Ariccia (Latin: Aricia) is a town and comune in the Metropolitan City of Rome, central Italy, 16 miles (25 km) south-east of Rome. It is in the Alban Hills of the Lazio (Latium) region and could be considered an extension of Rome's southeastern suburbs. One of the Castelli Romani towns, Ariccia is located in the regional park known as the "Parco Regionale dei Castelli Romani".

Comune di Ariccia
Ariccia and Vallericcia
Ariccia and Vallericcia
Coat of arms of Ariccia

Coat of arms
Location of Ariccia
Ariccia is located in Italy
Location of Ariccia in Italy
Ariccia is located in Lazio
Ariccia (Lazio)
Coordinates: 41°43′N 12°40′E / 41.717°N 12.667°E
Metropolitan cityRome (RM)
FrazioniCecchina, Fontana di Papa
 • MayorRoberto Di Felice
 • Total18 km2 (7 sq mi)
412 m (1,352 ft)
(31 May 2017)
 • Total19,036
 • Density1,100/km2 (2,700/sq mi)
Demonym(s)Ariccini or (dialect) Aricciaroli
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Dialing code06
Patron saintSt. Apollonia
Saint dayFebruary 9
WebsiteOfficial website


View of the historical centre from the Ariccia bridge.

Ariccia is the center of a region that was extremely important in Roman and pre-Roman mythology and religion because of its association with the goddess Diana and the god Virbius. Legend also recalls that it served as a temporary burial place of the Greek hero Orestes.[1] Ariccia was one of the oldest cities of ancient Latium, and as the leader of the Latin League was a serious contender against Rome during the early days of the Roman Republic.[2]

In modern times, Ariccia has become famous for its porchetta, pork that is slowly roasted with herbs and wild fennel, and it has been known since historical times for its wine. The comune of Ariccia includes the frazioni of Vallericcia and Fontana di Papa. It is bounded by the communes of Albano Laziale, Castel Gandolfo, Genzano di Roma and Marino Laziale.


There is a connection between the town's name and Aricia, the wife of Hippolytus (Virbius), the Roman forest god who lived in the sacred forests near Aricia. According to a vague reference by Caius Julius Solinus, Ariccia was founded by Archilocus Siculus ("Archilocus of the Siculi" or Sicels) in very ancient times.[3]

Ruins found in the city confirm the existence of a settlement in the 8th-9th centuries BC. From the end of the 6th century BC until 338 BC, the city was the central member of the Latin League.

In its territory, which then included the Lake of Nemi, was located the sanctuary of Diana Aricina (or Diana Nemorensis) held by the Latin cities in common, and presided over by the Rex Nemorensis made famous in Frazer's The Golden Bough. The association with the cult of Diana led to its development as an influential and affluent center of healing and medicine.

In 508 BC, Lars Porsena king of Clusium (at that time reputed to be one of the most powerful cities of Etruria) departed Rome after ending his war against Rome by peace treaty. Porsena split his forces, and sent part of the Clusian army with his son Aruns to wage war on the Latin city of Aricia. The Aricians sent for assistance from the Latin League, and also from the Greek city of Cumae. When support arrived, the Arician army ventured beyond the walls of the city, and the combined armies met the Clusian forces in battle. According to Livy, the Clusians initially routed the Arician forces, but the Cumaean troops allowed the Clusians to pass by, then attacked from the rear, gaining victory against the Clusians. Livy says the Clusian army was destroyed.[4][5]

In 495 BC, Aricia was the site of a battle between the Aurunci and Rome, Rome being the victor.[6]

Aricia was definitively conquered by the Romans under Caius Maenius in 338 BC, and became a civitas sine suffragio, but was soon given full rights.[2] It received the title of municipium, and expanded towards the valley below, where the Via Appia connected it with Rome. Aricia became, therefore, the first main posting station on the overland journey from Rome towards southern Italy.

Being rather near to the Imperial capital, and favoured by a fresher climate, Aricia was chosen by many of the Rome's patricii as a location for their leisure villas. It also was recognized for the caliber of its wine and food stuffs. Martial wrote favorably of its leeks and Pliny relished a unique variety of Arician cabbages.

