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Palestrina

Palestrina (the ancient Praeneste) is a city where the various ages of history seem the blend togheter into one fascinating testament which includes them all: the Palazzo-Museo Barberini, easily spotted by the visitor situated as it is at the summit of the Temple of Fortune. Set on the southern slopes of the Prenestini Mountains, for ancient people Palestrina had legendary origins. Certainly it is one of the earliest inhabited centres in Lazio and of strategic importance. The place was also famed for the Sanctuary of the Fortuna Primigenia, one of the most imporcant of ancient times, brought back to light by the bombings ofWorId War II which destroyed the buildings which in time had been built over it.

Ingrandisce foto
Destroyed by the ancient Roman Silla, as vengeance for having given hospitality to his rival, Marius, and then again in 1928 and in 1437 in the course of battles between Popes and noble families, but always rebuilt, Palestrina still has ancient edifices in its historic centre, like the Cathedral of Sant'Agapito the youthful martyr who is the local patron saint.

Built in the IX Century and later modified, the church still has its romanesque XII Century steeple and a portal of the XV Cencury with the coast of arms of the Colonna and Della Rovere families. Inside there are paintings by Girolamo Siciolante, Carlo Saraceni and Andrea Camassei, and frescoes by Bruschi. Next to the Palazzo Barberini is the Church of Santa Rosalia, which was consacrated bv Maffeo Barberini in 1660, and where many members of his family are buried. In the sacresty there used to be the so called Pietà di Palestrina by Michelangelo wich, since 1938, has been removed to the Gallerie dell'Accademia in Florence. Palestrina is also where the famous composer of religious music called Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525-1594) was born, inventorof polyphony and to whom we owe over 900 pieces between masses, madrigals and lithanies.

 

 

 



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