Cineto Romano is a beautiful village born around a powerful castle on a hilltop of Mount Peschiero on the side of the Sabini Mountains overlooking the Aniene Valley. The whole valley is rich in water, in fact many of the aqueducts of ancient Rome departed from here and there are traces of sections of the underground aqueduct.
Cineto is crossed by the Scarpa stream and the Rioscuro, which gives rise to the famous Riofreddo waterfalls.
This area has always been an important transit hub, especially for transhumance from the mountains of Abruzzo region to the Lazio coast with paths along the rivers. The first to populate the territory were the Equi (who owe their name to the richness of the waters) with the ancient city of Ferrata and some sections of a sanctuary and polygonal walls can be recognized.
Control of these roads, which also supplied wool, was essential and in 332 they were conquered by the expansion of nearby Rome which assigned the land to the Roman tribe of 'Scaptia', from which the ancient name of Cineto Romano that was called Scarpa until 1885. The current name probably derives from a deep crater, a geological singularity called in the past with the name of Cinet.
In 299 BC. the Romans built the Valeria way, named after the censor Valerio Massimo, and created a post station along the Via Tiburtina Valeria for changing horses. The post station called Ferrata was destroyed during the Second World War by Allied bombing.
In the 2nd century B.C. Valeria way proved to be strategic for the construction of the Aqua Marcia, Aqua Claudia and Anio Novus aqueducts.
The Romans inhabited the areas at the bottom of the valley and in a 3rd century BC villa, tools for working oil and wine have been found. In 306 AD, the emperor Constantine the Great assigned the present territory of Cineto to the Valeria tribe under the administration of a tributary proconsul.
With the fall of the empire and the invasions of the barbarians, the area entered the Roman duchy of the Lombards and in 755 it became the patrimony of San Pietro.
Around the year one thousand the population took refuge in three castles to defend themselves from the invasions of Saracens and Hungarians. It seems that the first lord of Cineto Romano was Giovanni de Marso, perhaps from nearby Marsica, who had the nucleus of the current castle built.
In the thirteenth century the castle came to Cardinal Napoleone Orsini and with ups and downs the Orsini family will manage this feud for several centuries. Meanwhile, in the Middle Ages the municipality was established and various statutes were drawn up which regulated life in the village.
The area is highly seismic, so life was punctuated by some calamities such as the earthquakes of 1349, 1703 and the one called Marsica of 1915.
Among the episodes to be told is the story of Beatrice Cenci, a noblewoman accused of killing her abusive father and who has become a symbol of female courage. In 1595 Beatrice stayed one night in the post station of Ferrata before going to her prison in Petrella.
In the early seventeenth century, before the famous plague, the Orsinis found themselves forced to sell the castle due to debts to Marcantonio Borghese, the prince of Sulmona. Cineto Romano remained under the rule of the Borghese family until 1886
With the Kingdom of Italy, the railway between Rome and Sulmona was built and in 1885 the section that reached Cineto Romano was inaugurated.
Among the geological peculiarities of Cineto we must mention the "Pozzo delle Morge", a deep bottomless cavity at the foot of Mount Morge. It is not clear whether its formation is natural or due to the work of man and Pliny believed it to be connected to the Acqua Marcia.
Among the most heartfelt festivals are the polenta festival, the bigonci race during the celebrations of San Giovanni in June and the "ciammella" festival, a typical sweet donut, in August during the patronal festivals.
Cineto Romano suffered heavy Allied bombing during World War II.