Via Francigena



The site, originally Privernum, was a Volscian settlement of great importance. Its origins are lost in legend and references to the town can even be found in the Aeneid; according to myth, when Priverno, son of Osca, king of the Volsci died, his son Metabus who succeeded him, decided to call the town Privernum, in honour of his dead father.

The first written evidence of the town comes from Titus Livius, who describes the settlement as a powerful Volscian town which, in spite of tenacious attempts at rebellion, in 329 B.C. fell under the Romans who rebuilt a new settlement on the Mezzagosto plain.

In Roman times the town developed significantly and from 312 B.C., thanks to the construction of the Via Appia, the place benefited further from its strategic position thanks to the heavy commercial traffic which travelled along the Roman road.

The town’s growth started to fall in 189 A.D., the year in which the area was struck by a terrible epidemic of bubonic plague which decimated the population. Following the fall of the Roman Empire, maintenance works along the Via Appia stopped gradually and it soon became impassable for commercial traffic which moved onto the pedemontana Lepina.

The town is remembered during that time as a simple postal station. The life of the Volscian town finally came to an end during the bloody Saracen raids and the place was rebuilt elsewhere in its current hill position, with the name of Piperno which it kept until 1928.

The new location of the town, near the pedemontana Lepina, the new commercial highway after the decay of the Via Appia, fostered the rebirth of Priverno.



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