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Wonder
Wonder  }  Location

Village of Antuni

A lost city in the middle of a lake

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Where is

Lazio

SP34, Castel di Tora RI, Italia (543m s.l.m.)

Directions
map

What it is and where it is

When you stand on the shore of Lake Turano you can see, among others, Mount Antuni. One recognizes it because it enters the lake like a peninsula, but also, and above all, because looking closer one realizes that those placed there at the top are not simple rocks, but houses, buildings of a small medieval village. You have to walk up the slopes of the mountain and cross the arch of the ancient walls to understand that the settlement is built around the small square with the lord's palace, the church and the few peasants' houses.

Why it is special

If you are a lover of villages and have already visited several of them, you will immediately notice that there is something unusual here: no flowers in the windows, no noise or scents in the streets. Only silence, and the strange feeling of being in a place that lives not one, but two pasts. The medieval structures tell us fragments of ancient life, but the glimpses they present speak of a very different time: the Second World War, bombings and an abrupt, immediate end. And Antuni is today a ghost town.

Not to be missed

Since this is an uninhabited village, it seems a little strange that, a short distance away, an even more withdrawn place might exist: descending down a slope of the mountain, one comes to the Hermitage of San Salvatore. Set close to the shore, it enshrines a very deep connection between man and nature. Indeed, the frescoes inside are offset by the rocks on the slope and the aromatic plants that grow abundantly around here. All lulled by the sound of the surrounding waters.

A bit of history

From ancient documents, Castrum Antoni is said to have been founded in the early 11th century. In 1092 it was listed as the property of the Abbey of Farfa. Later, however, it passed to the Brancaleoni family and then many families succeeded each other in its ownership. In the 1800s the Borgo di Antuni belonged to the Princes of the Dragon until in 1992 it passed into the ownership of the Municipality of Castel di Tora. Meanwhile, in 1944, the village had been bombed by Allied planes, it is said by mistake, the bridge below being the real target. The damage was so severe that the population ended up abandoning the place, which became a veritable "ghost town."

Curiosity

The desire to rebuild was not only manifested in the restorations carried out in the 1990s. In 2015, stones were recovered from the top of the hill and neatly arranged to form a circular path. This is a labyrinth, one in which it is impossible to get lost, because the path wraps around itself. This kind of labyrinth requires no sense of direction, but patience and perseverance to find oneself and one's center, in a symbolic journey of meditation and rebirth.

Borgo di AntuniVillage of Antuni Dragon Palace

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Recommended by
Cesarina D'Alessandro

The lost city of Antuni is an ancient village, near Castel di Tora, in the Rieti region, situated on a hill completely surrounded by Lake Turano and connected to the mainland only by a thin isthmus.

SharryLand Friendly Municipality
Comune Castel di Tora (RI)

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