Picinisco and Val di Comino
Picinisco, lies in the Val di Comino, half way between Rome and Naples. and in 2017 celebrated it’s Millennium.
At 725m, it is built on the slopes of one of the highest mountains in central Italy - Monte Meta - and the only one where on a clear day you can see the Adriatic and the Tyrhennian Seas.
What is there to do in the town (apart from visiting Cantina I Ciacca)?
- Picinisco is a gateway to the magnificent Parco Nazionale d’Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise - 1 of the 5 best in Europe. (Lonely Planet- 2011). Take your car to Prato di Mezzo to begin your walk - or better still hire a guide to begin to understand this wilderness and the beauties of nature it has protected for millennia.
- Enjoy a walk around the Old Town – the medieval streets following the routes laid out 1,000 years ago. Most of the buildings were constructed in the 18th and 19th Centuries, although a few are more modern. Nearly all are occupied although most as second homes for the owners, who work in the cities or abroad.
- For the more adventurous spend some time at Parco Avventura Indiana Park and learn about climbing safely or Hire an Electric Bike for an hour or more
- Simply walk through the Centro Storico past the castle which has four towers, the oldest called Torretta dates from the 11th century and was revealed during the Allies' 1944 bombing, as a larger tower was built around it in the 15th century.
- Visit the Church of San Lorenzo, built in 1305 but repeatedly enlarged and restored; of great interest is the 11th century belltower, which maybe was a military sighting tower, but whose 17th century bell was cast in the famous Maranelli Foundry; the Church of San Rocco, from the 1800’s to be found in Piazza Ernesto Capocci; and the Church of Santa Maria at the Cemetry, part of which certainly existed in the 11th Century, built on Roman foundations, and inside frescos from the XIV century
- Take a walk to The Roman Bridge “Ponte Le Branche” - but be warned the path downhill is easy but the 1 hour journey back from the River Melfa may be a struggle for some.
- Take a more gentle walk to Grotta Campanaro past the springs of Fonte Scopella and the Tennis Court.
However, whether its an espresso at the bar, a morning coffee, a lunchtime aperitivo, a pre prandial drink or an after dinner digestivo, time spent in the Piazza at Picinisco is rarely wasted and not infrequently interrupted by someone speaking English from somewhere in the world. D H Lawrence described the Piazza as the ‘salotto’ of the village. This ‘drawing room’ with its ‘Balcony over the Valley’ can be extraordinarily cosmopolitan - apart from being a beautiful place to relax and the changing light and extraordinary sunsets are never to be forgotten.