The Sabine Hills is an area just north of Rome in Lazio in Italy. Perhaps most famous because its population fell victim to the “Rape of the Sabine women” by Rome, the hills have some interesting small towns. The area has an excellent web site in English.
The Rape is supposed to have occurred in the early days of Rome. Seeking wives, the Romans negotiated unsuccessfully with the Sabines, who populated the area, but met with refusal. Romulus then organized a festival and invited many from the surrounding tribes, including the Sabines. At the festival Romulus gave a signal, at which the Romans grabbed the Sabine women and fought off the Sabine men.
By car from Rome take the A1 Autostrada to Fiano Romano. Just before the pay station leave the Autostrada and take the SS4 in the direction of Rieti. After around 15 km turn left at Passo Corese, following the signs to Fara in Sabina. Alternatively, continue along the A1 to Magliano Sabina and head from there in a general southeast direction.
There are trains from Rome Tiburtina and Rome Ostiense stations to the main towns.
A car is pretty much necessary to explore the area.
- Farfa Abbey, ☎ +39 0765 277065. Close to Fara in Sabina. Monday to Saturday: 9.30-13.00 /15.30-18.00: Sunday: 10.0-13.00 /15.00-18.00. Closed Monday. Farfa Abbey used to control nearly all the nearby towns and villages. It was one of the most powerful Benedictine monasteries in Europe and played a major role in the power struggles between the Papacy and the Holy Roman Empire, opposing the power of the Papacy for centuries. The exact date of the foundation of the Abbey is uncertain. It was abandoned for a period and rebuilt around 680 AD. After a further reconstruction of the monastery during the Renaissance new shops were built around the monastery. These shops can still be seen today and the street names reflect the original uses of each street, for example "via di droghe e cere" (street of medicines and waxes), and "via di panni e sete" (street of cloths and silks). Note the stone slabs at the entrance to each shop which were used as counters by the merchants.
- Roccantica has medieval fortifications, some interesting churches and, nearby, Monte Pizzuto, the highest peak of the Sabina, at 1288m, with a wonderful view.
- St Michael's Cave (La Grotta di San Michele) is a small cave chapel surrounded by the forests of Mount Tancia. There was a female figure sculpted from a stalactite in the cave, which unfortunately disappeared about thirty years ago.
- Magliano Sabina is a small town next to the A1 Autostrada. The Archeological Museum has sections dedicated to the Bronze Age, the early Iron Age, the Sabine era, and the Hellenistic period. Tuesdays,Wednesdays and Fridays 09.00 - 12.00; Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays 09.00 - 12.00 and 15.00 - 18.00.
- Farfa Abbey is famous for its lace tablecloths.
|Routes through Sabine Hills|
|Orte ← Civita Castellana ←||N S||→ North Rome → Nomentano, Rome|