Fumone is a beautiful town in Ciociaria, located at a height above sea level of about 800 meters and dominated by an imposing castle. It is said that 18 ghosts live in this castle. For certain, it would be difficult to find another place so beautiful, interesting and mysterious. Here’s what you can see during the visit.
Fumone is a beautiful town in the Ciociaria area in the province of Frosinone, located on a hill of about 800 meters above sea level and dominated by an imposing castle. Since the times of the ancient Romans, Fumone has played an important strategic role as it acted as a lookout to control the presence of any enemy troops heading in the direction of Rome.
The name itself, Fumone, arises from its function of communication with Rome through smoke signals.
It also seems that the last king of Rome, Tarquinius the Superb, took refuge here to escape from Rome after his expulsion.
During the war with Hannibal, Fumone played a fundamental role in the defence strategy of the Romans, allowing them to control the movements along the Via Latina that connected Naples to Rome.
Throughout the duration of the Roman Empire, the smoke signals were only used to communicate ordinary news. Only at the time of the Barbarian invasions did the inhabitants begin to use the signals to alert the Romans of the presence of the enemy. Later, around the tenth century, Fumone became the territory of the Church.
The origin of the castle of Fumone has ancient origins that have not yet been fully determined. During the centuries it proved to be an impenetrable fortress and information dating from the 10th century indicted it as a reliable and famous defensive system.
The defence of the Castle of Fumone was also tested by famous emperors such as Federico Barbarossa and Henry VI, who, unable to conquer it after long sieges, decided to take revenge by devastating the surrounding countryside and nearby towns.
Perhaps this is why illustrious figures were imprisoned here such as the Prefect of Rome Pietro Corsi in 1116, the antipope Maurizio Bordino in 1121 and Pope Celestino V after his abdication. And it is precisely Celestino V, a just and not easily manipulated Pope, that gave the Castello di Fumone fame as a place of worship. In fact, after his death, a miracle occurred that was attributed to him. An enormous cross of light appeared suspended in midair on the door of his cell. The fact was exploited by the descendants of Celestino to create a religious movement and so in the castle a sanctuary and the hanging gardens were also built.
Since 1990, the Castello di Fumone has been open to the public.
Visiting the Castle of Fumone
Arriving in the village of Fumone, you find yourself inside a medieval fortress, with small streets paved in stone and brick, tower houses, fortress houses, cellars, stables, olive mills and other characteristic elements of an ancient fortified town that must provide to the daily needs of the soldiers.
You can immediately feel the plunge into the past and you would almost expect see townspeople donning medieval clothing.
At the center of the fortress stands Fumone’s Castle surrounded by towering walls and other defensive devices.
The visit to the castle takes about 40 minutes and during the tour you will see:
• The noble floor of the Castle
• The Sanctuary of Pope Celestino V
• The Celestino V’s prison cell
• The ancient archive of the Castle with manuscripts ranging from the 16th to the 19th century
• The embalmed child
• The Hall of Ancestors
• The Sala dei Cesari
• The Hall of the Emblems
• The Well of the Virgins
• The Hanging Gardens
The gallery of contemporary art
Each room has a particular story to tell, such as that of the embalmed child, Francesco Longhi, an heir to the family fortune, who died in mysterious circumstances, or the Well of the Virgins in which brides were thrown if not really virgins during the ius primae noctis which allowed the feudal lord to spend the wedding night with any bride of his choice.
The Ghosts of the Castle of Fumone
In the Castle of Fumone it is said that there are 18 ghosts. Souls of dead prisoners that never left the premises. At various times the locals said they have had heard crying and complaining coming from the uninhabited castle windows, probably those of Francesco’s mother, Duchess Emilia Caetani, in her desperate pain. In any case, the small embalmed body of Francesco Longhi, is still kept in a case in the library, and he is likely to be among the ghosts that populate the castle.
It is also said that lights in the castle sometimes turn on by themselves, furniture moves on its own, objects mysteriously disappear only to be found elsewhere, a heavy wrought iron chandelier collapsed during a summer night and fell on a table full of crystal glasses, without breaking anything.
These and many other mysterious events fuel the mystery of the Castel of Fumone.
The Castle of Fumone during the Grand Tour of the Roman Countryside
The Castle of Fumone enters right into our Grand Tour of the Roman countryside. An organized tour that leads to the discovery of unusual places full of charm, castles, crypts, abbeys, shrines, ancient temples, historic houses accompanied by the tasting of typical dishes, wines, oils, jams, honey and much more. All interspersed with meaningful and enjoyable experiences such as cooking classes, cheese workshops with real shepherds or cooking workshops in age-old bakeries.