Borbona, Province of Rieti, Lazio
This picturesque center rises in a peaceful, countryside environment, amid rows of tall poplars, against a background of mountains and hills covered with beechwoods. Its territory is rich of Paleolithic findings of the middle and later Stone Age, as well as ceramic fragments, tombs and remains of Roman times, especially in the area called Colle Storno.
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The first mention of Borbona is in documents of the 13th century, though its foundation goes back probably to 1292. A terrible fire in 1326 forced the inhabitants to a complete reconstruction of the center: in 1570 the fiefdom was sold to Margaret of Austria and subsequently passed to the Farnese and then to the Bourbon. A violent earthquake in 1703 razed the town to the ground for the second time. The new center was reconstructed in 1737 and divided in twelve small "borgate", still existing today.
What to see
- Sanctuary of Santa Maria del Monte - Dating back to the 15th century, was entirely reconstructed in the 18th; in the entry portal there is a Roman headstone commemorating Giulia Domna, the wife of Emperor Septimius Severus.
- The church of Santa Croce - Reconstructed in the 18th century on a previous building which existed even before the town itself, the church preserved a processional cross in gilt silver and polychrome enamels, the work of Nicholas from Guardiagrele, a famous Abruzzese goldsmith who lived in the late 14th century. The cross is currently in the Museo del Duomo, Rieti.
- Convent of Sant'Anna - The monastery is next to the church of Santa Croce and includes an interesting 18th-century church with wooden ceiling and engraven altars.