private hands; the church belongs to the Foundation for Religious buildings.

Ecoturismo Tevere Farfa Via della Vecchia Fornace, 00060 Nazzano, Roma (Rm), Italia
Tel: +39 0765/33.17.57 Fax: +39 0765/33.27.49 Cellulare: +39 329/62.50.597 email:
Sito realizzato da exelab -

© 2007