Because of its wealth and its strategic location near the coast, the city was sacked several times during and after the fall of the Roman Empire, by Goths, Vandals and, finally, by the Saracens who destroyed it in 827. The inhabitants subsequently moved to the ancient acropolis and founded a new community.

In 990 the Castrum Ariciensis ("Ariccia's Castle") was a dominion of Guido, count of Tusculum. During the reign of Pope Nicholas II the castle was absorbed by the Papal States, from which it in turn passed again to the Earls of Tusculum as a fiefdom (1116). The Roman Church regained Ariccia in 1223 with Pope Honorius III, of the Savelli family, and maintained it until the first half of the 15th century.

The population of Ariccia began to decline, however. After a period under the administration of the castle of Lariano, it passed to the Genzano district, which at that time registered only 100 residents. Around 1400 all the territory became property of the Monastery of Sant'Anastasio alle Tre Fontane and, after a brief period under the Savelli once more, was sold to the Abbey of Grottaferrata.

Ariccia sta maria assunta
The church of Santa Maria Assunta by Gian Lorenzo Bernini.

Pope Sixtus IV handed Ariccia over to the Savelli, who executed several works to improve its condition, including the draining of the volcanic lake (Lake of Vallericcia) which lay to the west, between the hills and the sea.

In 1661 the city passed to the powerful Chigi family, who rebuilt the splendid Palazzo Savelli Chigi in the main square, in which the invaluable Chigi archives were housed. The Chigi Pope Alexander VII lived for long periods in Ariccia and drastically changed its character, with important contributions from Gian Lorenzo Bernini, designer of the piazza of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.

Among Bernini's rich contributions to the character of the town were the piazza and the Collegiata di Santa Maria Assunta which faces the palazzo.

In 1854 Pope Pius IX ordered the construction of a bridge. This bridge bypassed the large wood (now the Parco Chigi) in the valley, which hindered access to Ariccia from Rome along the Via Appia.

Nearly a century later, the bridge—along with much of the city—was destroyed by retreating German troops during World War II . Rebuilt in 1947, it crumbled suddenly in 1967 and was rebuilt again.

In October 2013, the Vatican announced that Pope Francis and his aides in the Roman Curia, for their traditional yearly retreat for Lent in 2014 (9–14 March) would go to the Pauline Fathers' retreat and conference center in Ariccia, instead of the previous custom of spending it at the Vatican.[7] In 2015, the Roman Curia's yearly Lenten spiritual exercises were again held at Ariccia, at the Casa Divin Maestro (House of the Divine Master), from 4:00 PM on the First Sunday of Lent, February 22, 2015, to the morning of Friday, February 27, 2015. The 2015 exercises were to be led by Carmelite Father Bruno Secondin, on the theme from the readings of the Prophet Elijah, "Servants and prophets of the living God"; during the retreat, all audiences are suspended.[8]

Main sights

The most noteworthy sight in Ariccia is the northern entrance from the famous bridge which leads to Bernini's Baroque square. The main monuments include:

  • The Palazzo Savelli Chigi, whose perfectly restored rooms are renowned as a location for Luchino Visconti's The Leopard and for other historical movies and television programs, was built by Prince Augusto Chigi in 1740.
  • The Church of the Assunta, by Bernini, whose circular dome was inspired by his restoration of the Pantheon. In the interior the apse is a notable fresco by Borgognone.
  • The Fontana delle Tre Cannelle ("Fountain of the three spouts"), once thought to contain the tomb of Simon Magus.

Other monuments include the Porta Romana, also by Bernini, and, 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) outside the city, the venerated Sanctuary of the Madonna di Galloro, with facade by Bernini. The latter is the final stop of a religious procession held on 8 December and called "Procession of the Lady", as a young woman is asked to lead it.

The area around Ariccia houses many interesting archaeological finds such as the Villa of the Roman Emperor Vitellius, the remains of the Via Appia Antica, as well as those of the ancient temples on Monte Cavo and in the Lake Nemi basin.


