Benvenuti (Welcome) to Anagni (the City of Popes), just north of the province of Frosinone and approximately 60km south of Rome. The town center, a historical center in Ciociaria, is placed on a tuffaceous hill behind the offshoots of the Mountains of the Hernici (monti Ernici). Anagni is so full of history and yet does not get the attention it deserves.
Why you should take the time to visit Anagni? Well for starters, the wine! If you are a lover of wines then you must try the first DOCG of the Lazio region – the Cesanese del Piglio wines and in particular the Corte dei Papi winery (read the article from Winefolly ‘Drink like a true Roman: The wine of Lazio‘). Corte dei Papi have become friends of Tourist by Chance, allowing me to taste their wonderful wines, along with inviting me to their house and vineyard!
Secondly, due its long history, culture and the beautiful medieval Cathedral. The crypt of the Cathedral is referred to as ‘the most extensive and best-preserved medieval pictorial cycles in Europe’. For more information, I have found a great article for you to read on the history of the Cathedral – Click to read more.
Finally, a reason one should take the time to visit all of the small towns in Italy – the food! But do not take our word for it. Even Food and Travel Magazine wrote an article on ‘Italy’s best kept secret – Ciociaria Gourmet Traveller‘.
As you walk through the Cathedral you are overwhelmed with the history of the beautiful Romanesque style architecture. The tour guide of the Cathedral took me to the crypt (no photos allowed) and she explained how many experts consider it to be the Sistine Chapel of the 1200’s. I understood why – it was truly breathtaking. The cost is 9.00EUR and worth every penny, as you explore a magnificently kept crypt. A true masterpiece of Italian art!
Mass times: Sunday at 11:30.
Opening times: April to October 9:00 – 13:00 — 15:00 – 19:00. Novembre to March 9:00 – 13:00 — 15:00 – 18:00
* Cathedral Website – The website is only in Italian. Contact me via Facebook or Email (firstname.lastname@example.org) for information.
Anagni – The Old Town
Anagni is the center of the area known as Ciociara. Try Spaghetti alla Ciociara, which has a sauce made from meat, ham, mushrooms and peas!
Walking through the city, entering alleys, you breathe and see history – even the homes have maintained the old patina of nobility.
The Papal Palace – Boniface VIII’s
This is also a must see when in Anagni, as it is one of the sites that make up Anagni history. The Papal Palace (or Boniface VIII’s Palace), is protected by towers, Roman walls and medieval fortifications. It is particularly known for the “Anagni slap” or the so-called “Outrage of Anagni” in 1303.
The facade consists of a nice porch with large arches, surmounted by a loggia with mullioned windows. The richly decorated interior is divided into large halls and painted in a pure late-medieval style. Visit the “Hall of the Exchequer”, in which the throne was placed.
The papal palace is open from 9:30 to 12:30 and from 15:30 to 18:00 most of the year. Entrance is just a few Euros.
Traietto Palace, residence of the Pope.
The Communal Palace, built by the Brescian architect Jacopo da Iseo in 1163 is a perfect example of medieval architecture. It is made up of two pre-existing edifices connected by a portico supporting the large Sala della Ragione (“Hall of Reason”).
Casa Gigli, a mediaeval edifice restored in the 19th century by the Swedish painter Albert Barnekow, hence it also know as Barnekow House. It still preserves its original external staircase.
Walking along Via Vittorio Emanuele you can see a few examples of elegant aristocratic homes, once belonging to prelates and demonstrating the political and commercial importance of Anagni until the 13th century.
To the south of the town is the imperial Villa of Villa Magna built by Antoninus Pius, still called Villamagna, where a consortium comprising the Soprintendenza ai Beni Archeologici del Lazio, the University of Pennsylvania and the British School of Rome started excavations in 2006. Theses excavations, which continued two years on, have started to show a large and highly decorated building devoted to wine production as well as the remains of the monastery of S. Pietro in Villamagna.
Where to Stay?
In Anagni I chose – Città dei Papi Hotel (link to site).
Take a look at our trip through Corte dei Papi winery on our ‘wineries‘ (link to post) page for contact details.
Have you been to Anagni? What were your thoughts and experiences during your visit? Please make sure to tell me your story and what you discovered on your trip by leaving a comment below.
How to get there
The local train station is called Anagni – Fiuggi. Your easiest way to reach Anagni from Rome is from Termini Train Station is approximately 1 hour and you must look for the trains to Cassino (sometime even to Frosinone or Caserta but it is better to double check).
Use the Trenitalia Website for schedule train times and prices.
From the train station is it possible to catch a bus to the town center (approximately 20-25 minutes). See the following bus times which I was able to gather online – The following times were found from the helpful: www.citta-in-arte.it
Monday to Friday
* times indicated are approximate arrival times
Sunday and Public Holidays
* times indicated are approximate arrival times