Although Arsoli is a very small town, the layout of its historical center and its architectural design enticed the writer Luigi Pirandello to call it “Little Paris” (Piccola Parigi). It is located some 60 Kms east of Rome.
Top 10 Tourist Attractions Arsoli
- Piazza Valeria: This square has an octagonal fountain, which was built in 1582 (the era when the aqueduct was constructed) and a column indicating the 38th mile of the Via Valeria. (A Roman mile was the length of one thousand “strides”. One stride equaled two steps, or 1,48 meters.) The phoenix on top of this column is the symbol of the city of Arsoli.
- Palazzo San Filippo Neri: The ground floor of this building houses a collection of agricultural tools and various documents pertaining to the rural life of the area.
- Palazzo San Bartolomeo: The town hall has a baroque church attached to it, as well as a theater inside. The theater has a curtain that was made in 1910 and a painting by Alessandro Romani (1912), one of a series of paintings made of the Roman countryside.
- San Rocco Chapel: This chapel has 16th century paintings and over one century old graffiti.
- Church of San Lorenzo: 15th century church., with a number of frescoes and pillars originally used for the Triumphal Arch that was constructed in occasion of a visit by Pope Pius VI (1789).
- Church of the SS. Salvatore: Built in 1680, designed by Giacomo della Porta. The interior boasts paintings by, a.o., Domenichino (“Transfiguration”). Other paintings are “The Fall Underneath the Cross”, “The Flagellation” and “The Way of the Cross” (twice). The name of the artist who painted these 17th century paintings is unknown. Other works of art in this church include a lunette by Marco Benefial (“The Miracle of Saint Filippo Neri”, 1745), a 1635 copy of the Holy Shroud, a monumental wooden pulpit and the Chapel of the Sacred Heart.
- Castello Massimo: This 11th century fortress was restored many times until its final version was constructed in 1872. Attached to the castle are a landscaped garden and a small forest with a statue of the Dea Roma (Goddess Roma) in the center. This statue was found during excavations on the Quirinal Hill. The interior houses several frescoed rooms (by a.o. Zuccari, Giovanni Antonio Macci and Benefial), collections of arms and beautiful baldachined beds. The Chapel of S. Filippo Neri has cosmatesque facade. Nowadays the Castello Massimo is often used for weddings and sometimes also as a picturesque background for films.
- The Museum of Musical Activities is located in the Borgo San Bartolomeo and houses a collection of objects relating to traditional religious and folk music of the area.
- In the historical center of Arsoli is a museum containing a reconstruction of an ancient farmer’s dwelling. The highlight is an oven fabricated in the 17th century.
- The Devil’s Ditch can be found outside of Arsoli. Along this Fosso del Diavolo you can admire “the Boulders of the Dead Female”, the “Ditch-Wetter Waterfalls” and numerous beautiful views of the surrounding area.
More Arsoli Tourist Attractions
- Another walk is the percorso delle Are (“Way of the Macaws”), which leads one past farmyards, a coal pit and a view over the valleys of the Turano and the Aniene. Along the way various stones indicate the former border between the Papal State and the Kingdom of the two Sicilies.
- Palazzo Gaddi
- Palazzo Marcelli
- Palazzo Sciarra
- Palazzo Ceas-Bernardini
- Palazzo Scaramella Manetti
- Asilo San Filippo Neri
- Palazzo Passeri
- Palazzo La Guardiola