Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Incantato Insider: Rieti

Though most international travelers know about and have visited big Italian cities like Florence and Rome, or famous smaller ones like the towns of Cinque Terra or the Amalfi Coast, few know just how many hidden gems are sprinkled throughout the Italian countryside. Rieti is one of these - a town that's important to Italians (and Italian history) and virtually unknown to American tourists.

Rieti is the name for both a city and a province (like a county) in the region (like a state) of Lazio. Many Italians know Rieti because it's along a major route to get to Rome (also, incidentally, in Lazio). As the capital of the region of Rieti, the town also is a major cultural and commercial center for the many tiny towns in northern Lazio and southern Umbria.
Historically, Reiti was a major site in the Sabine nation long before Italy was united, and later became a strategic point in the early Italian road network that linked Rome to the Adriatic Sea. Rieti also became a favorite Papal seat and was the site of several important historical events, including the marriage of Constance Hauteville in 1185, the crowning of Charles I by Pope Nicholas in 1289, and the celebration of the canonization of St. Dominic by Pope Gregory IX in 1234.
Interesting features of modern Rieti include the Cathedral, with a stunning Romanesque bell tower built in 1252 and a statue of St. Barbara by Giannatonio Mari; the Palazzo Vescovile – or Bishops Palace – with its Rennaissance windows and a Grand Hall housing the Diocese Gallery; and the Santa Maria in Vescovio, an 8th century church with frescoes from the 13th and 14th centuries depicting the Last Judgment and scenes from the Bible.
As the center of the Rieti province, the town of Rieti also features a number of gelaterias, clothing stores, delicious restaurants, and the surprisingly diverse music store Mussicisti.

The Rieti Valley also is an important part of the Cammino di Francesco, or Saint Francis Walk. Along with Assisi and the Verna, Saint Francis made the Rieti Valley his home. It is here that he created the first Nativity in Christianity in 1223, wrote the Rule of the Franciscan Order, and most likely composed The Canticle of All Creatures.



2 comments:

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  2. This was a really great contest and hopefully I can attend the next one. It was alot of fun and I really enjoyed myself.Door Frames

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