It is said that Saracinesco was founded by a band of Saracen raiders from North Africa around 890 A.D. and penetrated into these hills. The survivors of the battle in which Pope Giovanni X swept the Islamic raiders from the area in 916, settled in what is now Saracinesco (hence its name).
Tradition, however, is not the only testimony to the truth of this origin, in fact before World War II the Saracinesco people, very proud of their origins, still had a distinct dialect, shot through with words derived from Arabic.
It is remarkable that a lot of local surnames derive from Arabic and there are also many typical Arab features in the buildings.
A thousand years later, Ferdinand Gregorovius wrote that the people of Saracinesco still had different customs and dress.
Throughout the Middle Ages, the site was an indomitable stronghold, controlled first by the Benedictine monks of nearby Subiaco and then by the Hohenstaufen family of Svevia, which ruled the greater part of Italy during the 13th century.
Nowadays Saracinesco is the smallest comune or municipality of Lazio with a mere 160 inhabitants.
An impressive complex of buildings which almost looks as if it is one with the surrounding rock...
Patrocinio Comune di Tivoli
Assessorato al Turismo