Saint Rocco, Patron Saint of Patrica Italy
The town is built on the side of a hill which is part of Mount Cacume and from its high position, overlooking the valleys of Sacco and Liri, it offers a unique, beautiful and various panorama, which stretches from Anagni, the City of Popes, to the illustrious abbey of Montecassino and to the Apennine Abruzzese.
The climate is temperate and unchanging, this is due to the mountains which stop cold winds and to the sea, which is less than 50 kilometers away.
Wild plants are typical of the Mediterranean vegetation (macchia mediterranea). The area is mostly covered by chestnut and olive trees, while the farm land is mostly used for the cultivation of grape vines and wheat.
Most of the inhabitants practice agriculture and cattle raising. Emigration to the United States is important and still continuing. Here many Italian citizens have acquired important financial positions which have positive repercussions on the country's welfare.
As regards to education, even though the majority of people are content with primary education, Patrica is proud to have among its male citizens, living or recently deceased, those who stand out for their achievements in fields such as art, science, music and literature or for having reached the highest levels in State administrations.
Patrica's origins are not fully known. The Romans called it "Patricum", their presence is testified to by some aquaduct ruins. Archeological digs, even recent ones, brought to the surface urns, coins, ancient walls used in Roman times and remains of the numerous Patrican villas which could be found in the area below the town. Among these, it is worth mentioning the villa of Plinio the young writer and illustrious statesman who died in 118 A.C.
Roman presence in this area may be attributed to the fact that since ancient times the Sacco valley was the biggest communications route between Rome and the ports of Naples, Brindisi and "Patricum". Due to the amenity of the locations, it was chosen as an obligatory stop for the long and strenuous trips of that period.
It is because of the presence of so many Patrician villas that according to tradition, the town got it's name: Patricum-Patricia-Patrica.
Others who believe the old legend, say that the name derives from a certain Rotrudo Patrico, lord of the Tomacella, ancestor of Gino Patricio that together with Pier Belardo of Mastino, lord of Fumonc, snatched two flags from the Germans during the war against Barbarossa.
The first wars, especially the one between the Volshes and the Romans, forced those inhabitants to abandon the fertile plains and move to the nearby mountain, which offered greater possibilities of defense.
The first village was built on a hill called "Lannio", as it is demonstrated by the ruins found in the area. It was later invaded by the Barbarians.
There is, unfortunately, only one written document dating from the year 817. A document stating a gift of land from Emperor Ludovico the Pius to Pope Paquale 1.
During the Middle Ages, it became a feudal estate of the counts of Ceccano. It then passed to the Santa Croce family, to the Massimo and then to the Colonna family whose traces can still be found in the baronial castle and the Rocca.
It was part of the Vatican until 1870.
Characteristic in its territory, Mount "Cacume" is mentioned by Dante in the Canto IV of Purgatory. "Mondazi in Bismantova e iu Cacume". It derives its name from the Latin word "cacumen" (top, peak) and it is a perfect name because of its pointy peak.
In 1903, in memory of the Giubileo proclaimed by Pope Leo XIII, a 14 meter high and 400 ton cross was erected on the top of the mountain so that everybody, even in the remotest areas, could see, remember and honor the sign of our redemption.
Amazing difficulties had to be overcome to transport it and to put it into place because of the roughness of the mountain and the absolute lack of roads. Nowadays, the mountain is easily reachable thanks to its path. Furthermore, the mountain can offer fresh, light water from it's 14 springs and also the possibility to find genuine milk and several milk products prepared by local sheepherders and goat herders.
The fertile ground producing cereal and fruit, the copiousness and the lightness of the fresh waters, the pleasantness of the chestnut and olive tree covered the hills. The temperate healthy climate, the cooking and genuine products, tradition and the hospitality of the natives offer a nice vacation site for those people who, especially in the summertime, want to enjoy peace and quietness away from the negative aspects of a big city.
Even though it does not have the appeal of the sea side, it does have the hill and the mountain appeal. Still today, as it was at the time of the Roman Patricians, with the opening of the Autostrada del Sole highway, Patrica, because of its geographical position, is again in between two important cities like Rome and Naples and will again be chosen as a stop by passing tourists.
Patrica, with it's natural beauties will tempt the tourist into stopping, thinking that he's the first to have found an enchanted town, where traditions left unchanged through time, other than making everything more genuine, make the tone more colorful, making it more interesting. When the traveler will recommence his journey, his heart will be filled with nostalgia and the words of the local poet, "describing the colours and images of Patrica will accompany him.
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