Situated on a mountain on the border between Abruzzo and Lazio, Oricola overlooks the entire Piana del Cavaliere. The urban center dates back to the 9th century, but Oricola’s history started around the 6th century, when it used to be a Roman colony inhabited by Equi. In Serera woods, you can still admire the remains of the ancient walls.
Thanks to this strategic position, Oricola became a fortress first for the Count of Marsi, and then for Orsini’s and Colonna’s family, which stayed in Oricola up until the 14th century. During the battle to unify Italy, Oricola played a strategic role thanks to its position between the Reign of Naples and the Pontifical state. During the years, the town has made great investment thanks to which became a reference point for the whole territory.
To visit Oricola is like a journey through the past: the town, made mostly out of stone, is an labyrinth of small alleys and squares. The castle, rebuilt multiple times, has hosted some schools and the town hall. It is located at the center of the town, right beside the belvedere. Only the external wall kept their original aspect, whereas the inside has been completely restructured.
Be sure to not miss the church of San Salvatore and its pipe organ from the 1800s made by Tommaso Vayola. In the church of Santa Restituita, instead, you can admire some frescos that date back to the 12th century.
Especially during summertime, Oricola’s historical center is liven up by patron saints’ festivals and food festival where you will find some of the best local product – worth a special mention is the festival of the ‘ciammaruca’, a dialect word for snail. In the last years Oricola has greatly invested in developing a naturalistic tourism, especially giving value to the many picnic areas and the many paths around the Sesera woods.