Montevirginio: history and Olmata
Montevirginio originated from the ancient rural settlement of farmers who, at the end of the 16th century, were called by the local feudal lords, the Orsini family, to deforest and subsequently cultivate the lands of Monte Sassano. The Duke, Virginio Orsini, then had them move further downstream with respect to the first settlement, in order to build the splendid Hermitage of the Discalced Carmelites. The newly-built settlement was called Montevirginio, in honour of the donor of the new land. This new town, like today, developed around Piazza Sant’Egidio, from which four roads – headed to Oriolo, Monterano, Canale and the new Hermitage, respectively – departed. When the Altieri family acquired the feud, they connected Montevirginio directly with their palace in Oriolo by means of a beautiful alley bordered with a double row of elms, called the Olmata, which is still existing and well identifiable even from above, although the original elms – which afterwards withered over time – were replaced by oaks.