Caprarola is located on the eastern side of the “Monte Cimini”, a range of densely wooded volcanic hills overlooking the Tevere valley. Although there are traces of prehistoric settlements in the form of piles in the lake Vico, and some remains of Etruscan and Roman tombs in the place called “Barco”, the first historical documents about Caprarola go back to the year 1223, connected to the existence of a religious brotherhood.
The town is famous for the superb Farnese Palace, built in the 16th century by Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, nephew of Pope Paul III, used as a summer residence. The foundations of this pentagonal fortress became the base upon which the present villa sits and are considered one of the finest examples of Renaissance architecture. The frescoes decorating the “piano nobile” are the most beautiful example of the Italian Mannerist school. It has also been the summer residence of the President of the Republic from 1948 till 1955. Nowdays it hosts a private school and congress centre for Hotel and Restaurant industry.
The area of Caprarola is renowned for its production of choice quality hazelnuts, which are the focus of a festival held at the end of August. Today it is a city that bases its economy on tourism, which offers excellent cuisine and a landscape suited for a variety of trips.