From the north
Take the motorway A1 Napoli-Roma, leave it at the Orte toll, and follow the Orte-Terni motorway. Then take SS675 or SS79, direction Rieti.
Take the motorway A1 Firenze-Roma, exit immediately after the Roma-Nord toll at Fiano Romano and then follow SS4 Salaria, direction Rieti.
From the south
Take the motorway A1 Napoli-Roma, at San Cesareo take the diversion to the motorway A1 Firenze-Roma, direction Roma; leave the motorway at the Fiano Romano toll and then follow SS4 Salaria, direction Rieti.
Rieti is about 80 km away from Rome and is easy to reach along SS4 Salaria.
From the east
Take the motorway A24 Roma-L'Aquila-Teramo, leave it at the Valle del Salto toll, then follow SS578, direction Rieti.
The blue-coloured COTRAL buses leave from Tiburtina station in Rome and arrive at the train station in Rieti.
The trip takes about 1h40min.
Tickets can be purchased at the station.
There is also a train from Tiburtina station, destination of Fara Sabina in Montelibretti, from where a blue-coloured COTRAL bus to Rieti can be taken. The trains leave every 15min.
For further information:
Tel. +39 0746 256750
Toll-free number (from Italy) COTRAL 800 150008
Rieti can be reached from Terni or L'Aquila with the train line Terni-Rieti-L'Aquila-Sulmona.
For further information:
Servizio FS Informa - Tel.892021 (land line)
It is easy to move around in Rieti and its surroundings thanks to the local orange-coloured buses.
A very ancient tradition maintains that Rieti is the center of Italy. It was the writer, Marco Terenzio Varrone (116 '27 B.C.) who mentioned that the Rieti Valley was the center of the peninsular.
Rieti is situated at the foot of Mount Terminillo, along the valley marked by the Velino River. Rieti had been first a Roman possession, later, Papal residence, and its historic center has an impressive and monumental XIIth century city wall enclosing it.
Walking through Rieti's streets and squares means to place oneself in history and art. City Hall building, in Vittorio Emanuele II Square, was originally built in the XIII century and rebuilt in the XVII century. The Cathedral, with its Romanesque bell tower and portico from 1458, has admirable works of art.
Noble palaces make the city center even more precious, as does the Vecchiarelli Palace, done by Carlo Maderno, and the Prefettura Palace, decorated with a splendid loggia from the Vignola school, overlooking the lower part of the historic city center.
One of the cultural symbols of the city is the Flavio Vespasian Theatre, a little acoustical jewel, the dome of which is fully painted depicting the triumphal entry of Vespasian and Tito after having conquered Jerusalem.
The streets of the center also host the remains of the Roman bridge, lying on the bed of the Velino River.
Symbol of the townspeople's history and life, this river's limpid waters and balanced ecosystem represent a true natural jewel in the heart of the city's residential area.
The history of Rieti?s foundation is traceable up to the beginning of the Iron Age. Rieti is more ancient than Rome and its name Rieti derives from Rea, which means the mother of all gods. Rieti represented the most important centre of ramification in the colonization process realized by the Sabine people starting from the 8th century b.C. As Rieti was subjugated by Rome together with other Sabine populations, in 290 b.C. its history mixed with that of Rome. But the ties between Sabina and Roman people is even more ancient and legendary. Indeed, during the fourth year after the foundation of Urbe, Romolo, while trying to find wives for his men, organised the sadly famous rape of the Sabine women. The consul Manio Curio Dentato, the author of the Roman victory, ordered the first important reclamation of the Rieti Plain, which was largely covered by waters of Lacus Velinus, excavating an outlet in the mountain of Marmore in the Umbrian territory.
Since then thousands of cubic metres of water have formed the highest and most famous cascade in Europe. Also the contrasts with the nearby-located Terni?s population date back to that period. With the extension of suffrage to Sabina and Rieti in 268 b.C. the city started to participate in the Roman events. Rieti was a birthplace of several famous men of the republic, like Marco Terenzio Varrone, ?the father of the roman erudition?. His output was grandiose: 74 pieces of work in 620 books. At present only three books of ?de re rustica? and six books of ?De lingua Latina? are conserved. His aim was to put in order and embrace the knowledge of the world adapting it to the needs of the society and the latin tradition. Other remarkable people of the republican period were orator Lucio Ottavio and general Publio Vitinio. During the empire, Gens Flavia, native in Rieti, occupied important political positions until he was raised to the imperial throne together with Vespasiano and later with sons Tito and Domiziano (the construction of the Colosseum was started by Vespasiano in 72 a.C. and completed by Tito in 81 a.C.).
