Feb 16

Looking for a Rome, Italy day trip? Consider historic Anagni



Anagni is off the beaten path for sure when it comes to major tourism around Rome, but it is a real gem. It served as home to the Popes for a time and its well-preserved medieval structures make it a quiet and undisturbed wonder. It can be easily reached via rental car or bus from Rome itself and it is a great introduction to the nearby countryside. 


Getting here from Rome is very easy via highway, so if one is traveling South towards Naples or the Amafi coast it is a great stop off. The highway is A1 and the exit San Bartolomeo and follow the signs pointing towards Casilina. There is the possibility of arriving in train from Rome’s Termini station along the route towards Cassino. The train station itself is a bit of a walk from the town. There is a Cotral bus that runs between the train station and the city. There are also Cotral buses that run between Rome and the nearby spa town of Fiuggi which also make a stop at the Anagni train station. These can be taken from the Tor Vergata area outside the city near the ring road and Anagnina Metro stop.


IMG_3712The city is often home only to a handful of Italian tourists and maybe some other well informed travelers, so it is a very unique spot. It has all the charm of a small town yet with nice local stores, restaurants and plenty of scenic outlooks and hilly streets. Historically the Cathedral dedicated to Mary and the Papal palaces are of the most interest. The town bore witness to a legendary power struggle between the Pope and the king of France over the right of authority. The papal palaces are open from around 9:30-18:00 most of the year and closed from 12:30-15:30 each day for the lunch hour. Entrance is free on Wednesdays and just a few Euros any other day. The palace features ongoing restorations, old works, and contemporary works. Each room has a story to tell.



Also worth seeing are the town hall with its impressive windows and massive tunnel with arches on the ground level. The casa Gigli as well presents carvings, stonework and singular beauty. The town hosts different festivals but chief among them is the annual Medieval and Renaissance Theatre Festival.



The Cathedral is a true artistic gem built in Romanesque style. The most intriguing part of the Cathedral is its crypt, which contains the tomb of some local dignitaries but also has impressive frescoes covering the ceiling and walls and it forms one of the best-preserved iconographic schemes in all of Italy. It contains scenes from the Bible, popular religious belief and even natural philosophy. The cosmati floors which are like a kind of stone mosaic are impeccable and there is even a little museum.



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