Although generally ignored in favour of nearby Rome, the ancient town of Anagni in Latium exemplifies the wealth of culture and beauty in Italy.

Archaeological evidence indicates human activity some 700,000 years ago, testifying to the site’s long history, but the first recorded settlers were the ancient Hernici tribe. Taken by the Romans in 306 BC, the Empire inaugurated a period of prosperity and repute for the small town as a holiday spot, with visitors like the emperors Marcus Aurelius, Septimus Severus, Commodus and Caracalla. Practically deserted after Rome fell, the town was saved by its links to the Catholic Church. Indeed, as well as a popular papal summer residence and important diocese, Anagni actually provided four popes during the 13th century alone. However, the town has retained a strong local feeling, reflected in the widespread use of the Northern Ciociaro dialect.

Now a regional industrial centre, ‘the city of popes’ nevertheless continues to exhibit its strong cultural heritage. As a result, the small town is one of the finest provincial spots in the country.


Anagni’s most beautiful monuments can be found in the well-preserved historic centre of Ciociaria. Chief among these is the Cathedral of Anagni, a fine example of Romanesque architecture dating back to the years 1062-1105 with Gothic embellishments from the 13th century. The interior is equally impressive, enriched with fantastic Byzantine frescos as well as the 13th century crypt, containing the tomb of Saint Magnus, Anagni’s patron saint. The Cathedral is also home to the Museo Innocenzo III, with works by the Cosmati, medieval craftsmen active in the vicinity.

Elsewhere, the Boniface VIII Palace stands as testament to Anagni’s close ties to the Catholic Church. Completed in Romanesque style in the 12th century, the palace contains a local museum.

Two further palaces can be found in Anagni, the Communal Palace, built by Jacopo da Iseo in 1163 and displaying the coat of arms of the powerful Orsini and Caetini noble familieis, and the Palazzo Traietto, which was intermittently used by the popes as a residence.

Other notable edifices in Anagni include the 12th century Chiesa di S. Andrea, the 13th century Chiesa di S. Angelo and the picturesque 14th century Barnekow House.

Many festivals and events take place in the town, including the Celebration of Saint Magnus in August and, more importantly, the Festival del Teatro Medioevale e Rinascimentale, a celebration of Anagni’s medieval past throughout June and July.


Although you can find a few shopping districts around the Piazza Innocenza III and other squares, Anagni is best used as a starting point for visits to nearby Rome.

Nightlife and Eating Out

Anagni may lack the gourmet establishments of the Italian capital, but you can still find plenty of quaint places serving local specialities like the pasta Sagne e fagioli.

Of the numerous restaurants in Anagni, the Ristorante Albergo Federico in the Via Anticolana, the Ristorante Le Quattro ere in the Piazza Sant’Andrea and the Ristorante della Fonatana in the Via Casilina are all recommended.

Around the central squares of Anagni, you can find a few bars and pubs. However, the town is not reputed for its nightlife, being in close proximity to Rome.

Tourist Information


The nearest international airport to Anagni is Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci International Airport, some 40 miles away from the town.

As Italy’s largest airport, international and domestic connecting flights are regularly available to multiple destinations.

Alitalia (London-Heathrow) and British Airways (London-Gatwick and London-Heathrow) use Leonardo da Vinci International Airport to and from British destinations.

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