Ariccia has a long history of welcoming artists and writers who have departed from Rome's heat and bustle for the breezy hillsides and groves overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea. Horace in one of his Satires[9] notes that in "Escaping from great Rome, I'm welcomed in Ariccia at a reasonable inn."

The forested landscapes of Ariccia, which had given birth to the Latin-Roman cult of Diana, also had a special appeal to later writers and artists, especially those associated with Romanticism. Ariccia appears as a subject in noteworthy paintings by Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, George Inness, Ludwig Richter, Alexandre Calame, Friedrich Wilhelm Schirmer, Adrien Manglard, Franz Ludwig Catel, Hermann Winterhalter, Oswald Achenbach, J. M. W. Turner, Mikhail Lebedev, and Richard Wilson. Goethe visited in the 1780s, and Henrik Ibsen wrote his epic verse play Brand in Ariccia in 1865. In Italian Hours (essays collected in 1909), Henry James observed the natural beauty of Ariccia and the pleasantness of the "little piazza".

Corot Ariccia Palazzo Chigi
Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Ariccia Palazzo Chigi, 1826-27.

The Locanda Martorelli, the hotel which faced the palace in the Piazza di Corte, was a popular stop between Rome and Naples for those on the Grand Tour, and was frequented by artists and writers such as J.M. William Turner, Corot, Henrik Ibsen, Gogol, D'Azeglio, Richter, Hans Christian Andersen, and Henry Longfellow.

Today, the Palazzo Savelli Chigi often hosts exhibitions drawing from its own extensive collections as well as visiting exhibitions. The Palace is also the site of frequent public musical performances.

Much of the city's greatest art, Roman-era sculpture excavated by archaeologists, has been distributed to the world's collections of classical artwork, so one often sees the name "Ariccia" pinned next to statues of Augustus or Diana that are being displayed far from Latium.


Ariccia is home to Auburn University's only international campus, the Joseph S. Bruno Auburn Abroad in Italy program, which is housed in the Palazzo Savelli Chigi. This year-round program is sponsored by the Auburn University College of Human Sciences and is open to students from any major on the Auburn campus.


Public transportation is provided by the region's COTRAL bus lines, with regular bus connections to and from Rome. There is nearby train service directly to Stazione di Roma Termini from Albano Laziale, approximately 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) from Ariccia's main piazza.

Twin towns


  1. ^ Servius on Aeneid, ii. 116
  2. ^ a b Wikisource Ashby, Thomas (1911). "Aricia" . In Chisholm, Hugh. Encyclopædia Britannica. 2 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 490.
  3. ^ Hermann Peter, Historicorum Romanorum Fragmenta
  4. ^ Livy, Ab urbe condita, 2.14
  5. ^ Dionysius of Halicarnassus Rom. Antiq. 7.5-6
  6. ^ Livy, Ab urbe condita, 2.26
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ " - Translator".
  9. ^ I, 5 "A journey to Brindisi"

External links

Media related to Ariccia at Wikimedia Commons

Albano Laziale

Albano Laziale (IPA: [alˈbaːno latˈtsjaːle], Latin: Albanum, Romanesco: Arbano) is a comune in the Metropolitan City of Rome, on the Alban Hills, in Latium, central Italy. Rome is 25 kilometres (16 mi) distant. It is bounded by other communes of Castel Gandolfo, Rocca di Papa, Ariccia and Ardea. Located in the Castelli Romani area of Lazio. It is sometimes known simply as Albano.

Albano is one of the most important municipalities of the Castelli Romani, and a busy commercial centre. It has been also a suburbicarian bishopric since the 5th century, a historic principality of the Savelli family, and from 1699 to 1798 the inalienable possession of the Holy See. It now houses, among other things, the Praetor of the district court of Velletri. The territory of Albano is partially included in the Parco Regionale dei Castelli Romani.

