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Arpino: megalithic acropolis

When in Rome, you’re also in Lazio, the Italian region on the west coast of the peninsula.
And if you ever dared to hire a car around these parts, you could meander down to Naples or wander into Umbria as your fancy takes you.

But one place worth a stop is Arpino, a town 30km from Frosinone, and while not famous around these parts, it’s one of the places in Italy where you can admire megalithic walls.

Legend has it that Arpino was founded by the god Saturn and was then inhabited by the mythological peoples, the Pelasgi – a pre-hellenic population purported to have built these “cyclopic” walls.

History however, tells us that the first inhabitants were in fact the Volsci, followed by the Samnites and then the Romans.
In pre-medieval times the area was conquered by various groups including the Normans.
With a chequered past, it’s incredible that the acropolis of the old city is still standing.
The ancient heart of Arpino is hemmed in by the majestic walls, also called “cyclopic” for the size of the stones.

Unique to its kind in Europe, a pointed archway is dominated by the Tower of Cicerone (which appears to have emerged around these parts).
Visiting the town, recently awarded the “orange flag” from the Italian Touring Club, one can also read The book of Stone: an unusual book bringing the history of the town together with contemporary poetry from famous poets.
Some poems dedicated to the town have been carved in stone and placed in the four districts which divide the historic centre.

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