The Town and Tower of PalidoroFrom the small town of Palidoro to the Tower where Salvo D'Acquisto was murdered: history, location and curiosities
Thanks to the invaluable contribution of Dr Eleonora Chinappi and Dr Massimiliano Galletti (Associazione Culturale Scrinium Arte) we can speak to you about the village of Palidoro, a hidden treasure at about half an hour from Civitavecchia, easily reached driving along the Via Aurelia.
Inside this small town you can spend some pleasant hours visiting the delightful church and walking around the ancient farmhouses, then perhaps conclude with a stop in a typical trattoria where you can taste the dishes of the Roman culinary tradition.
The small town of Palidoro is on the coastline north to Rome, at km 30 of the Via Aurelia immersed in a suggestive rural landscape, where time seems to have stopped.
Its name comes from the Latin word paritorium (ruin) and it can bee atributed to the remains of a Roman bridge with two archs over which was built a castle, registered since the 15th century.
THE TOWN OF PALIDORO: HISTORY AND MAIN BUILDINGS
During the 16th century, Palidoro was owned by the Muti family which then transfered it to Camilla Peretti, sister of Pope Sixtus V.
At the end of the century it passed definitively to the Hospital of the Holy Spirit in Sassia to which is due to the transformation from the original fortification into a prosperous farm.
So many important initiatives for the promotion of the territory took place, so to become one of the most relevant hospitals of the Agro Romano, which remained active up to our days and belonging to the Lazio Region.
Il borgo, ancora oggi ben conservato, mostra elementi della prima opera difensiva medievale, rappresentati da una torretta cilindrica e dai contrafforti che rinsaldano gli angoli di un edificio, il casale propriamente detto, in origine certamente parte integrante di un castrum, ovvero un abitato fortificato secondo il modello di insediamento rustico diffuso nella Campagna Romana.
At the center of the square rises the monumental church devoted to the apostles Giacomo and Filippo.
The present building, perhaps erected on the ruins of an ancient church, was built during the pontificate of Pius VI Braschi (1775-1799), as states the inscription present inside.
The facade in neoclassical style, framed by slender pilasters in support of the tympanum, has a large window and a portal surmounted by a huge coat of arms: a shield on which are engraved the insignia of Pope Braschi.
The interior of the church is composed of a single nave with a barrel, which is scanned along the perimeter by elegant pilasters.
At the raised presbytery, protected by a balustrade decorated with the double cross emblem of the Hospital of the Holy Spirit, there is a fine marble altar dominated from the altarpiece depicting the Holy Spirit that descends on the Saints Giacomo and Filippo.
The work commissioned by the Commendatore of the Hospital of the Holy Spirit Monsignor Francesco degli Albizi was built in 1788 by the painter Antonio Cavallucci from Sermoneta.
Once outside the church, along the paved streets of the village, you can encounter various coats of arms in stone placed on the facades of buildings. These bear the double cross, often accompanied by the heraldic symbol of the families of the tutors or commanders, that is the several Directors of the Roman hospital, witness of the live attention toward this agricultural center.
Other inscriptions recall instead the passage of many Popes, who came here to find refreshment for a pleasant break before reaching their final destination: Civitavecchia, the main Tyrrhenian port of the state of the Church.
Still today, the small town of Palidoro represents a privileged stop where, just like old wayfarers who used to cross the cosular way, you can take refreshment in any of the trattorias and enjoy the genuine flavours of homemade Roman dishes.
FROM THE TOWN TO THE TOWER OF PALIDORO
Leaving the town behind and heading to toward the coast, you will get to the Tower of Palidoro built in Medieval times at the mouth of the river with the same name, which is today 100 meters away from the sea, due to the progressive advance of the coast.
The tower, about 20 meters high, constituted a sighting tower, founded over Roman remains. Rebuilt in 1562 by the Hospital of the HOly Spirit to tackle the threat of Turkish pirates, was recently restored.
Its lonely structure, immersed in a coastal unspoilt landscape, rich in Mediterranean plants really stands out!
In this place, on September, 23 1943 the Germans shot the member of the Italian Carabinieri Salvo D’Acquisto.
To save the lives of 22 innocent citizens, he blamed himself before German soldiers as only responsible for an alleged attack to the SS troops. The carabiniere, who was only 23 years old, was awarded the Gold Medal to Military Valor and still today, next to the tower is a stele remembering his heroic act.
by Eleonora Chinappi e Massimiliano Galletti Associazione Scrinium Arte.
© Pictures by the authors.
- HOW TO GET THERE
The town of Palidoro is at km 30 of the Via Aurelia and it can be reached directly along the SS1 or the Highway Roma-Civitavecchia in both directions (A12) exiting at the toll of Torrimpietra (€1,20). To get to the Tower of Palidoro from the town, take Via S. Carlo and then Via della Torre di Palidoro.