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Atina and the Val di Comino


Settefrati is situated between the towns of San Donato and Picinisco, at an altitude of  850 metres, from which there are stunning views across the Val di Comino and behind is the dramatic backdrop of the Mainarde Mountains.   The inhabitants of this small town are known as Settefratesi.

Settefrati is named after the seven sons of Santa Felicita who was martyred in Rome in 164 AD. A church was built and dedicated to their name, this now forms part of the building that houses the Comune.

Historical evidence indicates that the first settlement here was founded by the Samnite tribe,  then in 253 BC it was taken over Romans.  Further documents show the existence of Settefrati  in 988 AD, in which Aligerno the Abbot of Montecassino, refers to the building of a stronghold.  All that remains today is the Medieval Tower and some sections of the old fortified town wall.  Next to the tower is the church dedicated to Santo Stefano Promartire, which was founded in the 10th century but was remodelled during the Baroque era.  

The main piazza has a paved area with a circular fountain.  From here there is an attractive view.

In the town there is an old communal wash house dating from 1800's, where the womenfolk of the village would congregate to do their laundry.

Other noteable buildings include:  Palazzo Cardelli with the family symbol of a goldfinch; Palazzo Gramegna; Palazzo Venturini and the remains of a Roman Villa (2nd century).

Just outside of the town  is the little Church of Santa Felicita (below left).

Then there is the wonderful ancient Church of La Madonna delle Grazie, which dates back to the 10th century.

In its porch there is a beautiful fresco by Marco San Germano depicting the Last Judgement and the Afterlife.  

This is based on the mystical vision a young monk of Montecassino, by the name of  Fra Alberico (born in Settefrati).  

This vision is said to have inspired Dante to write his “Divine Comedy”.  

The interior of the church is beautifully embellished and has a wonderful coffered ceiling of decorative wooden panels.

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Last Update May 2016

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