All roads lead to Rome ....... except when you have discovered the ancient secret town of Fumone, where you will most certainly want to make a detour for. Almost unknown to tourists and slightly off the beaten track, this is real Italy –rich in history and natural beauty in equal measure.
To the south, the fast paced chaos of Naples. And to the north and approximately 1 hour from the grandeur of Rome, winding roads pass serene landscapes and vast stretches of vineyards that rise almost 800m above sea level to offer 360 degree panoramic views of the lush green landscapes and towns below Fumone.
Ancient walls wrap around the medieval town of Fumone that simply ooze stories of intrigue, murder and mystery. With just 126 residences, the quiet narrow cobbled streets that rise and fall amongst the stone walls, faded frescoes and solid arched doors do not lend themselves to cars - these are left at the entrance of Fumone. Enter on foot through Porta Roma leading to a maze of ‘vicoli’ or lanes, to number 8 Via Corvone.
The charming English owners of Belvoir live in the home below and are wonderful hosts full of information, ideas and suggestions to make your stay here very special. And the apartment itself is a typical Italian home; full of charm and romance with beamed ceilings, it is cosy, comfortable and restful with all mod-cons you will need for a private getaway.
The terrace of Belvoir is simply wonderful; there aren’t many homes in the world that can capture the natural beauty and breathtaking views that this little apartment does. And wonderful for al fresco dining after a day of exploring the local towns and famed Castello di Fumone.
Whilst visiting Belvoir we were treated to a wonderful display by the local eagles that gracefully soared above the valley below. So don’t forget to pack your binoculars!
“When it smokes in Fumone, Rome trembles” - a saying that dates back to the Saracen and Norman invasion where Fumone takes its name ‘fumo’ (smoke). Dating back as far as 244 BC, Castello di Fumone was built as a medieval garrison post, where sentries would send smoke signals from the fortress walls to the towns below and as far as Rome, to warn of enemies approaching.
Later in the 12th Century the castle was used as a prison where famously Pope San Pietro Celestino V was held here after abdicating his papal throne. Despite his shamed history and the fact he died under mysterious circumstances, Celestino is recognised by the Catholic Church as a Saint. Each year upon the anniversary of his death his cell is transformed into a shrine and his life is celebrated throughout the town.
In 1586 the Marquis Longhi XVII restored and transformed the castle into a complex and magnificent building that can be found standing today. Since then it has been home to knights, popes, generals, Italian royalty and murderers and to this day is still owned and lived in by the Longhi family.
It is no surprise then that the tales of intrigue and ghostly happenings echo through the walls of this place with the cries and wails of the past. Castello di Fumone or the Longhi Castle as it is actually named is also said to have the highest hanging gardens in Europe.
There are other towns nearby that require exploration such as Fiuggi once famous for its mineral water that was said to hold therapeutic properties, or Ferentino with its cathedral preserving valuable works of Cosmati and the beautiful St Maria Maggiore church. Others worth a visit are Trivigliano and Torre Cajetani.
And for those who wish to be at one with nature then we strongly advise heading for the Nature Reserve of Lake Canterno. Natural beauty abounds with the expanse of water lying amongst the gentle hills that surround it and home to many species of wildlife both in and out of the water. The reserve is a big attraction to those who love walking, wildlife and fishing. Amongst the vast species of flora lie orchids, thistles, herbs and forests of conifers.
Just an hour’s drive (approx) is the Eternal City itself; essential stops include Piazza Navona, the Spanish Steps, the Vatican City in addition to a whole host of archaeological treasures and magnificent works of art. So maybe all roads lead to Rome after all..........
A staircase leads to:The first floor offering:
- Large sitting room with sofa and armchairs
- Terrace with magnificent views suitable for dinner al fresco
- Master double bedroom
- Shower room
- Kitchen with gas oven and hob, fridge
- WiFi internet connectivity.
- Parking can be found at the entrance to Fumone and is free of charge.
**Due to the location of Belvoir we advise that it is not suitable for anyone with walking disabilities**