Marano Equo is located on a hill in the Aniene Valley in an area rich in spring waters and its history is closely linked to water. Its name recalls the ancient population of the Equi then subdued by the Romans. This area was one of the places where the Romans got their water supply and has been a Roman colony since 400 BC. It is affected by two important aqueducts: Acqua Marcia and Claudio and the first is still in operation and represents one of the two major water supplies of the capital.
The Acqua Marcia dates back to 144 BC and was the third aqueduct in Rome. It took water from a spring in the municipality of Marano Equo and arrived in Rome with a distance of 90 km, 80 of which were underground and 11 on monumental arches. Its construction was planned as early as 179 BC but was delayed due to the opposition of Marcus Licinius Crassus who did not want the aqueduct on its land.
The Claudio Aqueduct was instead the eighth aqueduct and one of the most technologically advanced. It took its water from two small lakes located between the municipalities of Marano Equo and Arsoli and had a distance of 68 km, 11 of which on arches and 5 on bridges. Along the way, it crossed the Acqua Marcia aqueduct twice and arrived in Rome where it ran parallel to the 'Anio Novus' aqueduct. At Porta Maggiore a section of the Aurelian Walls is still visible where the two canals of the previous aqueducts can be recognized.
After the period of the barbarian invasions, around the 10th century, the inhabitants of the valleys took refuge in fortresses built on hill around which the current villages such as that of Marano Equo were formed. Its extreme proximity to the nearby powerful monastery of Subiaco has characterized the entire history of the village and probably its castle controlled the entire Aniene Valley.
The fortress was probably part of the defensive system of the Aniene valley. All the castles were connected by roads and the crossing of the Aniene river took place right at Marano Equo, on a bridge that remained in use until the 19th century.
The castle is mentioned for the first time in a bull of Pope Pasquale II and was composed of a central body, three towers, a courtyard and a small church on whose foundations the current church of Saint Blaise was later built.
Of note is a particular episode which indicates the character of the citizens of Marano Equo: from 1364 to 1368 the castle was conquered and governed by four rebel monks and only in 1368 did it return under the control of the monastery of Subiaco.
At the beginning of the fifteenth century, the period of control of the monastery of Subiaco ended and the castle of Marano Equo was assigned to a commendatory abbot, once again belonging to the clergy. The commendatory was a hybrid figure between a governor and a feudal lord as he managed the political and religious life but was also entitled to half of the income destined for the monastery. The first commendatory abbot was Giovanni Torquemada and in 1471 Rodrigo Borgia, the future Pope Alexander VI, was appointed.
Meanwhile, the countryside of Marano Equo belonged to a larger feud and has been managed by the Colonna, Caffarelli Borghese and at the end the Barberini family since 1653.
In 1703 in the Aniene Valley there was a strong earthquake which then led to a renovation and arrangement of some buildings that took on their current appearance.
In 1753, the castle of Marano Equo passed directly under papal control through the institution of the Congregation of Good Government.
During the Napoleonic period in Italy, the townspeople did not welcome the French innovations, so much so that they fought the occupiers by advancing into the dense bush that surrounds the town.
The addition of the name Equo to the name Marano was made after the unification of Italy in order not to confuse it with other villages of the same name and to recall the proud pre-Roman past.
Among the best-known products is that of the recently rediscovered and re-evaluated Regina bean.