The Sabine people with austere traditions accepted the Christian religion with open arms. San Prosdocimo was the one who founded the church of Rieti and made an intense propaganda in order to try to get people closer to the new faith. And very soon Rieti had its first martyrs, the priest Marone and Vittorio di Cotilia: later on Eleuterio and his mother Anzia. But the most famous martyr was Santa Barbara da Nicomedia who died in Scandriglia in 288 and whose relics are preserved inside the high altar in the cathedral of Rieti to her consecrated in 1806. In 584 Rieti was occupied by the Longobards and that way became a part of the duchy of Spoleto. The new administration carried out important administrational and political tasks that crossed the borders of the Rieti territory. With the reconstruction of the Roman Empire the Duce of Spoleto and consequently also the people of Rieti swore allegiance to Carlo Magno. In 773 the emperor Franco, who rushed to Adriano I?s help to contrast Desiderio, the king of the Longobards, handed over the dominion of Rieti and Sabina to the pope. Later on the duchy of Spoleto together with other cities passed under the subjection of Carlo Magno, but in 781, apart from the territory of Rieti, returned under the pope?s dominion.
The violent Saracen incursions that at the end of the 9th century attacked Rieti and the entire Sabine territory were definitely defeated by Rieti people, led by Archiprando in 916. As the Norman power increased in the Southern Italy, Rieti was besieged by the troups of Ruggero II of Sicily that between 1149 and 1151 destroyed the area forcing it that way to surrender. The reconstruction of the city was started immediately and it was completed in 1157 with the consacretion of the crypt of the cathedral, designed by the bishop Dodone. Already in 1178 Rieti was a free Municipality, being priviledged by Federico I. In 1185 his son Enrico VI celebrated the wedding ?per legatos?, being the absent spouse with the heiress of the Sicilian kingdom, Costanza di Altavilla, in the bishop?s palace in Rieti. Rieti together with other cities of the duchy of Spoleto was put under the protection of pope Innocenzo III and during these years the name of the podestà, the highest municipal office, of which government could be carried out despite the pope?s authority, appeared for the first time. In 1239 wars and lootings devastated the city again. In the confrontation between the pontificate and german emperor people of Rieti always lined up with the Guelph party and when Federico II died, pope Innocenzo IV started to reconstruct and enrich the city. The 200?s was a fundamental period for Rieti?s expansion with the construction of several public and religious buildings and with the reconstruction of the walls.
In 1321 Iacopo Sciarra Colonna, representing the imperial party, became the podestà and captain of Rieti. While the Ghibellines greeted the future emperor Ludovico il Bavaro in Rome, in Rieti an anti-pope Pietro Rainaldo, also called Niccolò V, was elected.
After a short period of peace between two parties, pope Innocenzo VI entrusted Egidio di Albernoz, the bishop of Sabina, to bring back under the protection of papal authority all the states that had been pulled away from it. But in 1375 the bad government of rectors, appointed by the pope, forced Rieti to participate in a rebellion of cities against the church, even though they declared their loyalty to the pope. In 1377 the town government was entrusted to authoritative Cecco Alfani, whose family had managed to attain the pope?s benevolence.
Cecco?s son, Lodovico, was elected the bishop of Rieti and his other son Rinaldo controlled the fortress of Montecalvo for ten years.
But the power of the Alfani was not meant to last; the jealousy of other aristocratic families of Rieti area provoked the death of Lodovico, the injuring of his brother Giannandrea, the abbot of San Eleuterio, while Rinaldi barely managed to escape from the death. Pope Martino V removed Rinaldi to whom he had entrusted some time ago the first vicariate of Rieti, and that way freeing the city from the government of the Alfani, giving the control to a papal governor.
During the 15th and 16th century the city was busy with defending itself on two fields: from the inhabitants of Abruzzo because of a boundary issue and from those of Terni because of the quarry of Marmore.
The first controversy was resolved towards the end of the 500?s, while the other dispute almost became a real war between the two populations in consequence of continuous floodings of Valnerina provoked by the overflowing waters of the quarry. A temporary solution was found in 1546 and 1598 thanks to the interventions of the architects Antonio Sangallo and Giovanni Fontana, who led the works in order to excavate a new effluent.
After a peaceful period during which the city was dominated by a prelate Governor with less and less power, the French Revolution broke out.
