Mountain town an hour from Rome
Pine forests drape the slopes and shelter the town, which is a grey stone ladder of cottages propped against the mountain. Allow an hour for walking to the topmost house from the piazza where you arrive. Being within an hour or so of Rome and having smooth snowfields above the tree line, this place has acquired a fashionable gloss. Round Piazza del Obelisco (the obelisk is the centrepiece of a fountain) signs such as ‘BABY SHOP’ and ‘SNOOPY CLUB’ look incongruous.
Rome clashed with the hill tribes here in 321 BC at the Battle of the Caudine Forks and was beaten. The Battle of Tagliacozzo took place in 1268 between Spaniards and Swabians. The ducal palace and San Francesco’s church date from 1300. Swimming, discos, civilized bars and hill walking.