“History and territory of Cisterna di Latina”

map of the Roman agro, the vast rural area that houses the Sant'Eufemia Farm very important for the history and territory of Cisterna di Latina

Sant’Eufemia is composed of three distinct land units, located in Cisterna di Latina:
The first one, located in the Doganella di Ninfa area;
The second, in the area called
“Colle della Villa”;
The last, but largest land, in the ‘Valle Abate” area, near Lanuvio and Velletri.
The latter terrain is particularly important from an “historical” point of view. We are in fact in the presence of a company that has given life to two fractions, two inhabited nucleuses within the municipal territory, very important for the history and territory of Cisterna di Latina, these two fractions are called “Le Castella” and “17 Rubbie “.
These fractions are born of peasants, first with the assignment, to the laborers employed in the company, of half a hectare of land for the needs of the family (Le Castella), then (17 Rubbie) through the redemption of the emphyteusis contracts of the extension of 17 land rubbish (rubbio is an ancient unit of measurement of agricultural land, equal to 184.8 acres).

Coat of arms of Cisterna di Latina, you can see the depiction of the Tres Tabernae on the emblem

The companies are located in the municipality of Cisterna di Latina. The archaeological remains brought to light south-east of the municipal territory mean that its origin is associated with the ancient post station called Tres Tabernae (in Italian: Tre Taverne or botteghe), a locality of ancient Lazio that stood on the Via Appia. The symbol of the Tres Tabernae is also shown in the city emblem.

Just around this important place of refreshment, marked in ancient maps as “thermal baths”, a thriving inhabited center arose, cited by Cicero who often stayed there citing it in 3 letters written in 61 and 59 a.C. and, in which also St. Paul, according to the Acts of the Apostles, during the journey from Tarsus to Rome, stayed for one night meeting the Roman Christians who came to meet him. Perhaps for this reason it was elected episcopal seat already in the early Christian age. The position of Tres Tabernae is reported on the Tabula Peutingeriana.
The Peutingeriana Table or Tabula Peutingeriana is a 12th-13th century copy of an ancient Roman map showing the military routes of the Roman Empire.

Over time, with the progress of the swamp, the inhabitants of Tres Tabernae decided to move over a small hill over the course of time called Terra di Cisterna. Tradition has it that this name derives from an ancient cistern in the territory, built by Emperor Nero to supply his villa in Antium with water, a tradition that gave rise to the medieval toponym Cisterna Neronis, another name of the village in the Middle Ages. This cistern would still exist in the basement of the sixteenth century Palazzo Caetani, which rose on the top of the hill. This theory would seem to be confirmed by some recent archaeological finds of Roman hydraulic works found in the historical center of the city, a few meters from Palazzo Caetani.

Within the territory of Cisterna di Latina extends, on about 8 hectares, the Garden of Ninfa , a beautiful English garden created in 1921 by Gelasio Caetani. The oasis has been declared a Natural Monument by the Lazio Region in 2000 in order to protect the historical garden of international fame, the habitat of the Ninfa river, the lake formed by it and the marvelous surrounding areas that constitute the natural protective frame of the whole complex. Inside the garden of Ninfa you will find varieties of deciduous magnolias, birches, marsh iris and a sensational variety of Japanese maples, also in spring the cherry trees and ornamental apple trees bloom spectacularly. Many varieties of climbing roses are supported by the ruins and extend the long, vigorous branches on the trees. The shrub roses border the river, the streams, the paths or form flowerbeds.

History and territory of Cisterna di Latina, via Appia Antica and Giardini di Ninfa, this territory is located The Azienda Agricola Sant'Eufemia

The particularly mild climate of Ninfa also allows the cultivation of tropical plants. Exciting story of Ninfa, repeatedly destroyed and rebuilt, fought for years between the Borgia family and the Caetani. Only at the end of the nineteenth century did the latter regain possession of the territories of the area, and in the early years of the following century Gelasio Caetani reclaimed the land and restored some ruins to make it a summer residence, such as the baronial palace which now houses the offices of the Roffredo Caetani Foundation . The realization of the garden was guided above all by sensitivity and feeling, following a free, spontaneous, informal direction, without established geometry. Marguerite Chapin, wife of Roffredo Caetani, with sensitivity cured the garden by introducing new species of shrubs and roses and in the thirties of the twentieth century opened its doors to the important circle of writers and artists linked to the magazines she founded, “Commerce” and ” Botteghe Oscure “, as an ideal place to get inspired. The Garden becomes a source of inspiration for many famous artists including Virginia Woolf, Truman Capote, Gabriele D’Annunzio and Giuseppe Ungaretti. Wealth of the Pontine and lepine territory, property of the Roffredo Caetani Foundation, the garden can be visited in some periods of the year, so that the delicate environmental balance is preserved and is part of the system of the Affiliated Oasis of WWF.