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Picinisco, Province of Frosinone, Lazio

This small center situated at 850 meters above sea level overlooks from above the whole Comino valley. It is an important winter resort, thanks to the fine skiing fields for both downhill, thanks to the modern facilities, and for cross-country skiers.

Info

  • Altitude: 725m a.s.l
  • Territory: mountainous
  • Population: about 1200 inhabitants
  • Zip/postal code: 03040
  • Dialing Area Code: +39 0776
  • Patron Saint: St. Lorenzo
  • How to reach it: A1 (Milano-Napoli) exit Cassino.
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Provinces of Lazio

The Territory

The territory of Picinisco is included in the Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise National Park, one of the oldest in Italy, and more exactly in the area called Valcomino, formed of the Upper Comino Valley bordering on the Apennines of Abruzzo. The sector is divided into two areas, the Park area including all the peaks, Val Canneto, Prati di Mezzo and Le Mainarde. The highest mountains are: Monte Meta 2242 m, Monte Petroso 2249 m, Rocca Altiera 2016 m, Monte Serrone 2000 m and Monte Forcellone 2030 m; the other peaks lie between 1850 and 2000 metres.

For a time it was also a residence of English author D.H.Lawrence, and the house where he lived and wrote "The Lost Girl", which is set against the natural scenery of the area. A peculiar tradition of Picinisco is the construction of the zampogne, made with olive wood and with air sacks made from goat or lamb skin. The zampognari also used to wear the traditional "ciocie" (from which the area is called Ciociaria), open leather footwear which surely derive from Etruscan designs.

History

The area around Picinisco belonged to the Lombard Dukedom of Benevento, then to the monastery of Monte Cassino, and in 866 passed to the Benedictine abbey of San Vincenzo di Volturno. In that period probably the peasants of the area moved to higher spots to get a better defense against the attacks of the Saracens. In 1017 the name Picinisco appears in a donation to the abbot of Monte Cassino.

The name Picinisco may be of Saracen origin but there is no certainty. The walls that surround Picinisco had five Gates: the Porta Saracina, Porta Codarda, Porta Rione, Porta della Prece and Porta della Piazza.

What to see

  • The Grottacampanaro Lake
  • The castle which has four towers, the oldest called Torretta goes back to the 11th century and was revealed during the Allies' 1944 bombing, since another larger tower was built in the 15th century around it.
  • The church of San Lorenzo, which was built in 1305 but was repeatedly enlarged and restored; of great interest is the 11th century belltower, which maybe was a military sighting tower.
  • The church of San Rocco
  • The church of Santa Maria

    Places of interest in the vicinity are:

  • In Alvito the Palazzo Ducale and 17th-century Churches of Santa Teresa and San Simeone
  • In Campoli Appennino the Medieval tower of the 11th century
  • In San Biagio Saracinisco the Church of San Biagio (12th century)
  • In San Donato Val di Comino the old town, the 17th-century Church of Santa Maria and San Marcello, the 8th century Sanctuary of San Donato;
  • In Settefrati the Church of Santo Stefano (10th century), the Church of Madonna delle Grazie (17th century), as well as Roman ruins
  • In Vallerotonda the 14th-century church of Santa Maria Assunta.

Where to stay

Genealogy & Links