A little gem in Frosinone, near Rome
San Donato Val di Comino is a commune and town located in the Lazio region of Italy in the province of Frosinone. The town is located close to Rome and Frosinone. San Donato Val di Comino is spread out over an area of 35 sq km and has a population of close to 2167.
According to scholars, the history of San Donato Val Di Comino dates back to the Romans and the region had been dominated by Romans, Lombards and various noble families and royalties over the centuries. The town is known for its ancient houses and monuments, built on the slopes of the surrounding mountains.
Attractions in San Donato Val di Comino
Porta Dell’Orologio is the ancient gate that was once the main entry point for the town. The gate was a part of the extensive fortification built around the town for defense. The gate was built around the 13th century and has been restored a few times since then. There are three crosses located under the gate: according to legends, these crosses represent three bandits who were hung at the gate in the 16th century.
Sanctuary of San Donato
The Sanctuary of San Donato
The sanctuary of San Donato is the most important place to visit in San Donato Val di Comino. The origin of the sanctuary dates back to a little Benedictine Abbey which was mentioned in an ancient document in 778 AD. The sanctuary was later renovated and expanded over the years in the 17th and the 18th centuries. Inside the building is a single nave with two aisles and a vault that has been decorated and gilded. The sanctuary had beautiful paintings and frescoes that depict scenes from the life of the martyrs in Rieti.
The ancient Torre of San Donato was built in the 13th century. It is located close to the sanctuary, and was built by the counts of Acquino. The tower, squared shaped and built on the highest point of the village, was used a defense fortification, as well as a place to provide directions to travellers.
Duomo of San Donato Val di Comino
The Duomo of San Donato was originally built in the 14th century and was later expanded and renovated in the 18th , which gives it its clearly baroque outlook. Inside, music lovers will be stunned by a beautiful pipe organ, the faithful by the presence of the holy remains of Saint Costanza.
Palazzo Quadrari is located close to the Duomo and was built in the 18th century. This large palace has a beautiful architecture, designed by the masters of the Vanvitelli School with Roman epigraphs located close to the “stairs of honor”. San Donato has several such beautiful palaces that had once been built by the wealthy residents of the town.
Getting to San Donato Val di Comino
San Donato Val di Comino is located quite close to Rome and Frosinone. Visitors can get a bus to the town from either of these cities, from the main bus stations. Buses generally leave for San Donato Val di Comino every few hours and tickets are available at the station. The town is also connected to the other smaller towns in the province through the state buses. The easiest way is to drive down to the town from Rome or from Frosinone, the A1 MI-NA expressway Sora-Alvito-San Donato is the easiest route to reach the town. Those coming from Forca d’Acero can take the State road 509.
Moving Around San Donato Val di Comino
San Donato Val di Comino is a very small town; there are only a few places to visit, all concentrated close to its historic center. Those who have their own cars can easily drive around the town since parking is not much of a problem. Exploring the town on foot is also quite convenient and easy, since the streets here are not very crowded. The local buses in San Donato Val di Comino cover the main parts of town. These buses are mainly used by the locals and visitors can travel through them quite easily.
Stay and Accommodation
San Donato Val di Comino is a very small town, so there are only a few hotels and Bed & Breakfasts. Because of its proximity to Frosinone and Rome, most people prefer to stay there and come to San Donato as a day excursion. However, if you wish to stay overnight, check out Hotel La Grotte, especially if you are a golf lover, the Hotel Villa Grancassa and II Bruco B&B.
Eating in San Donato Val di Comino
There are very few restaurants and pizzerias in San Donato Val di Comino, most of which are family run. The restaurants in town are quite small and have a casual and laid back atmosphere. The food served is mostly Italian and regional. Some well known places in San Donato Val di Comino are the Trattoria Capolavalle Di Tammelleo Aquilino, La Grotte Di Cence Silvana and Ristorante La Pieja. Other than these, there are a few taverns in town where light lunch dishes are available.
Shopping in San Donato Val di Comino
There are only a few places in San Donato Val di Comino where visitors can shop. The old section of the town has some shops and old markets that sell products for daily use to the locals. The weekly markets in town are colorful and lively and a good place to find some inexpensive souvenirs. There are also a couple of shopping streets in town, lined with small shops selling clothes, jewelry, bags and hand made products.