During a short period of Roman republic in 1798 Rieti was considered as an Urban District included in the Department of Clitunno with the chief town Spoleto. Next year the city was attacked and looted by the troups of Salomone in the name of Ferninando IV di Borbone, but Rieti people opposed great resistance. With the fall of the Roman republic and with the reinstatement of the papal government, Rieti was annexed to Sabina and became the seat of the governer-general. The second French invasion and the proclamation of the empire saw Rieti becoming a part of Tevere Department, with Rome as its capital and as the seat of Subprefecture.
In 1816 Pio VII reconstituted the province of Sabina, called Apostolic Delegation, with Rieti as the chief town. Besides several public offices also court of first instance was situated there. In 1824 Leone XII reunited Rieti with the Delegation of Spoleto, but in 1831 the city became a separate province again.
The movements of the Risorgimento took place in Colle di Lesta, near the urban centre with General Guglielmo Pepe?s troups against the Austrians of General Frimont. The latter ones wanted to re-establish the absolutism of Ferninando I. When the movements of Romagna started in 1831, Rieti confirmed its loyalty to tha pope resisting the attacks of the revolutionary groups led by General Sercognani. As a prize, Gregorio XVI returned to Rieti the dignity of being the chief town of the province, formerly taken away by Leone XII.
Capelletti, the governor of Rome (a native of Rieti) presented to the pope a commission of his fellow citizens, composed of the marquis Adriano Canali, Giacinto Mareri and Filippo Rosati.
The first independence war in 1848 had several supporters in Rieti.
Poet Angelo Maria Ricci was appointed to the High Council, established by Pio IX. Prince Lodovico Potenziani was elected to the Council of Deputies, while four patriots from Rieti area (Francesco Battistini, Giuseppe Maffei, Mario Simeoni and Ippolito Vincentini) became members of the roman Constituent. Giuseppe Garibaldi was hosted in town in the same year as the Roman republic was proclaimed. The ideals of freedom did not vanish with the republican defeat and were confirmed when Italian troups entered Rieti September 23rd in 1860. That date was not marked only by Rieti?s joining the Kingdom of Italy, but also by the end of its submission to the papal power. In 1861 the delegations of Perugia, Orvieto, Spoleto and Rieti were united in the Umbrian province. Perugia became the chief town of the province and Rieti was assigned to be the chief town of the district. But the people of Rieti knew this solution was only temporary.
In 1923 Rieti was incorporated into the province of Rome and thanks to the decree of January 2nd of 1927 it was declared the chief town of the province with the annexation of Cittaducale?s district. From the economic point of view the first steps to leave behind the age-old backwardness of the territory, were taken only during the first decades of the 20th century.
In 1903 an itinerant professorship was created in Rieti. It was directed by professor Nazareno Strampelli, a man with remarkable capacities and who was a gift to agriculture in the whole world.
As years went by a modern centre for experimentation and selection of wheat was created. It was a turning point in the production of cereals. The wheat ?Rieti? opened new horizons in the field of agricultural development: different types with high productivity and resistance to various environmental factories were created.
Also the cultivation of sugar beet increased after Emilio Maraini succeeded producing sugar on a national scale; something that no-one else had ever managed to do. That was how a bridge was created between the agricultural and industrial world. The latter practically didn?t exist and thanks to this effort it started to take its first steps. A sugar refinery was born in Rieti. It was the first one in Italy and is still recognizable along the homonymous street as an example of industrial archaeology. Another step towards the industrialization was taken in 1920?s with installation of a factory for manufacture of artificial silk, Supertessile. But only in the beginning of 1960?s an industrial estate was created. It belongs partly to the Municipality of Cittaducale and can employ thousands of people.
Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II, located in a very central position, is the highest point of the city and still today represents a meeting point for the citizens. The ancient Forum stood here and it was, probably around the 3rd century a.C. the place of the first settlements of ancient Reate. During the last years the square has been revalued thanks to the realisation of a pedestrian precinct and the placement of Fontana dei Delfini, (a marble group dating back to the first half of the 18th century) in its original place in the middle of the square. The town hall, stands in front of the fountain. Its construction started during the 13th century and was completed in the first half of the 700's by roman architect Filippo Brioni. Under the arcade there are two busts dating back to the end of the 800's, reperesenting Garibaldi by Paolo Bartolini and Emanuele II by Tito Giannini. The front of the town hall was modified in the beginning of 900's by architect Cesare Bazzani, who also realized the Council Hall frescoed by Vittorio Calcagnadoro with four pieces of work that represent Justice, Art, Industry and Agriculture.
