A majestic polygonal town walls overlook Alatri, a town of Hernicians, italic tribe of the Sabellian group. It first came into contact with Rome during the 5th cent.; then, in turn, it became a Roman municipality, an episcopal seat, a free city, the domain of the powerful Conti family and finally a possession of the Holy See.
Among the megalithic structures, it’s the most splendid Pelasgic acropolis to be found in the Mediterranean area. The huge stones compose a solid walls curtain with its two gateways: Porta Maggiore, with a monolithic architrave, and Porta Minore, with an inclined plane which leads to the upper slab where today the Cathedral and Episcopate stand. The Cathedral preserves the celebrated relic “The Host Incarnate”, a miracle of 1227.
A further polygonal surrounding walls stretches for more than 2 km and in the Middle Ages were restored and updated to include turrets and towers, strengthening the defensive system. The church of S. Maria Maggiore contains the impressive "Madonna of Constantinople", a wooden statue (13th cent.), and the Triptych of the "Redeemer", a work by Antonio of Alatri. Palazzo Gottifredo (13th cent.) houses the Civic Museum, with a anthropologic section which exhibits particular object such as a crib of iron rod set between two trees used from the charcoal-burners to preserve the children by animals and other objects of ordinary life. The museum contains also an important epigraphic section; Noteworthy is the inscriptions, which describes the censor Lucio Betilieno Varo’s work in the Roman Republic period to modernize the City (new streets, portico which leads to the Acropolis, swimming pool for the bathroom, water tank, sun clock).
Throughout the centuries Alatri has known periods of obscurity and submission, at times even tumultuous, but also cultural and religious periods. Now Alatri set on an olive hill, is a tourist centre of great importance thanks to important archaeological and medieval evidences and the many cultural and spectacular festivities.
Eating and Sleeping
• Tre Grana - Via San Francesco, 14 Alatri (Fr) Tel. (+39) 0775.441734