It must be said that Italy is a country that can satisfy all tourists, italian and foreign ones, who have different interests and needs during their journey. But, there are also some cities which are able to satisfy a lot of different tourists ,on their own, because they have a wide range of things to offer. We are talking about Rieti, called the umbilicus italiae ( the navel of Italy). Tourists who love art and history will certainly be keen to visit the cathedral of St. Maria Assunta, Rieti's underground with its medieval atmosphere and historic squares. Rieti is also the city of the sport, culinary delights and tourists who travel to find an inner peace can pursue Cammino di Francesco (St. Francis' path), a 80km path which will make your journey a veritable experience. Let’s explore the city.
You can start your trip going towards Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II where you can find the 18th century Palazzo del comune with its medieval origins. In fact, this is considered the oldest area of Rieti. From here, you can get to a small historic square Piazza San Rufo where Romans indentified the umbilicus italiae, the exact geographical centre of Italy. Right here, the people of Rieti have created a monument called “caciotta” because of its particular shape. Continuing towards Via Francesco you can admire the Roman Bridge on the Velino river, another important and meaningful attraction of Rieti valley.
The ancient roman bridge was replaced by the current one in the ‘30s , but you will be able to see some remains of the ancient bridge.
The most important religious building is the Cathedral of St.Maria Assunta, you will be stunned by the magnificence and beauty of this building in Baroque style and designed by the greatest artists as Bernini. After visiting the cathedral, don’t miss the crypt.
Among the many attractions Rieti offers, there is also the Flavio Vespasiano Theatre, architectural monument designed by Achille Sfondrini, with its excellent acoustics.
You need to know that there is also Rieti’s underground, a wonderful place rich in history. Here, you can find the remains of the roman viaduct which was built to bring goods from the via Salaria directly to southern gate.
The culinary delights you can taste in Rieti will make your journey more exciting.
One of the most delicious dishes is “amatriciana” which you can taste in the province of Rieti, Amatrice, and it is made of tomato sauce, guanciale ( a bacon product specific to italian cuisine), chilli pepper, pecorino cheese, extra virgin olive oil and dry white wine. In short, a veritable delight you can choose after visiting the Rieti valley. In addition, you can also taste the seafood dishes as the trout or tasty cheeses as pecorino cheese. Tourists who prefer the desserts will be happy to taste the Valle Santa dessert, typical sweet of Rieti dedicated to Franciscan sanctuaries.
Rieti also has a strong sporting tradition and in fact many projects and local associations keep promoting the culture of sport. Here, you can find one of the most popular and national flying schools and besides a lot of places where you can practise the sport you love.
Not only the culture, traditional food and sport. Rieti can also offer the calm, nature and inner peace thanks to Cammino di Francesco (St. Francis Path), a very emotional path which the saint made in his own life. During this path you can retrace all paths San Francesco loved. Now, what are you waitng for? You only need a pair of comfortable shoes and great curiosity.
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