Town walls and historical buildings
ANGEVIN TOWER AND NAPLES GATE
Since its founding, Cittaducale has been surrounded by mighty defensive walls, whose ruins can be still found in several parts around the town. The most remarkable element, however, is the Angevin Tower, the best preserved defensive tower in all of Cittaducale, situated next to ‘Porta Napoli’ (Naples Gate; Cittaducale was part of the Kingdom of Naples) at the town entrance. Other than because of its height, the tower is particularly majestic also because of its double shape: the side facing the countryside is cylindrical, whereas the one towards the town is quadrangular.
‘PALAZZO DELLA COMUNITÀ’ AND CIVIC TOWER
Sprightly steps, sumptuous costumes, lavish feasts, hidden faces, roaring laughter: those were the elements that must have characterised life at the Palazzo della Comunità (literally, ‘community building’) at the time where princess Margaret of Parma lived here and liked to host balls, comedy plays and masquerade balls. Located in Piazza del Popolo, Cittaducale’s main square, the palazzo served as a government building and is attached to the crenellated Civic Tower. In 1569 the building was expanded and renovated by famous architect Jacopo Barozzi called Vignola, who was working in Rieti at the time. On that occasion, the upper floor was added and the building was furnished accordingly to what was appropriate for the Emperor’s daughter.
All the most important buildings in town are located in Piazza del Popolo or along Corso Mazzini, Cittaducale’s main street. On the square’s right side, at the intersection with Via Roma, there is Palazzo Maoli, connected to the town hall. The rooms on the first floor are full of frescoes by Neapolitan artists dating back to the 19th century. Some of them are sometimes employed for exhibitions of local contemporary artists, like versatile Franco Bellardi and Enrico di Sisto, who has recently received the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic.
PALAZZOS GIANFELICE & VALENTINI CHERUBINI
Walking on the main street towards the square, you will notice on the left Palazzo Gianfelice, which used to belong to the wealthy Pichi family. On the building’s façade an inscription tells us that this is the family for which Saint Felix of Cantalice worked for twenty years in his youth, as a farmer and a shepherd. Still on the main street, on the right side, there is Palazzo Valentini Cherubini (17th century), with an elegant stone portal and moulded jambs. On the portal you can see the coat of arms of Giovan Battista Valentini called ‘Il Cantalicio’, historian from Cantalice and administrator of Cittaducale’s diocese.