Anguillara Sabazia faces lake Bracciano at approximately 30 Km north of Rome. This fascinating town got the name from an ancient Roman villa called "Angularia", as it used to rise where the coast makes a right angle. The local history of the town has been deeply related to the Anguillara family for years. The Anguillara's owned a number of buildings in Rome, too so that they did not live always near the lake. The locals did not love them at all because of their arrogance. According to a legend, the family used to send brigands to robber and plunder merchants and pilgrims at the crossroads to Rome.
The family kept the feud until 1488. Gentil Virginio Orsini d’Aragona, lord of Bracciano which aimed to expand his possessions on the lake, coveted the Castle of Anguillara for a long time. However the Pope Innocenzo III gave the feud to Franceschetto Cybo, his natural son. The latter, when the Pope died, sold the feud to Gentil Virginio. From then on, Anguillara Sabazia was contended between the Pope Alessandro IV Borgia and the Orsini family, which obtained the feud only with Giulio II. In 1693, the town passed from the Orsini's to the Grillo family rule. Thousands of debts forced the Orsini to give both Trevignano Romano and Anguillara to that family, and Anguillara passed to Francesco Grillo dè Mari, duke of Mondragone.
During the last decades Anguillara has become again a great tourist destination. The promenade hosts lots of holiday villas and many people have bought charming houses downtown, to spend their vacations here. All along the lakeside until Vigna di Valle is pretty much frequented in summer: you will find bars, pizzerias, camping, mini-golf, tennis, five-a-side, places where to fish, and the famous museum of aeronautics.
Have a quick look at the events dedicated to the local folklore:
- June – Corpus Domini, Infiorata
- June – Anguillara Produce
- June/July – Fish Festival
- August – Estate Insieme
- September – Festa di Settembre (September Party), the popular "Palio dei Rioni", and many other collateral events to mark the cultural vocation of a lovely.
Anguillara has beautifully kept its medieval architecture. The centre is crossed by a straight line which goes up to the Church della Collegiata. The access is preserved by a 16th-century door, with an ashlar arch, 5 metres thick and surmounted by a clock. On the left, the piazza opens to the belvedere, which is further embellished by the "Fontana delle Anguille". On the right is the 16th-century Palazzo Baronale, that now seats the town hall, with precious wall paintings recently restored. Behing the Palazzo stand the bastions of the Medieval Tower nowadays seat of Museo della Civiltà Contadina e della Cultura Popolare "Augusto Montori". A graded ramp leads to the Church dell'Assunta, which preserves a "Madonna col Bambino" and a "Assunzione", by Muziano and some 15th-century angels.
The lower part of the town holds the Church of St Biagio, patron saint of the city. Not far from the the historical centre is the Church of St Francesco, dating back to the 15th century, which exhibits a number of notable frescoes and the Church of Trinità. Close to Anguillara are the ruins of Roman villas, the "Mura di Santo Stefano" and "Muracci di Sant'Andrea".
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