Castel Gandolfo

Castel Gandolfo (Italian pronunciation: [kaˈstɛl ɡanˈdɔlfo; -ˈdolfo]; Latin: Castrum Gandulphi; colloquially Castello in the Castelli Romani dialects) is a town located 25 kilometres (16 mi) southeast of Rome in the Lazio region of Italy. Occupying a height on the Alban Hills overlooking Lake Albano, Castel Gandolfo has a population of approximately 8,900 residents and is considered one of Italy's most scenic towns.Within the town's boundaries lies the Apostolic Palace of Castel Gandolfo which served as a summer residence and vacation retreat for the pope, the leader of the Catholic Church. Although the palace is located within the borders of Castel Gandolfo, it has extraterritorial status as one of the properties of the Holy See and is not under Italian jurisdiction. It is now open as a museum.The resort community includes almost the whole coastline of Lake Albano which is surrounded by many summer residences, villas, and cottages built during the 17th century. It houses the Stadio Olimpico that staged the rowing events during the Rome Olympics.

Castel Gandolfo has several places of archaeological interest including the Emissario del Lago Albano and the remains of the Villa of Domitian. The area is included within the boundaries of the Parco Regionale dei Castelli Romani (Regional Park of Castelli Romani). There are also many points of artistic interest, such as the Collegiate Church of St. Thomas of Villanova, designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini.


Cecchina (Italian pronunciation: [tʃekˈkiːna]) is a town located approximately 30 km south-east of Rome in the Italian region of Lazio, in central Italy.

Chigi Family

The Chigi family is a Roman princely family of Sienese extraction descended from the counts of Ardenghesca, which possessed castles in the Maremma, southern Tuscany. The earliest authentic mention of them is in the 13th century, with one Alemanno, counsellor of the Republic of Siena.

Fiano Romano

Fiano Romano is a town and comune in the Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy, approximately 40 kilometres (25 mi) north of that city. It is the birthplace of the Italian actress Sabrina Ferilli.

Flavio Chigi (1631–1693)

Flavio Chigi (10 May 1631 – 13 September 1693) was an Italian Catholic Cardinal and Duke of Ariccia. He was Cardinal-Nephew to Pope Alexander VII and became a powerful political force inside the Roman Catholic Church during the latter half of the 17th century.

Flavio Chigi (1711–1771)

Flavio Chigi (8 September 1711 – 12 July 1771), Prince of Farnese, Duke of Ariccia and Prince of the Holy Roman Empire, was an Italian Roman Catholic cardinal. He was a member of the noble Chigi family, nephew of Fabio Chigi, Pope Alexander VII.

Born in Rome as a member of the Chigi family, he was created cardinal by Pope Benedict XIV in 1753.


Lanuvio is a comune (municipality) in the Metropolitan City of Rome in the Italian region Latium, located about 30 kilometres (19 mi) southeast of Rome, on the Alban Hills.

Lanuvio borders the following municipalities: Aprilia, Ariccia, Genzano di Roma, Velletri.

List of twin towns and sister cities in Italy

This is a list of places in Italy having standing links to local communities in other countries. In most cases, the association, especially when formalised by local government, is known as "town twinning" (though other terms, such as "partner towns" or "sister cities" are sometimes used instead), and while most of the places included are towns, the list also comprises villages, cities, districts, counties, etc. with similar links.

Louis Billot

Louis Billot (12 January 1846 in Sierck-les-Bains, Moselle, France – 18 December 1931 in Ariccia, Latium, Italy) was a French Jesuit priest and theologian. He became a cardinal in 1911 and resigned from that status in 1927, the only person to do so in the twentieth century.

Ludovico Chigi Albani della Rovere

Fra' Ludovico Chigi della Rovere-Albani (10 July 1866 – 14 November 1951) was Prince and Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta from 1931 to 1951.

