Known as Castel Vecchio (Old Castle) until 1864, Castel di Tora assumed its present name in memory of an ancient "pagus" (Sabine village), called Thora. It is a charming picturesque village in the province of Rieti, located in the Turano valley, overlooking the lake with the same name. Mentioned for the first time in a document just after the year one thousand (1035), it arose due to the phenomenon of 'fortification', and became a possession of the Abbey of Farfa, a donation of the Lombard Lords Rusticelli-Guidoni. Later it was ceded to the Buzi-Brancaleoni, the Mareri, the Orsini, the Estouteville and, finally, to the Borghese. Conrad of Swabia took refuge here after the defeat of Piani Paletini (1268).
Although several findings are of Roman times, the urban layout of the village has a clear and strong medieval imprint.
Sites of Interest:
- the XI century octagonal Tower of the Fortress, built on a spur overlooking the main centre;
- the Watchtowers of Via Turano and Via Cenci (XV century);
- the Dragon's Castle and the Palace of the Dragon;
- the district of Antinu, which stretches out on the lake;
- the Baroque Church of San Giovanni Battista, which preserves valuable with frescoes;
- the Monastery of Sant'Anatolia, once the Summer residence of the Greek-Orthodox Pontifical College, with a beautiful church, mentioned for the first time in a papal bull of 1153;
- the remains of Roman columns and contemporary inscriptions;
- the beautiful views, the paved streets and lanes, the stone portals of the noble palaces.