Arpino is a small commune and town located in the province of Frosinone in central Italy. The town is spread over an area of 56 sq km and has a population of approximately 7600. Aprino is located 46 km from the city of Frosinone, which is the capital of the province. Aprino is basically a hill town, located at an altitude of 450 meters above the sea level.
The history of Arpino goes back to 7th century BC according to scholars. The locals of the town were connected to the Volscian, Samnite and Pelasgi. The town was captured by the Romans around 305 BC and was turned into a suffrage later. Arpino received a status of a municipium in 90 BC. The legendary Cicero and Gaius Merius were both the natives of the town.
The strategic position of Arpino made it a coveted land which was passed from many hands over the centuries. The town was seized by several, including the Normans and had also been destroyed and rebuilt several times over the centuries.
Attractions in Arpino
The Church of San Michele Arcangelo
The church of San Michele Arcangelo is one of the most important religious places in Arpino. The church is located in the main Piazza of Arpino. The church has been constructed at the site of an ancient pagan temple which was dedicated to Apollo and the nine muses. The church has been standing at this location for centuries but had to be renovated in the 17th century after it was damaged by an earthquake. The interior of the church is Baroque with three naves and different chapels. There are various beautiful paintings inside the church including a Madonna with child and a large wooden sculpture.
Church of Santa Maria Di Civita
The church of Santa Maria Di Civita has been built on a site of an ancient pagan temple that was dedicated to Mercury Lanner. The original tower of the temple had been converted to a bell tower when the church was built. The interior is beautifully decorated with glass windows, various paintings and a carved and gilded organ.
The Church of San Andrea
The Church of San Andrea was destroyed and then rebuilt in the 13th century after which it has been renovated several times over the centuries. The interior of the church has three naves and a beautiful altar pieces. Several paintings and frescoes adorn the interior of the church which have been made by famous artists over the centuries.
Museum of Archeology of the Wool Industry
Since the Roman times, Arpino has been famous for its wool and the museum of archeology showcases the history of the evolution of the wool industry in the region. The museum has a collection of ancient equipments and machinery that were used in the past times to make woolen clothes.
Getting to Arpino
Arpino is located close to Frosinone, Rome and Naples. Arpino does have a train station; all the trains running on the Rome to Naples route stop in Arpino. Visitors can easily reach the town by trains since there are plenty of trains that run on this route every day. Another great way to reach Arpino is by buses. The state buses that run in the region connect the nearby cities and towns like Frosinone, Rome, Naples and Sora to Arpino. At least 5 to 6 buses depart from all these locations every day. Another way to reach Arpino is road, for those travelling from Rome and Naples the A1 highway connects to Arpino. From the Adriatic coast the A24 motorway connects to Arpino.
Moving Around the Town
The easiest way to move around in Arpino is by foot. Arpino is quite a small town and there aren’t many places to visit. Almost all the major tourist places can be visited on foot. There are also a few pedestrian only areas and streets in Arpino which are quite picturesque, so walking around town is quite enjoyable. Another option is to travel by the local buses or to move around in car. Those who have their own car can easily explore the town by car since parking is easily available in almost all areas.
Stay and Accommodation
Arpino is a small town, and one that does not attract many tourists. For this reason, there are only a few hotels in town. In fact, it is because of this reason that many visitors like to come to Arpino to enjoy its traditional lifestyle. There are a few small hotels, Bed & Breakfasts and also two spiritual retreats in Arpino for visitors. Most of these are located close to the main piazza around the center of the town. Some of the hotels to try while in Arpino are Hotel Cavalier D’Arpino, Hotel Il Ciclope, Belsito, La Staccionata and Belvedere.
Eating in Arpino
Arpino has many good places to dine out. The region still uses age old recipes that have been handed down from generations and food here is simple but delicious. Most food items in Arpino, including bread, are made the old fashioned way which makes Arpino an enjoyable place for food lovers. All hotels in town have their own restaurants; beside these there are plenty of pizzerias and bars in Arpino where locals generally like to eat. Some of the best restaurants to try in Arpino are Belvedre, Baccolini, Bellavista and Da Peppino.
Shopping in Arpino
There are quite a lot of small shops in Arpino close to the main piazza where visitors can find many items to purchase. Since Roman times Arpino has been famous for its wool and its woolen clothes so the best thing to purchase from here would be a locally made cashmere sweater or other woolen clothing items. Another great thing to purchase in Arpino would be locally made olive oil since the olive grooves around the town are known to produce excellent quality olives. Most food shops in town store local brands of olive oil.