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Benvenuti / Welcome to

Itri


Benvenuti / Welcome to

Pastena



The fortress was rebuilt in 1227 whilst Pastena was under the rule of the Del Drago family.  Since then the village of Pastena has been well protected by its formidable high walls and strategically positioned towers. The citadel was said to have been virtually impregnable.  

Originally there were 25 towers, however today only 15 remain, some of which are square in shape and some cylindrical.   

There were just two gateways named according to the direction in which they faced: Porta Roma and Porta Napoli.

In 1153 the town was under the rule of duke Riccardo dell’Aquila, in the  13th century it became part of the duchy of the Caetani family.  In the 15th century it passed into the hands of the Colonna family, then to the feudal barons of Patriarca.  In the early eighteenth century Pastena became the domain of the Marquis Casali del Drago, and then formed a part of the Kingdom of Naples, until the unification of Italy in 1861.  

The location of Pastena was once of great strategic importance, being on the border between the Papal States and the Kingdom of Naples (or the Two Sicilies). Near to Pastena a boundary stone can still be found marking this old frontier.

It is fascinating to wander through the characteristic Medieval centre.

At the highest point of the village is the main square and the church of Santa Maria Maggiore (11th century), which was originally named the Church of Santa Maria Assunta in Cielo.  This edifice has recently undergone restoration work.  On the facade are two niches which house images of the patron saints of the town, Saint Elena and San Sinforo.

Pastena is a small but picturesque medieval village which is in the province of Frosinone and belongs to the ancient region of Ciociaria.   It is positioned on a ridge formed between Monte Cimate and Monte Solo at an altitude of 318 metres in the Ausoni mountain range.   


The name Pastena is derived from the Latin word "pastinare" meaning to cultivate.  It is surrounded by fertile pasturelands, and verdant hillsides thus agriculture has always been the mainstay of the economy in these parts.


The first settlement was founded by people of the Volsci tribe before being finally taken over by the Romans. The first fortress was probably built around 800 AD, during the time of Saracen invasions along the coast.









Other churches include the Chiesa della Madonna delle Macchie,  the  Chiesa di Santa Maria del Parco which has a Baroque facade, the small church of San Rocco,  the recently restored Sanctuary of Sant’ Antonio, and the Chiesa delle Grotte.

The Town Hall and the Museum of Country Life and Olive Cultivation are housed in a palazzo which was once the home and an ancient Olive Mill of the Trani family.  Among the interesting exhibits are the original old mill-stone and press, tools related to olive farming, tilling the soil, animal husbandry, wine making, cheese making, basket making, spinning and weaving of linen.  Also there are examples of traditional clothes, musical instruments and general domestic items of everyday Pastena life in times gone by.

A Virtual Tour of the Museum

CC BY-ND 3.0     by Pio Michele Di Turi - Panoramio

The Plain of Pastena

CC BY-ND 3.0     by Pio Michele Di Turi - Panoramio

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