Monte San Giovanni in Sabina is a small hamlet perched on a spur of the Sabine Mountains, made up of alleys and tiny streets up until the tower left from the old castle. The history of the village has always been linked to the Tancia Road, named after the main mountain here, which was walked on for centuries by merchants and wayfarers.
Monte San Giovanni in Sabina
In Mount Tancia’s shadow
In a corner of the Apennines characterised by wild nature and steep mountain walls, amidst woods and vineyards lies Monte San Giovanni in Sabina, a small hamlet next to Mount Tancia, from where you can enjoy a wonderful view of the Plain of Rieti and of the Tiber Valley till Mounts Terminillo and Soratte.
Mount Tancia is very interesting on a wildlife and archeological standpoint, and hikes along the Tancia Road, starting from the medieval inn of the same name, are almost a must for visitors, who can reach St. Michael’s Cave or retrace the steps of merchants and pilgrims along the ancient border between Rome and the Lombard Duchy of Spoleto.
Monte San Giovanni was first mentioned in a contract of sale dating back to 1240, when Giovanna de Radolfis, last heir of the Camponeschi Coterie, sold to Napoleone Orsini the castle of Monte San Giovanni, as well as other properties. The castle later became one of the main residence of the noble Orsini family, up until the 17th century, when it went to the Church.
Around the castle a village developed, and Monte San Giovanni still preserves part of old medieval structure, made up of narrow alleys, defensive walls, a tower-gate to enter the village and the old Mola watermill, on the Canera creek. Moreover, you can still see the keep of the old castle, which appears as a sturdy quadrangular tower.
St. Sebastian’s Church was also erected during the Middle Ages (1182), and hosts a Madonna from the 15th century called “Nursing Madonna”. Notable are also the paintings inside St. John’s Church, which was built in front of the tower on the rests of the old castle.
Instead, inside the Town Hall are exhibited thirteen paintings attributed to Giulio Bianchi, a 17th-century painter from Rieti who was a follower of Caravaggio. The paintings depict Jesus and the twelve apostles.
Lastly, Monte San Giovanni is also known for the “maccheroni a fezze” - ribbon-cut pasta made with water and flour and celebrated in a festival in August - and for its Philarmonic Society. Founded in 1890, the latter boasts more than a century of uninterrupted activity and it accompanies festivals and events, both local and international, with a wide range of music.
Pro Loco di Labro:
+39 0746 63 61 34
Things not to miss
How to get here
From Rieti: Take the SP45, cross Case San Benedetto and La Moletta, continue on the SP46A and follow the directions to Monte San Giovanni in Sabina.
From Terni: Take the SS79bis and follow the directions to Contigliano/Monte San Giovanni in Sabina.
From Rome: Take the Fiano Romano exit. Take the SS4 Salaria towards Rieti and the SP46A towards Casaprota/Montenero Sabino/Monte San Giovanni in Sabina.
By public transport:
The closest airports are the two serving Rome (Fiumicino and Ciampino).
From FCO: train to Fara Sabina + Cotral bus to Rieti.
From CIA: bus to Termini train station (Rome).
From Termini: take the B underground line to Tiburtina train station (towards Rebibbia).
From Tiburtina: train to Fara Sabina + Cotral bus to Rieti, or direct Cotral bus to Rieti from the bus station just outside Tiburtina.
In Rieti, take the Cotral bus to Monte San Giovanni in Sabina.
Monte San Giovanni in Sabina's Town Hall:
+39 0765 333312
Viale Regina Margherita, 2 Monte San Giovanni in Sabina
Monte San Giovanni in Sabina's Pro Loco