Chigi was born in Ariccia, the son of Imperial Prince Mario Chigi della Rovere Albani (1832-1914) and his wife, Princess Antoinette zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn (1839-1918). His father's family, the Chigi, was among the most prominent noble families of Rome, to which had belonged Pope Alexander VII (1599-1667), who conferred upon his nephew Agostino Chigi (1634-1705) the hereditary princedoms of Farnese (1658) and Campagnano (1661), as well as the dukedoms of Arricia and Formello (1662), also procuring for all descendants of the Chigi male line the title of Imperial prince and princess from the Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I in 1659. In 1509 Pope Julius II had authorised the Chigi family to augment their name and arms with his own, della Rovere, and would become Ludovico's ancestor (in the 13th degree) through six lines of descent from that pope's illegitimate daughter, Felice della Rovere (ca. 1483-1536).On 5 June 1893, in Rome, Chigi married Donna Anna Aldobrandini, daughter of Pietro, Prince Aldobrandini, Prince di Sarsina, and of his wife, Françoise de La Rochefoucauld. They had two children:

Prince Sigismondo, 9th Prince Chigi della Rovere-Albani, (12 December 1894 - 24 December 1982), to whom his father ceded the princedom of Campagnano by an Italian writ of acceleration issued 10 June 1929. Married Marian Berry (9 September 1901), daughter of Jakob Berry and Aileen Freeman on 16 July 1926. They had two children:

Prince Agostino, 10th Prince Chigi della Rovere-Albani (27 September 1929)

Princess Francesca Chigi della Rovere (6 November 1933)

Princess Laura Maria Caterina Chigi della Rovere (30 April 1898 - 4 November 1984) married Denis, Count Grisi della Piè. They have children.Chigi's wife died 17 September 1898.

On 4 November 1914 Chigi's father died and he succeeded as 8th Prince di Farnese and di Campagnano, 4th Prince di Soriano, 8th Duke di Ariccia and di Formello, Marchese di Magliano Pecorareccio, Hereditary Marshall of the Holy Roman Church and Guardian of the Conclave. Chigi was responsible for three papal conclaves. He was an honorary member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.On 30 May 1931, Chigi was elected Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, having been a widower for 31 years. Under his leadership the order engaged in large-scale hospitaller and charitable activities during World War II. In 1947 he was appointed president of an international committee to oversee the rebuilding of the Abbey of Monte Cassino.Chigi died in Rome of a heart attack at the age of 85.

Maria Antonia Scalera Stellini

Maria Antonia Scalera Stellini (5 February 1634 – 21 September 1704) was a 17th-century Italian poet and playwright.

Mikhail Lebedev

Mikhail Ivanovich Lebedev (Russian: Михаил Иванович Лебедев) (4 November 1811 – 13 July 1837) was a Russian painter.

Palazzo Chigi of Ariccia

The Palazzo Chigi of Ariccia was the ducal palace of the Chigi family located in the center of the town of Ariccia, near Rome, Italy.

Originally a 15th-century palace of the Savelli family stood at the site, it was rebuilt during 1664 to 1672, in a Baroque style by the Chigi Family. The work was a collaboration between Gian Lorenzo Bernini and his pupil Carlo Fontana. The sober exterior does not reflect the highly decorated interiors. The palace and park were ceded to the Commune in 1988 by the prince Agostino Chigi Albani della Rovere, and now served as a host of exhibitions and events. It hosts the Museo del Barocco Romano encompassed by some of the remaining Chigi family collections. These include the following paintings:

Four Seasons by Mario de’ Fiori in collaboration with Carlo Maratti, Bernardino Mei, Giacinto Brandi, Giovanni Maria Morandi, and Filippo Lauri

Allegory of the Senses by Pier Francesco Mola

Preparatory sketches (cartoons) for mosaics of the cupola of St Peter's Basilica by Cavalier d’Arpino

I “feudi Chigi con cani levrieri by Michelangelo Pace also called “il Campidoglio”

Finti arazzi comissioned by Cardinal Ottoboni from Domenico Paradisi, Michelangelo Ricciolini and Francesco Borgognone for the Palazzo della Cancelleria

Finti arazzi con giochi di putti by Giovanni Battista Magni “il Modanino”;

Landscapes by Jos de Momper, Tempestino, and Egidio de Monte

Pindar and Pan by Salvator Rosa

Blessed Giovanni Chigi in penitence by Giovanni Battista Gaulli called "Il Baciccio"

Marine landscape with St Augustine by Jos de Momper and Alessandro Mattia da Farnese.

