Another world, close to Rome
Savage gradients on gravelled roads, fortress walls and crowded houses, a rectangular piazza with fountain and plane trees, donkeys stumbling down cobbled lanes – such are the Sabine villages, close to Rome but a world away. You don’t find them in the holiday brochures. Licenza is mentioned in classical literature as the Sabine farm to which Horace retired and gave a mention in his Odes. Anticoli Corrado has its niche in art history – its inhabitants were sought by artists and photographers of Rome. One greybeard, known as Padre Eterno for his patriarchal looks, appears in numerous 19thC Biblical pictures. Anticoli peasant girls modelled for several Roman fountains. Their grand-children had walk-on parts in the movie The Secret of Santa Vittoria, shot at Anticoli in 1969. Other Sabine villages, cut by the motorway but aloof from it, relatively easy to get at from Routes 5, 636 or the A24 (Tivoli and Vicovaro junctions) are Marcellina, Saracinesco, Ciciliano and San Gregorio in Sassola.