In the first floor there is the Municipal Library realized in 1865 and called "Paroniana" because of several pieces of work preserved there that are originating from the collection of monsignor Paroni.
On the second floor it is possible to visit Museo Civico that preserves important archaeologically and artistically precious pieces of work. A cinerary urn found in Rieti countryside and a Hebe, made of plaster and golden bronze in 1815 and attributed to Canova, are of great value.
Among the paintings it is possible to admire the magnificent Madonna col Bambino e Santi painted by the Senese artist Luca Tommè and Crocifissione e Santi, a tempera painting by Zannino di Pietro (1405).
The museum also preserves a small artistic collection of one of the most important figures of roman painting of 400's, Antoniazzo Romano and of his school. Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II is surrounded by beautiful, noble buildings; on the right, next to Via Cintia there is Palazzo Dosi, dating back to the 15th century. On the opposite side there is Palazzo Blasetti, realized in the 16th century.
On the other side of the square, on Via Garibaldi on the right, it is possible to admire two important buildings Palazzo Capelletti dating back to 1600 century and Palazzo Vincenti Mareri, constructed around 1800 by architect Giuseppe Valadier. On the other side on Via Garibaldi there is Teatro Flavio Vespasiano. In front of it there is Via Cerroni, which leads to Piazza San Rufo. According a tradition it is the centre of Italy and indeed there is a plaque with writing the "Centre of Italy" in 20 different languages. Next to Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II there is Piazza Cesare Battisti where an old late-renaissance style, simple and elegant façade of the former Casa Poiana can be admired. Today the building serves as Prefecture. Next to it there is a hanging garden, enjoyable also for disabled people, onto which the noble Loggia, attributed to Vignola, opens.
The cathedral stands on Piazza Cesare Battisti. It was constructed around 1200 on the bases of the ancient Basilica of Santa Maria dell'Assunta, which dates back to the 6th century. A Baroque style restoration changed its original roman style aspect and from the ancient architecture it conserves externally only the façade divided by semi-pillars in three blind archs. Sideways to the façade, embellished by a cross vault portico, there is the Battistero, constructed during the same period, and the Belltower, built later on.
The inside of the cathedral has the form of Latin cross and it has a nave and two aisles marked by pillars onto which round arch rests. The cathedral has been modified between 17th and 18th century by architects Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Giovan Battista Garzani, Carlo Fontana e Sebastiano Cipriani. The high altar preserves the relics of Santa Barbara. Above, there are four pillars standing with four plain, golden architraves and corinthian capitals. Four little angels surmount the pillars to complete a seven meters high solemn baldachin. Santa Barbara's chapel, completed in 1500, is of great value and a statue of the Santa, realized by Giovannantonio Mari on the drawing of Bernini, is placed on the altar. From Piazza Cesare Battisti it is possible to reach Via San Pietro Martire, where the municipal library is situated. A little further, on Via Sant'Anna, it is recommended to visit Museo Civico Archeologico, located inside Santa Lucia's monastery. The museum conserves several finds originating from the Rieti area, among which those found in a necropolis in Poggio Sommavilla.
From Piazza Cesare Battisti it is possible to return to Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II crossing Piazza Vittorio where a statue of San Francesco, created by sculptor Giordano Nicoletti (1926), can be admired. To get back to the starting point, it is necessary to turn right on Via Cintia. Continuing the walk it is possible to go down Via Peschiera and that way arrive at piazza Oberdan.
In the gardens of the square there is a recent bronze by sculptor Morsani, representing Marco Terenzio Varrone. On the left there is Palazzo Ricci, a work of architect Giovanni Stern and on the right Palazzo del seminario. On its right, in the beginning of Via Pescheria large travertin parallelepipedons remain as a proof of the roman wall. Going down from here one arrives in Piazza Mazzini where Chiesa di San Agostino, dating back to the 13th century, can be admired. A central rose window opens from the façade and it surmounts the richly sculpted late Gothic style portal. "La Vergine in trono col Bambino tra Sant'Agostino e Santa Monica" by Giacomo Pandolfi, "L'estasi di Santa Rita da Cascia" by Lattanzio Piccoli and "la Strage degli innocenti" by Ludovico Carosi are preserved inside the church.
The Holy Valley
Rieti's Holy Valley is less than one hundred kilometres from Rome. The most ancient of the consular roads, La Salaria (the Saltroad) has many interesting sites along its path and is able to stir up magical and spiritual feelings in those who travel along it.
The most important visit regards the four Franciscan sanctuaries: Fonte Colombo, La Foresta, Greccio and Poggio Bustone. These sanctuaries form the ideal shape of a cross, constituting the symbol of San Francesco.