Portrait of Pope Clement IX and Cardinal Sigismondo Chigi by Il Baciccio

Portrait of Cardinal Flavio Chigi by Jacob Ferdinand Voet

Portrait of Sister Maria Lutugarda by JF Voet

Portrait of Sister Flavia Virginia by JF Voet

Portrait of Agostino Chigi by JF Voet

Portrait of Maria Virginia Borghese by JF Voet

Serie delle Belle by Anna Caffarelli Minutoli

Portrait of Maria Virginia Borghese by Giovanni Maria Morandi

Portrait of Mario Chigi by GM Morandi

Portrait of venerable Aurelio Chigi by Francesco Vanni

Portrait of Cardinal Fabio Chigi by Carlo Cesi

Portrait of Suor Berenice by Francesco Trevisani

Works by Loreti, Guttembrun, Masucci, and KoblerThe park contains Roman spolia and the remains of buildings used as part of a hunting preserve.

Paolo Borghese (1622–1646)

Paolo Borghese (1622/24–1646) was an Italian nobleman of the Borghese family. He was the son of Marcantonio II Borghese (1598–1658) and his wife Camilla Orsini.

Paolo was the first husband of Olimpia Aldobrandini, whom he married in 1638. They had five children:

Giovanni Giorgio Borghese

Camillo Borghese

Francesco Borghese

Giovanni Battista Borghese, Principe Borghese (1639-1717) married Eleonora Boncompagni and had issue (including Camillo Borghese, Prince of Sulmona, husband of Pauline Bonaparte).

Maria Virginia Borghese (1642-1718) married Agostino Chigi, Prince of Farnese, Duke of Ariccia and had issue.

Pompeia (sister of Pompeius Strabo)

Pompeia (flourished 2nd and 1st century BC) was a Roman woman. Pompeia was born and raised into a noble family in Picenum (modern Marche & Abruzzo) a rural district in Northern Italy, off the Adriatic Coast.

Pompeia’s mother was a woman called Lucilia. Lucilia’s family originated from Suessa Aurunca (modern Sessa Aurunca) and she was a sister of satire poet Gaius Lucilius. Lucilius was a friend of Roman general Scipio Aemilianus Africanus.

Her paternal grandfather was Gnaeus Pompeius, while her father was Sextus Pompeius. Pompeia had two elder brothers Sextus Pompeius and Gnaeus Pompeius Strabo. Through Strabo, she was a paternal aunt to triumvir Pompey and his sister Pompeia.

Pompeia married Marcus Atius Balbus (148 BC-87 BC), a senator of plebs status from Aricia (modern Ariccia). Pompeia and Balbus had a son a younger Marcus Atius Balbus in 105 BC. Her son married Julia Minor, the younger of two sisters of dictator Gaius Julius Caesar. The younger Balbus and Julia had three daughters. Among Pompeia’s descendants was the first Roman Emperor Augustus.

Riccia, Molise

Riccia is a comune (municipality) in the Province of Campobasso in the Italian region Molise, located about 15 kilometres (9 mi) southeast of Campobasso, with a population of about 5,600.

Riccia borders the following municipalities: Castelpagano, Castelvetere in Val Fortore, Cercemaggiore, Colle Sannita, Gambatesa, Jelsi, Pietracatella, Tufara.

Roman Castles

The so-called Roman Castles (Castelli Romani in Italian) are a group of comunes in the Metropolitan City of Rome. They are located a short distance south-east of the city of Rome, at the feet of the Alban Hills, in the territory corresponding to the Old Latium.

Sanctuary of Santa Maria di Galloro, Ariccia

The Sanctuary of Santa Maria di Galloro is a church located on the via Appia Nuova, near Ariccia on the road to Genzano di Roma, in the region of Lazio, in Italy.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.