Atina, probably the most strong of Samnite defensive bulwarks, guarded the access roads to their land. It was first recorded by the poet Vergil, who counted Atina as the leading fortress town in Latium, which was allied to Turnus against Aeneas during the 3rd century BC, defining it as “Atina Potens”. The town was conquered by the Romans in 293 BC, becoming a prefecture, then a colony and finally a Municipium.
Later Atina suffered Barbarian invasions and sackings. In 1349, the town was hit by a devastating earthquake, and was rebuilt thanks to the endeavours of the Cantelmo family. Today it is a quiet town, where modernisation has not overcome an illustrious past. Amongst its architectural "gems" there are the ancient belts of Polygonal walls (5th-4th cent. BC), the "Palazzo ducale" and the Cathedral of S. Maria Assunta (18th cent.). Very lively in summer, Atina hosts international exhibitions such as the "Atina Jazz Festival" and the Folklore Festival. During the last century the agriculturist Pasquale Visocchi introduced the Cabernet wine to this area, inaugurating a prized vineyard which today bottles sought-after doc wines. The Giovanni Palombo’s winery contributed to get the quality mark Atina Doc in 1999.
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