History of Caprarola


See Caprarola guide for highlights and historic monuments

Caprarola is located just over 500 meters above sea level, on the eastern side of the “Cimini” Mountains, and dominated by the "palace-fortress” built in the 15th century by the noble and powerful family of the Farnese.

Although there are traces of prehistoric settlements in the form of piles in the lake of Vico, and some remains of Etruscan and Roman tombs in the place called “Barco”, the first historical documents about Caprarola date back to  1223 and concern the existence of a religious brotherhood.

Origins of the name Caprarola

The etymology of the name, rightly refers to the presence of many goats (from Latin "Caprea"), which leads to a place where the shepherds brought their flocks and pens or stables where they were enclosed. Casimiro writes:

"[...] It’s very likely that this site has had that name because of the goats that grazed the site in a large numbers, as they do today (...); in fact, the people have elected as the city's coat of arms two goats standing one facing the other [...]" [1].

Caprarola in the Middle Ages

Contested among many local lords, in 1275 the city belonged to the Orsini but soon after the power went to the family of Prefects of Vico, until 1370, when further attempts at domination began among various noble families against the Di Vico.

After these, Caprarola was dominated by the Anguillara but in 1435 it came under the jurisdiction of the Church State.

Five years later, in 1440, the feud was bought by a count of Anguillara, who ruled it until 1465, when Pope Paul II (1417-1471) confiscated all property of the Anguillara, and in the the late 15th century Caprarola was given as the Vicariate to the Riario della Rovere, under whose rule the country began to develop and populate.

Today Caprarola is a city which bases its economy on tourism, which offers excellent cuisine and a landscape suited for trips to enjoy the countryside.

See the Caprarola for a travel guide and information for visitors.

References

1. see Casimiro (father of Rome), “Memorie Istoriche delle chiese e dei Conventi dei Frati Minori nella Provincia Romana”   [" Historical Memoirs  of Churches and Convents of the Friars Minor in the Roman Province"], 1845, p. 89