Norma is a small town of fewer than 4,000 inhabitants in the province of Latina in Lazio. The city has a cute historical center, but its main tourist attraction is the ancient settlement of Norba, whose ruins include 15 meter tall Cyclopean Walls.
Norma travel guide
Tourist information: There is no tourist office.
Town hall: Piazza 1° Maggio – 04010 Norma. Phone: +39 0773 352800.
Railway station: There is no train station.
Norma’s main landmark is the perfectly preserved settlement of Norba, with two acropolises, city gates and cyclopean city walls that reach up 15 meters in height.
The Museo Civico provides extra information about Norba.
Other attractions are the Chiesa dell’Annunziata, the Madonna del Rifugio Sanctuary and the Santa Maria di Monte Mirteto Monastery.
A brief history of Norma
Norma probably originated as a settlement of a people who called themselves Latins. It later became a Roman colony and was destroyed during a civil war.
In the 8th century, it was donated to the church and destroyed again in the 12th century as a result of a conflict between pope and antipope. The family managed to hold power longest was the one of the Caetani. The last feudal lords before the unification of Italy were the Borghese.
According to some, the territory of today’s Norma already contained a Latin settlement called Norba in the 10th century BC. Others say it was a city originally built by the Etruscans or Volsces in the 5th century BC.
What is certain is that it was a Roman colony and fought in the Punic wars. The city fought alongside Caio Mario in the civil war against Lucio Cornelio Silla and was destroyed by the latter in 82 BC.
After the city was repopulated, Norma shared its history with that of neighbouring Ninfa. This town was completely deserted in the 7th century due to malaria.
A document dating the year 743 records that both towns were donated to Pope Zaccaria by the Byzantine Emperor Costantino V Copronimo.
In the 12th century, the Frangipani became the feudal lords of Norma.
Rolando Bandinelli was crowned Pope Alexander III in the city, in 1159. Frederick I Barbarossa, supported by the antipope Vittore IV, subsequently had Norma destroyed.
In 1298, Pope Boniface VIII bought Norma as a gift for his nephew Pietro Caetani.
In 1499, Pope Alexander VI took the city away from the Caetani.
The last feudal lords of Norma were the Borghese, who held power there until the unification of Italy.
How to get to Norma by car
The Superstrada SS7, better known as Via Appia, passes close to Norma.