Known until 1933 with the name Leprignano, today Capena, is a town in the province of Rome, situated between the Via Flaminia and Via Salaria, not far from the Via Tiberina, in the middle of the Tiber Valley. Perched on a spur of tuff stone, it was already mentioned by Cicero in "Epistulae ad Familiares", in which the Roman philosopher and statesman praised the fertility of the land ("si vis pingues agros et vineas perge Capenam", which translated means: "if you want fertile fields and vineyards, head towards Capena"), the area was already inhabited, before the Roman colonization, by the Capenati, an Italic tribe, that flourished with its own culture, however, often submitted the influence of neighboring peoples, such as the Etruscans and the Sabines. Between the VII and VI centuries B.C., Capena was annexed to the confederation of the peoples of the Etruscans. Proclaimed Municipium with the Romans, the town increased and maintained for a long time its strategic and economic importance. After the fall of the Roman Empire, it suffered the fury of the barbarian invasions, while the first documents mentioning the name of Capena date back to 854 and 962.
Sites of Interest:
- the remains of the Shrine of Lucus Feroniae, dedicated to the worship of the Italic goddess Feronia, protector of freed slaves and fertility, and famous for its wealth, the shrine was plundered by the troops of Hannibal in 211 B.C.;
- the Necropolis of San Martino, of Saliere and of Monte Cornazzano;
- the Palace of the Monaci, whose original structure dates back to the Middle Ages, it was remodeled during the Renaissance, assuming its present structure and losing its original defense installations;
- the XVI century Clock Tower, with its richly decorated façade;
- the Church of San Leone, whose earliest records date back to the XIII century, is now attached to the nearby cemetery built in 1880. Probably built between the VIII-IX centuries, on the remains of an existing Roman building, of which the materials were reused, with narrow windows that have no space for the glass. Divided into two aisles, it preserves several frescoes, the oldest of which dates back to year 1000;
- the XVIII century Church of St. Anthony, deconsecrated in the 50s, it is situated in the main town center, preceded by a staircase, at whose feet stands a niche containing a lion's head dating from the Roman period, leaning on a column;
- the Church of San Michele Arcangelo, built in the early XX century, is the Parish Church of Capena. It features a basilica plan with three naves and contains the famous wooden triptych of the Savior, attributed to the artist Antonio da Viterbo, in pure Gothic style;
- the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, built in the early XVIII century and contains two splendid XVIII century wooden canopies, gilded with gold;
- the small and charming Chapel of San Marco.