Licenza


Coat of arms of Licenza

Licenza is a beautiful medieval village on a crest of the Lucretili mountains immersed in the luxuriant nature of the park and the Aniene Valley. Its name is linked to that of the stream that flows near the town, the Licenza, a inpouring of the Aniene river. Originally the stream was called Dicentia, and is mentioned in the Epistles of Horace.

The history of Licenza begins in Roman times when the Romans built some of their aqueducts in the Aniene Valley and this area was chosen by some Roman patricians who built their villas there.

The most important is certainly the great villa of the poet Horace, which was donated to him by Maecenas, which extended over an area of over 40 hectares. Since the twentieth century, the excavations of the villa have attracted teams of archaeologists from many parts of the world.

 

Read on for the story

With the fall of the Roman Empire, the population abandoned the valley land and took refuge in fortresses built on high ground around the tenth century and here two were built in Licenza and Civitella di Licenza, on two distinct high grounds.

Initially the castles were to be part of the defense system of the nearby Farfa Abbey which in the struggle between the papacy and the empire had sided with the German family of Frederik Redbeard. With the defeat of the empire, the abbey of Farfa loses its power and all the castles enter the church system.

Licenza has always been part of the Papal State, given its extreme proximity to Rome, and since the 12th century its fiefdom has been assigned to the Orsini family. In a document dated 1275, the castles of Licenza and Civitella are mentioned as owned by Giacomo and Orso Orsini.

Over the centuries this family became more and more powerful and acquired the nearby castles of Roccagiovine in 1368, while they strengthened and enlarged that of Licenza.

In the Renaissance the castle was transformed into a residential building, with rooms frescoed by the painter Vincenzo Manenti, which we can admire today.

Throughout the seventeenth century, the Orsini family first sold part of the feud to the Borghese family starting from Civitella and then the whole feud in 1761. Borghese family also bought the neighbors Percile, Civitella and Roccagiovine. This long negotiation was born from a prohibition by Mario Orsini who had forbidden the sale of this fiefdom by his heirs.

In the 19th century, Licenza enjoyed a new period of splendor with the construction of the new church of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary based on a design by Valadier.

After the Napoleonic period in which Civitella had become an independent municipality, from 1898 it became a fraction of Licenza.

A local story tells that in order to define the borders between Licenza and Civitella, the population of the two castles decided that they would walk at sunrise (cockcrow) and the border would be the meeting point. The residents of Civitella reached as far as the center of Licenza and a dispute arose which ended with the definition of the border near the current cemetery.

The castle was then acquired by the municipality which made it the seat of the museum dedicated to Horace and an eco-hotel.



Typical Dishes 

Sagne e Farre is the typical dish of Licenza, a medieval town in the enchanting Aniene Valley, to which a Festival is dedicated (Sagra Elle Sagne e...

Parks and Gardens 

In the lower part of Licenza, not far from the Villa di Orazio, the Garden of the Five Senses was created, a park to bring people closer to the beautiful...

Lucretili is one of the biggest parks of Lazio and is located northeast of Rome, in the area extending from the Apennines to the Tyrrhenian plain. It...
Archeotourism 

A short walk from the Villa of Horace in Licenza is the Orsini "nymph" a semicircular feature with a diameter of 23 meters. Probably the ancient source...

At the base of Colle Rotondo (perhaps The Mons Lucretilis Oraziano) in Licenza are the remains of the Villa of Ozi of Horace in Sabina that the poet had...
Festivals 

Licenza celebrates the end of winter with the polenta rencocciata festival. Polenta rencocciata is a typical local dish where polenta is roasted on a grill,...

In Licenza during the month of October the sagne, a traditional home-made pasta is celebrated served during the Sagra "elle sagne 'e farre". In the local...

Churches & Places of Worship 

The church of Saint Sebastian is located outside the town of Civitella di Licenza and its construction dates back to the Middle Ages. At that time, it was...

The church of Saints Philip and James is located in Civitella, the hamlet of Licenza born around on of its castles. The church is on the highest point called...
Archaeological museums 

Palazzo Orsini is also the seat of the Antiquarium of Licenza, which mainly collects material from excavations in the Villa of Horace. The museum displays...
Naturalistic museums 

The area of ​​Mount Pellecchia in Licenza hosts one of the last pairs of Acqua Reale Golden Eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) who still live in Lazio. Among the 19...
Architecture and monuments 

  In the center of Licenza there is a very particular monument with a tapered shape called the obelisk of the cross because it ends with a cross. It was...

The entrance to the historic center of Licenza still takes place through the ancient gates of the castle and two of them can be recognised. The first is in...

Meet Special People 

Everyone in the Aniene Valley knows Francisco Navarrete Sitja and Andrés Gallardo, ordinary people as well as mayors. They come from Chile and have been...
Blog 

My journey in search of the Town Ambassadors of the province of Rome continues in the Aniene Valley, this time the stop is Licenza, a small village with a...

Regional products: LAZIO

There are not products in the Shop for this region.

Town Ambassador
Discover your italian Roots

 

Subscribe to Newsletter

Discover a territory through the emotions of the people that have lived it.