Agosta is about 70 kilometres east of Rome. It is named after the well that supplied the water for the Roman Acqua Marcia Aqueduct. Apart from archaeological finds (sometimes from far before Roman times), the attractions are the medieval Castle and the Santuario della Madonna del Passo.
All about Agosta, City Guide
Town Hall: Via San Martino, 4 (Tel. 0774.800024). Postal code: 00020. Area code: 0774. Number of inhabitants: 1700.
By car/public transport
By car: From Rome take the A24 and exit at Mandela. Follow this street (SS5) until the exit at Arsoli, from where you follow Via Sublacense until you reach your destination.
Public transport: Agosta is located on the route between Rome and Subiaco. The Cotral bus company departs from the Ponte Mammolo underground station (line B).
The most striking monument left of the town’s medieval history is what remains of the old castle. The oldest part of it is a central buidling with an irregular floor plan.
The neo-classical Santa Maria Assunta Church has a Romanesque bell tower with an onion-shaped dome. The Madonna del Passo Monastery dates back to the 17th century. The Madonna della Pace and San Benedetto Church, made of a local stone called cardellino, is of recent origin.
Agosta‘s history begins well before Roman times. However, once the Romans settled there, they created a vast system of aqueducts. After the dark times in the early Middle Ages, construction of the present city began in the 11th century. Until the unification of Italy, the city was largely in the hands of various feudal lords.
The oldest inhabitants of the region were a number of Italic peoples. The last of these peoples were the Latins, who also gave their name to the region of Lazio. The Latins were later supplanted by the Aequi, who in turn were expelled by the Romans around the 4th century BC.
The latter built enormous aqueducts, which eventually developed into an extensive irrigation system in the area.
After having been attacked and looted by the Lombards and the Saracens, the current settlement was built in the 11th century. The town’s castle was built in 1051.
The town first became the property of Subiaco Abbey and then of a succession of noble families, including the Colonna, the Borghese and the Barberini.
The domination of the various feudal lords lasted until Agosta was incorporated into the new kingdom of Italy.