Casa Graziella

Borgo di Mazzano Romano

Historical notes on Borgo di Mazzano Romano
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Overlooking the Treja valley from its location, the old town of Mazzano still retains the medieval urban plant, made of alleys that take the course of the cliff carved in volcanic rock.

The only access to the hamlet of Mazzano was, and still remains, through a vault arch overlooking the cliff and the course of the Treja River.

The history of Mazzano begins with the ancient settlements of the Falisco people, of whom presence still remain tracks in the many necropolis inside which a lot of important archeological findings have been recovered.

Most of which are displayed in the National Museum of the Agro Falisco in Civita Castellan and in the National Etruscan Museum of Villa Giulia, in Rome.

During the great development period of the Roman Empire, the region became part of the Ager Faliscus, a conquered territory used partly as a correctional colony and partly given to the veterans of the Roman Army.

The name of Mazzano is likely to be derived from the ancient roman noble family of Matianum.

The hamlet decayed during the fall of the Roman Empire, as the major communication routes and the large farms that had characterized the golden period of the empire dissolved. Mazzano reappeared in the chronicles shortly before the year one thousand.

ùIn this period the lords propelled the population to occupy the sites of the ancient Etruscan castled cities, which were easy to fortify against the raids of the Saracens and the gangs of brigands that constituted a great danger in the countryside.

On January 14th, 945 A.D., the powerful roman prince Alberico (father of the pope Giovanni XII) gave the hamlet, with the annexed territories and the farmers, to Benedetto, the abbot of the roman convent of the Santi Gregorio e Andrea del Celio.

Benedetto owned the feud until the year 1526, when the hamlet was acquired by the ancient mighty Anguillara family.

In 1599 Flaminio Anguillara sold Mazzano to the cardinal Lelio Biscia and in 1658 the feud was inherited by the Del Drago family, who administered it until the Land Reform carried out by the Maremma authorities.

The adjective Romano was added to Mazzano in 1872. The old church built in 1563 in the south part of the town, tore apart by a thunderbolt at the beginning of the XX century, is attributed to Vignola or one of his pupils. The façade was in Doric style and the belfry, simple and elegant, was 25 meters high.

The church was demolished in 1940 because the nave was crumbling, today only a part of the original choir is still visible in Antisà Square.

In the actual old town center there is the baronial palace of the Biscia family, with the sixteenth century arch of access to the castle adorned with the family insignia. This district of the hamlet rose up in the XVII century, in a period of great demographic growth of the town.

A small church overlooks the old Umberto I square, it has two frescos: one on the apse, representing the martyrdom of San Sebastian along with San Rocco and San Gregorio Papa, and another one on the left wall which portrays the Madonna with the Infant Jesus and Sant'Anna.

On the same Umberto I square stand the War Memorial.

In the northeast part of Mazzano, on a rocky plateau, there are the remains of the Church of Santa Maria, which dates back to the fourteenth century.

Inside the church are ruined walls, while around the main structure there are the ruins of an ancient monastery.

On a high rock dominating the church are the remains of a squared fortified tower, this also dating back to the fourteenth century, built with massive tuff blocks. Around this tower many wells and hypogeum from the Faliscan period have been discovered.

On Easter Mondays, as tradition, the church is visited by a procession and a country festival takes place there.

The Castle of Agnese is now a deserted medieval site, in some documents of 1427 it is referred to as "tenimentum castri inabitati vocati Agnese" (The estate of the desert castle called Agnese).

Pope Clemente IX in 1668 authorized the site to be sold and in 1786 it became property of the Del Drago family.

    Casa Graziella Mazzano Romano

    Vicolo del Montarello 10 - 00160 Mazzano Romano (RM) - ITALIA

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