Just over the river, a short 5-minute stroll away lies the centre of Ceprano, a well-established community in Southern-Central Italy. Ceprano is approximately an hour's journey from the two iconic cities of Rome and Naples. Although badly battered by both sides during World War II, many parts have been rebuilt in a way that they complement those left standing without losing any of the town's soothing character.
The entire surrounding area has been influential in many ways, probably due to its geographical positioning. It has both a rich cultural and religious history, as well as a very strong agricultural heritage. In fact, there are many Italian culinary specialities that originate from this area, which is still predominantly rural even today. Many local families still have vegetable gardens and olive and grape plantations from which they make Extra Virgin Olive Oil and wine. Being enclosed by the Apennines, the Lepini Mountains and the Aurunci Mountains, there is a natural raised valley where water from the mountains pass through, searching for their route to the Mediterranean.
The Italians call this area Ciociaria (pronounced cho-cha-reeya), which comes from ciocie, the shoes that were worn by locals (consisting of a flat piece of leather sole, which is pulled over the toes, bound together with thongs and tied around the ankles). Clean and unspoilt, with a feast of beautiful scenery around every bend of its winding roads, Ciociaria has no cause to be envious of the more well-known Italian destinations. It still remains an untouched gem just waiting to be discovered.
As well as the natural scenery, there are many treasures such as the Caves of Pastena, a remarkable network of spectacular karst caves. The lake at Posta Fibreno features a naturally floating island and there is the distinctive 40-metre waterfall right in the centre of town of Isola Liri. Medieval towns that have retained their character like Anagni (the City of the Popes), Alatri and Ferentino with their megalithic city walls and majestic cathedrals. There are also the impressive abbeys at Casamari and Montecassino, and the famous medieval pharmacy at the Charterhouse of Trisulti.
All this in a place locked in by the eternal city of Rome, the enigmatic delights of Naples, the Abruzzo National Park and the mesmerising Mediterranean coastline - all reachable within an hour from Ceprano!