Located in Latium (Lazio) by the side of the River Velino and north of Rome, Rieti is naturally obscured by its illustrious neighbour but has a certain provincial charm and is a great starting point for excursions elsewhere in Italy.

Originally inhabited by the Italic Sabine tribe, the settlement was conquered by the Romans in the 3rd century BC and completely restructured thereafter. Rieti prospered during the Imperial period due to its situation but was later ravaged by marauding tribes as Rome fell, passing from the Lombards to the Franks, the Saracens and the Sicilians in the following centuries. Finally incorporated into the Papal States during the Early Middle Ages, the city remained under their aegis, excepting a brief period of Neapolitan control, until absorption into the new Italy in 1860.

Initially part of Umbria, the city was annexed to Lazio in 1923 and, although by no means a tourist hub, Rieti is a pleasant spot for visitors.


As with most Italian cities, the Cathedral of Rieti is the most prominent piece of architecture. Initially built between 1109 and 1225 but totally rebuilt in 1639, the Cathedral possesses a fabulous Romanesque façade, coupled with an adjoining Romanesque bell tower, itself constructed in 1252. The outside visual is matched by a Baroque interior highlighted by the statue of St. Barbara on the altar, designed by the sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini.

There are many other notable religious buildings in the city though, such as the Baroque-styled 13th century Church of St. Peter the Martyr and the Gothic 13th century Church of Sant’Agostino, restored during the 18th century.

Rieti is also home to a number of fabulous palaces, with perhaps the finest being the Palazzo Comunale. Completed in the 13th century initially but largely rebuilt in the 18th century, the Palazzo is notable also for housing the Town Museum, containing works by prominent Italian artists like Antonio Canova and even international figures like the 19th century Danish sculptor Bertel Thorwaldsen.

One further point of interest is the Palazzo Vescovile, or the Bishop’s Palace. Although construction began in 1283, much of the Palace contains Renaissance trimmings, such as the 16th century windows. The Palace is also home to the Diocese Gallery, containing numerous Renaissance frescos from the surrounding churches.

Alternatively, for a quiet stroll, be sure to check out the nearby Ripasottile Natural Preserve.


You can find a number of shops around the Piazza San Rufo (interestingly considered the exact centre of Italy). However, most tourists will prefer a trip to Rome to explore the wealth of choice in the Italian capital.

Nightlife and Eating Out

Despite its provinciality, you can still find a few decent restaurants in Rieti. The Ristorante Da Checco al Calice d’Oro in the Via Marchetti and the Ristorante La Brasserie in the Via Cintia are both pleasant establishments. You can also find numerous pizzerias around the central city squares.

Rieti does not exactly have a vibrant nightlife but there are places to drink all over the city, including two Irish pubs in the Piazza San Rufo and the Via S. D’Acquisto respectively.

For something a little quieter, check out the shows at the city’s Teatro Flavio Vespasiano.

Tourist Information

Rieti APT OfficeVia Cintia, 87RietiTel: +39 (0)746 201 146aptrieti@apt.rieti.it


The nearest international airport to Rieti is Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci International Airport. Rieti can be reached via train.

Being the busiest airport in Italy, international and domestic connecting flights are available regularly to multiple destinations.

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

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