The cathedral, with its Romanesque bell tower, is dedicated to Sant' Agapito, the local patron saint, a young Praenestino member of the noble Anicia family of Palestrina. It was a follower of Christianity during the reign of Aureliano, martyred in the amphitheatre of Palestrina because he was a Christian. The date of his death is sometimes given as August 18, 274.
His relics were translated to the cathedral where are still venerated from the faithful.
The original church dates back to the 4th century BC when it was constructed over ruins of a pagan edifice (a civil basilica) and enriched with costly gifts by Leo III. Secundus, Bishop of Palestrina. In the 12th century Cardinal Conone commissioned the cathedral to be enlarged according to Roman style.
Over the course of time, many other modifications were made, giving the cathedral its present appearance.
In 1882, during a reconstruction of the cathedral of S. Agapito, was found an ancient pavement in a street back of the cathedral, and many pieces of Doric columns which must have been from the peristile of the basilica. The cathedral has a portal of the XV Century with the coast of arms of the Colonna and Della Rovere Families. Inside the cathedral there are paintings by Girolamo Siciolante, Carlo Saraceni and Andrea Camassei, and frescoes by Bruschi.
An impressive complex of buildings which almost looks as if it is one with the surrounding rock...
Patrocinio Comune di Tivoli
Assessorato al Turismo