Castelnuovo di Porto is a charming medieval hill town situated 25 km North East of Rome and is one of the few unspoiled historical centres close to the capital. The village was built around an imposing medieval castle called Rocca Colonna. During the course of history Rocca Colonna was contested by several noble and even papal families and eventually became the property of the Colonna family, giving the castle its name.
After the second world war the castle was used as a prison until the 1960s. It has now been skillfully restored to its former splendor and has many frescoed rooms which everyone can enjoy. The castle is open to the public for numerous cultural events such as theatre, concerts and art exhibitions.
The village, located in the area pertaining to the Parco di Veio, between two narrow valleys crossed by the Fosso Chiarano and the Fosso della Mola, has an enchanting old historic centre, that is the result of a century-old history. Originally,it was a medieval fortress, controlled by the powerful Colonna family up to the 16th century.
In the area of Castelnuovo di Porto, in via Pian Braccone you can find Belmonte di Castelnuovo di Porto, a charming insight into the typical landscape of the Roman countryside, where you can see different species of animals along with Etruscan and medieval archaeological artifacts. There is also a picnic area where you can relax and enjoy all of what the area has to offer.
The reference to Porto in the name of Castelnuovo is most likely due to the town being included in the diocese of Porto, which was held by a senior Cardinal. Castelnuovo was for many centuries a fiefdom of the Colonna, one of a few this powerful family had north of Rome.
Towards the end of the XVIth century the Colonna had significant financial difficulties and Castelnuovo became a direct possession of Camera Apostolica, the body of the Papal State in charge of the fiscal system. This explains why in 1624 a coat of arms of Pope Urban VIII was placed on one of the side walls of the castle.
The Cardinals of Porto were keen on providing the inhabitants of Porto with well kept churches.