The four sanctuaries represent the fundamental places to visit during any pilgrimage that follows the footsteps of San Francesco, the Saint who tried to understand nature and to see the divine fingerprint in everything.
The result is the hermitages and monasteries in which traces of his presence seem to be impressed.
The Terminillo group of mountains is the most important of the four groups, of which the whole chain of the Rieti Mountains can be divided, both for mountaineering and skiing and for their flora and fauna. Consisting of a number of peaks divided by deep valleys and elegant ridges. In the east the Velino river divides it with a deep valley from Monte Giano and its course limits the whole southern side of the mountain group, while in the west it is bordered by the Rieti Plain and Lisciano Valley up to the Cantalice Saddle. To the north it is bordered by the Leonessa Plain.
The history of this mountain goes back to the second half of the 19th century. In 1901 the Rome Ski Club started construction of the Umberto I shelter, completed in 1903. In 1927 the Rieti Ski Club was born and in the beginning of the 1930's it built the Trebbiani cabin in Pian de Valli. It was Mussolini who urged the building of this street, and, consequently the construction of the living area in Pian de Valli.
Today it remains largely unchanged and Terminillo has become `the Mountain of Rome`. At present Mount Terminillo is among the most important tourist resorts both in winter and in summer and it is one of the areas with the best facilities for tourists in Southern Italy. Between 1500m and 2100m altitude there are a cablecar, 3 chair-lifts and 9 ski-lifts, serving about 40 km of ski slopes, of which three are certified for international competition, and is excellent for both beginners and experts. Mount Terminillo has qualified teachers working in various ski schools. At between 1500m and 1600m there are 26 km of cross-country ski routes. 2.5 km from the centre of Pian de Valli there is the high plain of "Cinque Confini", where various tracks wind into the beautiful beechwoods and small valleys, with routes of varying distance and difficulty. Mount Terminillo has a wide number and range of hotels, a modern Congress House, a youth hostel, CAI shelter and many apartments.
One of the Rieti area's attractions is its excellent cuisine, the thousands of dishes, and many ancient receipes and products that come from this unspoilt land. Rieti's reputation for cuisine stems from the d.o.p. oil from Sabina. Le Stracciatelle in brodo, gli spaghetti alla carrettiera, il pollo alla diavola, l'abbacchio in guazzetto are all enriched with this excellent oil. As for the sweets, the local specialties are i terzetti alla reatina, la copeta (walnuts and honey in laurel leaves) and la pizza di Pasqua.
While travelling around the Rieti area it is impossible to avoid tasting other excellent specialties: Amatrice, with its internationally famous dish gli spaghetti all'amatriciana. , il fallone di Stimigliano. , il farro al tartufo di leonessa. , gli strengozzi alla reatina. , I marroni. e gli stracci di Antrodoco. , le fregnacce alla sabinese. , I fagioli di Borbona. and le sagne scandrigliesi. Rieti, with its lakes, rivers and streams, uses trout and crayfish flavoured by a thousand sauces. Fresh and seasoned sheep's milk cheeses and ricotta cheese are worth tasting, especially . il fiore molle. (with saffron) from Leonessa.
via dei Tigli 2 - Rieti
Ambiente molto elegante - specialità pesce.
Cacio & Pepi
via della Cavatella 14
p.zza S.Rufo n°25
Colle San Mauro
Ristorante Tito Di Brucchietti Dario
Via San Rufo 5
Ristorante La Foresta
via Foresta 51 - Loc. Castelfranco
Ristorante - Pizzeria
Viale Maraini 48-50
Chiusura invernale: domenica
V.lo Stoli n°5
Ristorante La Lampara
12, via San Rufo 12
La Taberna dei Fabri
p.zza Beata Colomba n°2
Grande Albergo Quattro Stagioni
Categoria: 4 stars
Piazza C. Battisti 14
Tel.: (+39) 0746271071
FAX: (+39) 0746271090
Categoria: 4 stars
Via Moisè di Gaio 2
02100 Rieti (RI)
Tel. 0746 274250 - Fax 0746 274251
Categoria: 4 stelle
Piazza Oberdan n°7
Park Hotel Villa Potenziani
Categoria: 4 stelle
Via Colle S.Mauro
Via Velinia snc.
Viale della Gioventù n°17°
G R A S S I
STONE ISLAND- CP COMPANY - CALVIN KLEIN
PEUTEREY- JECKERSON - BELSTAFF- GSTAR
Piazza Vittorio Emanuele 13