Lazio - Places to Visit - Rieti
This town lies 405 m. above sea level on the southern edge of a large hollow, once an ancient lake, at the foot of the Sabini and Reatini mountains and to the right of the Velino River.
An ancient Sabine centre, Rieti was a Roman Municipium in Imperial times. It was continually sacked during the Barbarian invasions and became part of the Duchy of Spoleto (6th century); it was destroyed in 1149 by Ruggero the Norman.
It then became a free municipality, and an ally of the Pope. Rieti subsequently came under the Alfani Signoria and in 1397 became part of the Papal States, sharing their vicissitudes.
After being annexed to the Kingdom of Italy (1860) it was first part of Umbria and later of Latium.
Monuments: Duomo (of medieval origin, with 17th century alterations), Palazzo Vescovile (13th century) housing the Volte del Vescovado, Arco del Vescovo (13th century), Palazzo Comunale (18th century), Palazzo del Governo (16th century), Church of S. Agostino (of 14th century origin), Church of S. Francesco (13th century, 17th century alterations).
The local economy is traditionally based on agriculture on the fertile surrounding plain (wheat, vegetables, fruit, beetroot, fodder).
Industry has developed to a certain extent and factories linked to agriculture (mills, pasta and sugar factories) have now been flanked by textile (synthetic fibres), engineering and wood processing companies (Rieti-Cittaducale industrial complex).
Tourism is centred mainly round nearby Terminillo, Latium's principal ski resort.
Events: Festa del Sole (July).
Famous People: Marcus Terentius Varro (Roman writer, 114-27 BC.), Vespasian (Roman Emperor, 9-79 AD.), Antonio Gherardi (artist, 1638-1702), Angelo Maria Ricci (poet, 1776-1850), Giuseppe Ottavio Pitoni (musician , 1657-1743).
Cultural Institutions: State Archives, Civic Archeological Museum with Art Gallery, Museum of the Treasure of the Duomo, Flavio Vespasiano Theatre.
In the Province: Cittaducale (industrial centre), Leonessa (ski resort), Antrodoco (spa, Gole del Velino), Greccio (Franciscan monastery), Fara in Sabina (Benedictine Abbey of Farfa), Scandriglia (Sabin Studies Institute).