Montenero Sabino is a small hamlet with an elongated shape, a stripe of houses nestled among the mountains of Rieti’s province, extending from the great St. Catald Church to the proud Orsini Castle. A village frozen in time at the heart of breathtaking natural landscapes, as well as the home of the delicious pasta called ‘maccheroni a fezze’.
Amongst woods of oak and holm oak trees, between two creeks lies Montenero Sabino, a small hamlet of 300 inhabitants interestingly shaped as a fish bone.
Developed on a mountain spur in an area where nature appears particularly majestic, the village stretches along one main street, from the Orsini Castle to St. Catald's Church, with one narrow row of houses on each side.
In addition to the surrounding dense woods, the name ‘Montenero’ (Black Mountain) seems to refer also to the presence of flint stones. In fact, there used to be two mines here: black flint stones were found in one, refined ones for rifles in the other. They were already employed in prehistoric times, and the village was known for such mining activity until the beginning of the 20th century.
The first unit of the village dates back to the 11th century, when the castle and the defensive walls were built, but they were both later expanded and the castle was transformed into a Baronial Palace, with the two beautiful castellated towers that still characterise its architecture today. Several families owned the castle throughout the centuries; however, it is now known as ‘Orsini Castle’, with the name of the family who owned it during the 15th century.
In order to dive into the village’s history, you can come visit during Montenero Sabino’s Medieval Day, in August. 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.
From the other side of the village, the second building that catches the visitor’s attention is St. Catald’s Church, patron saint of Montenero Sabino. In the church, restored during the 18th century, there are still rests of the old medieval structure. The interior is decorated with wonderful stuccos and baroque frescoes, and it hosts a wooden statue of St. Mary of Maternity.
Furthermore, below the ground there is an old aqueduct still employed in agriculture.
How to get here
From Rieti: Take the SS4 Salaria towards Rome and follow the directions to Montenero Sabino.
From Terni: Take the SS79bis and then the SS4 Salaria towards Rome following the directions to Montenero Sabino.
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 Montenero Sabino.
Pro Loco (Info Point):
+39 0765 324036
Via Roma, 73
+39 0765 324012
Piazza del Municipio, 2 Montenero Sabino