Camerata Nuova: the highest town of Lazio
The village of Camerata Nuova: territory and origins
The village of Camerata Nuova is the highest of Lazio: it is situated at an altitude of 810 metres, inside the Parco Regionale dei Monti Simbruini, at the end of a wooded valley, along the border between Lazio and Abruzzo.
Although it actually is part of Rome, the territory still shows its proper features, thanks to the natural protected area, too. Within the town of Camerata Nuova, there are Mountain Autore and La Monnella: the first one is the third highest peak of the Monti Simbruini, and it is situated in the south-eastern area. The second is 1,750 metres above sea level. According to scholars, the origin of the name comes from the type of dwelling characterizing the country in the past. The original village consisted in "camerae", dwellings partially carved into the rock. Over the time, the village has changed its name several times.
From 1859 to 1870, it was called "Pio Camerata", in honor of the reigning Pope, Pio IX. After having become part of the Kingdom of Italy, it took the name of "Camerata", and in 1872, the term "New" was added, because the ancient village was destroyed by a fire, in 1859.
The village you can currently see is recent, and it has been built 400 metres down the previous one, located on a calcium cliff. Nevertheless, the new centre still has the features of the ancient one. Camerata Nuova is known thanks to Terence Hill and Bud Spencer as honorary citizens. Actually, the famous movies "Lo chiamavano Trinità" and "...continuavano a chiamarlo Trinità" were set there, at the beginning of the 70s. The shooting took place in Campo di Pietra and Camposecco, two karsic plains, one of them near the town and 1.350 metres high.
What to see and what to do in Camerata Nuova
Among the interesting places in Camerata Nuova, there are the ruins of Camerata Vecchia and the Parco Naturale Regionale dei Monti Simbruini. Located at 1,250 meters above sea level, they offer a very evocative show. We suggest you to admire the majestic 16th-century arch carved into the rock, part of the fortified medieval castle and the sanctuary of Santa Maria delle Grazie. This one was built in the first half of the 1600's, and it still destination of pilgrimages on the day of Pasquetta, after which people love to have an open air lunch surrounded by the ruins of Camerata Vecchia. Both villages are surrounded by a wild landscape, enclosing the best of the Apennines.
There are enormous uplands, wooded valleys and karsic plains from where you can admire a wonderful panoramic view over the whole area. Especially the plain of Camposecco is characterised by enormous green surfaces, beech trees, and white calcium rocks. Other typical species of the territory are the oaks, the holm oaks, the sorbuses, the downy oaks, the European ash trees and the sycamores, occupying a remarkable extension.
The greatest variety of flora and fauna species is concentrated in the Valle del Fiorio, a deep and narrow depression extended along the Abruzzo border till the Santissima Trinità di Vallepietra, Campo Ceraso and the Karst plateau of Campo della Pietra. Because of its location, Camerata Nuova is the ideal starting point to discover the Monti Sibillini, so it is very appreciated by those who want to spend some time surrounded by nature, bird watching or doing excursions. In particular, the places hikers prefer are the Pozzi del Gelo e della Neve, and the peak of Monte Autore, both reachable from Camposecco. In addition to the trekking paths, other possibilities are available: the route can actually be done by mountain-bikes, horse or cross-country skis, during the winter. Alternatively, you can go hiking on the opposite side, and reach the top of Vallevona within the Carseolani Mountains.
Here, at an altitude of 1,808 metres, you can admire a breathtaking view of the territory between Lazio and Abruzzo. There are points of great interest also in the village of Camerata Nuova: the village is structured around the central square from where intersecting and parallel roads depart. To optimize the costs of the town reconstruction, they decided to insert sixteenth century frames, windowsills and portals from Camerata Vecchia, in the new buildings. The architectural effect is really interesting and has a great impact.
Festivals and typical food
Typical Camerata food is characterised by a prevalence of second courses based on grilled meat. Typical local dishes are the sweet Ravioli cameratani, the Sagne m'pezze and the Caciofiore. The first one is stuffed with ricotta and topped with a sweet and sour sauce, while the second is a first dish made of small pieces of egg pasta seasoned with pork sauce. The Caciofiore is a soft sheep milk cheese, unsalted and characterised by an intense flavour, you can eat from October to June. On the contrary, the local Pecorino cheese is tastier: it has a hard consistency, it is made of sheep's milk, and it is 3-12 months aged. Concerning desserts, you can't miss the almond pie, the wine donuts and the Pangiallo: a yellow bread filled with dried fruit, a typical Christmas dish.
Typical local dishes are often protagonists of festivals and events, such as liverwurst (last Sunday in October), the sweet Ravioli (August 1-3) and the mutton chops, on the first Sunday after January 17th, when the Procession of Saint Anthony takes place: it remembers the fire that destroyed the Camerata Vecchia.
Don't miss the Easter celebrations when the "Pupazza" shares its dance - an enormous puppet dancing surrounded by the citizens -, the Estate Cameratana, during which new talents play, and the procession before the town festival on September, coloured by the torchlight procession and the game "Asta degli attrezzi".
Do you want to stay in Rome?
For this location we recommend Hotel Panama Garden, ideal for discovering Rome thanks to its strategic location.