Saturday, November 7, 2020


378 m (1,240 feet), 3,900 ab.

Agricultural town founded in the late 1500s

It was a feud of the Orsini family first and later a feud of the Altieri family

It was known simply as Monte Virginio or Canale

The town changed its name to Canale Monterano only in 1873

Chiesa di S. Maria Assunta

Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary

1677/79 Mattia De Rossi (1637/95) maybe designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598/1680)


Already depopulated for malaria during the eighteenth century and finally abandoned in 1799 for the bombing of the French troops

The survivors moved to the nearby Canale Monterano

There are still some extremely evocative ruins of the abandoned village:

DUCAL PALACE, LION FOUNTAIN (now the fountain is in the Piazza del Comune in Canale Monterano and the Lion, symbol of the city, is in the town hall) and CHURCH AND CONVENT OF St. BONAVENTURE with OCTAGONAL FOUNTAIN opposite:

Everything was built in the years 1677/79 by Mattia De Rossi and Carlo Fontana (1634/1714) from a design by Gian Lorenzo Bernini for Prince Gaspare Altieri in the period when the uncle of his wife Laura, Clement X Altieri (1670/76 ) was the pope

Remains of an aqueduct of the seventeenth century

The Lion Fountain next to the castle was a big part of the scenery created by the genius of Bernini with the large waterfall coming down on fake rocks and the lion with his paw in the middle going along with the flow of water

The floor of the church of St. Bonaventure is the only original floor of a church built by Bernini

It has been the setting for many films including Ben Hur and the Italian movies Brancaleone alle Crociate and Il Marchese del Grillo

It is the center of the MONTERANO NATURE RESERVE established in 1988 which protects 1,100 hectares (2,718 acres) of forests, river valleys and pastures

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