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  • Car rental in Anagni, the birthplace of popes

    Anagni is a small ancient town in Lazio region in the central part of Italy. The town comfortably sits on the hill watching over beautiful green valleys. People loved this location from the olden days– there are remnants of human settlements dated by the Stone Age in this area. You can hire a car in Anagni and have a look at picturesque surroundings with traces of prehistoric human activities.

    For a number of centuries it was the main city of the Hernici tribe. They built a lot of temples and sanctuaries, traded with the Etruscans and Greek colonies. Contacts with Rome also contributed to the growth and flourishing of the town. Roman emperors built residencies in Anagni to escape summer heat of Rome. Later many rich Roman residents practised the same, including the popes. Every town would be happy to have such tourists and investors as they affect economy, architecture and infrastructure in the most favourable way.

    The 13th century was the golden age of the town. For 100 years four popes were born in Anagni – Innocent III, Gregory IX, Alexander IV and Boniface VIII. Each of them aspired to do something for their hometown – and many more beautiful buildings were built there. In the Middle Ages the city was looted many times by various invaders. But large part of its historical treasures survived until nowadays. Car rental in Anagni is a convenient way to explore the town, but it would be better to walk in the central older part with its narrow winding streets and steep lanes.

    One of the main sights is the Papal Palace with impressive collection of historical exhibits. This is the place of the most scandalous incident in the history of Vatican. In the beginning of the 14th century a conflict related to taxes started between the Pope Boniface VIII and the King of France Philip the Fair. The king sent his men to arrest the Pope and remove him from his office. The French army of two thousand mercenaries invaded Anagni, the Pope was caught and slapped in the face in his own palace by one of the French knights. But in three days heroic residents of Anagni rioted, liberated the Pope and expelled the invaders.

    Other numerous monuments of architecture are also worth looking at. The Cathedral of Anagni in Romanesque style with later Gothic additions has a crypt with beautiful frescoes. Casa Gigli, or Barnekow House, is a gem of medieval architecture. In the 19th century the house was bought and carefully restored by Swedish artist Albert Barnekow. Villa Magna built by Roman emperor Antonius Pius demonstrates signs of bygone imperial glory.

    Car hire in Anagni offers an excellent opportunity to get acquainted with glorious past and well-off present of this Italian town.