Located as usual in the highest part of the village, the Castrum Montis Nigri existed already in 1023, as shown by documents preserved at the Farfa Abbey. However, the castle is said to have been built even before 800 AD, and that Charlemagne himself happened to be here once.
The purpose of the castle was that of guarding both the lush valleys below - Montenero is situated on top of a spur of rock - and the flint mines that shaped this land for centuries.
Several families owned the castle over the years: Lavi, Orsini, Mattei, even the Vincentini, marquis of Rieti. However, today it is known as Orsini Castle, after the family who lived here during the 15th century.
Even though the core unit of the castle dates back to the Middle Ages, the fortress was later expanded and converted into a Baronial Palace. Its most extraordinary feature are the two huge crenellated towers at the entrance, one on each side of the main gate, at the top of a double stone staircase.
Recently restored and reinforced, the castle is now in good condition, solid and majestic, overlooking a truly breathtaking view. From the walkway on top of the towers you can see the whole village below, slender and unique, as well as the old defensive walls and the pristine natural surroundings.
In order to dive into the past of the village, you can visit in August for the Giornata Medievale di Montenero Sabino (Montenero Sabino’s Medieval Day). You will have the chance to watch a parade in historical costumes and falconry, archery and knives-throwing shows, as well as shop in the workshops of the old arts and crafts located in front of the castle.
To visit the castle you can contact Renzo Perilli at +39 334 6532009.