The Territory

This mountainous territory that curves itself into the  dorsal of the Apennines from Corno and from Nera reaching the Velino valley, the residue of the ancient lake, reclaimed during the Roman era by means of a bold cut into the Marmore falls, was the birthplace of saints that knew how to make themselves into true interpreters of the charismatic Franciscan order: from here, the border of Umbria, Marche, Abruzzo and Lazio, they spread through the capillaries, incisive prediction from the observances of Brother Domenic of Leonessa, in increments of the movement that anticipated the topics of the Catholic Reformation. From here the Cappuccini missionaries left for the Orient, headed by a brother of noble origin, Giuseppe of Leonessa, driven by the glory of the altar. The spiritual activism that gave soul to the religious profession was reverberated into a communal sentiment of devotion that feeds and pervades the popular culture, spread among the population of the piedmont peoples, who were dedicated to the traditional activities of the pasteurization and production of felt and wool.

The Vallolina is characterized, during the Middle Ages, by the anthropology especially diffused among the "villages", that during the course of the XIII century, were associated by means of the structure of the city of Leonessa, destined to symbolize, with its numerous, rich churces,the complex nature and composition of the surrounding territory: the expansive Church estate that crossed through the region came to define the Diocese of Spoleto and that of Rieti, marking the political jurisdiction of the Patrimony of Saint Peter and the Kingdom of Naples. The profoundly cultivated religious sentiment of the inhabitants of the lands in Leonessa of Sant'Egidio, San Nicola di Forcamelone, San Nicola di Poggio Lupo, Santa Maria della Croce, San Martino di Pianezza, Santa Maria della Terra is clearly shared by the shepherds and farmers of the "villages", leaving testimony to the notable list of cult places, parish churches, rural churches, sanctuaries and oratories that scatter the mountainous region. In the Villa of Vallimpuni, still today there are three churches rich with sacred images and sacred works of art that constitute singular expressions of the original fusion of sthetic conception and stylistic modules that developed in the territories crossed by the internal confines of the middle region of Italy.