The capital of Reiti Province and a hilltop city in Lazio, Rieti is found on the slopes of the Sabini and Reatini mountains. It is close to Monte Terminillo and is on an ancient lake and the River Velino in the Abruzzi Apennines. Reiti has been considered to be an important central location since Roman and Medieval Times and has continued to be as it been the host of the IAAF Grand Prix for many years. It has a population of about 500 000. Climate in Rieti is typically warm and temperate with a significant amount of rainfall throughout the year.
History of Rieti
Reiti or Reate was originally settled in by a Sabine Nation. After a Roman conquest in the late third century BC by Manius Dentatus, it became a strategic point on the “salt track” known as Via Salaria – a road network connecting Rome to the Adriatic Sea through the Apennines. With the fall of the Western Roman Empire it belonged to the Lombard Duchy of Spoleto in the early European Middle Ages and was later passed to Papal States. It remained the province capital of the Papal States from 1816 to 1860 and following the unification of Italy in 1961 became annexed to Lazio in 1923 after initially being a part of Umbria.
Places of Interest in Rieti
As with many places in Italy lots of Romanesque architecture still remains within Reiti that are well worth visiting. Some include:
- Palazzo Comunale – Also known as the Town Hall of Reiti houses the town’s Museum and has a great collection of artwork from very famous artistes. It was built in the 13th century and rebuilt in the 18th Century.
- The Duomo Cathedral – The Reiti Cathedral was built it 1100’s and was later rebuilt in the 17th Century. It also features a bell tower that dates back to the 13th Century and is Romanesque in style.
- Palazzo Vescoville (Bishop’s Palace)– Now home to the Diocese gallery, it was built in the 13th Century and features eight renaissance windows as well as a loggia built in 1532.
- Bishop’s Arch– A bridge built in the 13th Century by Boniface the eighth
- Mount Terminillio– a massif in Monto Reatini and part of the Abruzzi Apennines. It is an active ski resort.
- Natural Regional Reserve of Lakes Lunga & Rippasotile– The two lakes are what is left of an ancient and large basin connected to by Mount Terminillo.
- Reiti’s Underground– Shows the remains of the Roman viaducts built in the 3rd Century
- Sanctuary of Greccio– One of the four shrines erected by Saint Francis and is remembered as the place chosen by him for the first commemoration of the Nativity Scene in Bethlehem.
- Sacro Speco– One of the four shrines erected by Saint Francis. It is said that this is where Saint Francis wrote the Franciscan Order
- Castello di Macchiatimone– Located in Pescorocchiano the castle was a main strong hold in the middle of the 13th Century.
Shopping in Reiti
Reiti doesn’t offer many options when it comes to shopping. There are very few shops in the town that sell international brand. However there are small shopping strips within the city with shops selling jewellery, clothes, shoes and textiles.
Famous People from Reiti
Famous Persons from Reiti include: Arduino Angelucci- painter, sculptor and architect, Elio Augusto Di Carlo- ornithologist, historian and physician , Giuseppe Ottavio Pitoni-composer, Marcus Terentius Varro -Roman scholar and writer and Renzo De Felice- historian of Fascism.
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