Vicovaro

Vicovaro is a town of about 4,000 inhabitants at the junction of the Anio and Licenza rivers and of the Via Licinese and the Via Tiburtina (ancient Via Valeria), situated at 300 meters above sea level and about 8 kilometers south of Licenza. In antiquity, its name was Varia (as Torrentius first pointed out in his late sixteenth-century commentary on Horace), and it was inhabited as early as the sixth century B.C. by the Aequi, whom the Romans conquered in the fifth and fourth centuries B.C. It is mentioned in line 3 of Horace's Epistles I.14. There Horace implies that the town is not far from his villa. It is not clear whether the town was a municipium or not. Tufa and cardellino (i.e., Anio valley travertine) quarries were important to the local economy in antiquity. Vicovaro was abandoned in the ninth century A.D. and revived in the twelfth with the name Vicus Variae. In 1191, it was granted by Celestine III to the Orsini family, by whom it was fortified. In 1672, the Orsini sold it to the Bolognetti family.

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