Fabrica di Roma

The ruins of an ancient city

Fabrica di Roma

The ruins of an ancient city

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Discover what treasures are hidden in Fabrica di Roma

“Faleri Novi and the Via Amerina”.

“The Mountain Bike route”.

“A great music and beer festival”.

The town of Fabrica di Roma lies just a few kilometres away from the ruins of the ancient city of Faleri Novi, a unique landmark of the Agro Falisco.

Approaching the town of Fabrica di Roma, already from afar the tall tower of its castle can be spotted, standing out against the profile of the houses below. Several tombs and remains of what were habitations, bear witness to the presence of the Faliscan civilization in this territory. Back in the day in which this land was part of the feud, it was renowned for its industriousness, from which the denomination of fabrica (factory).

Every year both the Festival of the Sheep and of the “Fagiolo carne” are here celebrated. There is also the Beer Festival, an important and mainly musical four-day-long festival.

The ancient city of Faleri Novi lies just a few kilometres out of Fabrica di Roma, and so is considered part of the municipal territory. The city, well protected by ramparts, was founded in response to the attack of the Romans on the city of Falerii Veteres, which was destroyed in 241 B.C

Did you know… the rivalry between Fabrica di Roma and Civita Castellana in order to gain control over the town of Faleri Novi, finally came to an end thanks to the intervention of fate. According to the legend, the inhabitants of the disputed town lead a calf beyond the city walls, leaving up to the animal the choice of which of the two cities to head towards. It took the route directed to Fabrica di Roma, and by doing so sanctioned the victory of this town. Had it taken the other turn it would have been Civita Castellana to triumph. 

Did you know… the rivalry between Fabrica di Roma and Civita Castellana in order to gain control over the town of Faleri Novi, finally came to an end thanks to the intervention of fate. According to the legend, the inhabitants of the disputed town lead a calf beyond the city walls, leaving up to the animal the choice of which of the two cities to head towards. It took the route directed to Fabrica di Roma, and by doing so sanctioned the victory of this town. Had it taken the other turn it would have been Civita Castellana to triumph. 

The history of Fabrica di Roma

Ora et labora and the beehive emblem

The first notice we have regarding Fabrica, is a record dating back to 1093, in which the town is referred to as Fundus Fabricae, reporting that it was granted by Ildebrando to the Benedectine Abbey of Farfa. By virtue of such a powerful administration as the Benedictine one, the fondo (plot) of Fabrica, went through a period of great flourishing and prosperity.

The industriousness of the Faliscan population is represented by the town’s coat of arms, which bears the image of a hand, holding a hive, and several bees buzzing around it. As a matter of fact, in Latin the word fabrica means beehive.

Since the High Middle Ages, Fabrica has always been property of the Pontifical State, which guaranteed the town protection from the invasions of both the Lombards and the Saracens. It is during this time, between 1093 and 1177, that the Collegiate Church of San Silvestro Papa was built. The papal bull issued by Alessandro III in 1177 confirms this assumption of dating, as it proves the structure was in that year, already part of the monastery of Sant’Elia. 

 

The town’s growth

One of the main landmarks to be seen throughout your visit of the town of Fabrica di Roma, is the Castle of La Rocca. It was built during the 13th century, and no earlier than 1217, under the prefecture of the Di Vico family. It is during this time that the historic centre of the town underwent a phase of great development.

Such an expansion would carry on gravitating around the castle until the Renaissance. In the course of the 15th century, the beautiful Palazzo Cencelli was also built. It took its name from one of the most influential families of the time, and nowadays it is home to the current seat of the Town hall. Another monument worth visiting, is the Church of Santa Maria della Pietà, which was built between the later years of the fifteenth century and the early 1500s, and conserves a number of fresco paintings, although unfortunately damaged to a large extent. 

 

The Renaissance

As the development of Fabrica di Roma carried on throughout the Renaissance, roads were progressively widened and straightened, and more and more elegantly designed buildings appeared in the town centre. Della Rovere was the name of an eminent family which, being attracted by Fabrica, chose this town to build a noble building of their own (often referred to as Palazzotto). The heraldic symbols of this dynasty, the acorns, are still visible today, distributed in several different points across the building. In this very same period, Pope Giulio II resided in the town on several occasions, mostly when visiting his cousin, the Cardinal Giulio Basso della Rovere.

On February 1539, Pier Luigi Farnese acquired the castle of Fabrica di Roma, along with other towns in the area, with the purpose of annexing them to the Duchy of Castro. Among the members of the Farnese family, one in particular played a key role in the affairs of this town: Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, known as a man of great culture and patron of the artists. It was the uncle of the earls who saw to the restauration of Palazzo Farnese, both in Rome and Caprarola, as well as commissioning the construction of the Tower of Fabrica di Roma. In 1649, following the devastation of Castro, once again the town of Fabrica became the property of the Apostolic Chamber.

Among the influential figures who stayed in Fabrica we shall name the noteworthy: Giulio II della Rovere, Benedetto XIII, Cardinal G. Battista Pallavicini, and Queen Christina of Sweden. 

This area of the Lazio region is waiting to be discovered: come and visit this town of the Agro Falisco and find out all there is to see!

Where is Fabrica di Roma

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