Fondi


Fondi

Infobox CityIT
official_name = Comune di Fondi
img_coa = Fondi-Stemma.png img_coa_small =


image_caption =
region = RegioneIT|sigla=LAZ
province = ProvinciaIT (short form)|sigla=LT (LT)
mayor =
mayor_party =
elevation_footnotes =
elevation_m = 8
area_footnotes =
area_total_km2 = 142
population_footnotes =
population_as_of = 31-12-04
population_total = 34910
pop_density_footnotes =
population_density_km2 = 246
coordinates = coord|41|21|0|N|13|25|0|E|region:IT_type:city(34910)
gentilic = Fondani
telephone = 0771
postalcode = 04022
frazioni = San Magno, Cocuruzzo, San Raffaele, Sant'Andrea, Selva Vetere, Salto di Fondi, Querce, Fasana, Gegni, Passignano, Curtignano, Sant'Oliva, Vardito, Rene
saint = ??St Honoratus of Fondi? (Sant' Onorato)
day = ??10 October
mapx = #expr:41 + 21 / 60.0
mapy = #expr:13 + 25 / 60.0
locator_position =
native_name = Fondi
name = Fondi
website = http://www.comune.fondi.lt.it/

Fondi is a city and comune in the province of Latina (Lazio, Italy), halfway between Rome and Naples. Before the construction of the highway between the latter cities in the late 1950s, Fondi had been an important settlement on the Roman Via Appia, which was the main connection from Rome to much of southern Italy.

Geography

Fondi is the main town of the Plain of Fondi ("Piana di Fondi" in Italian), a small plain between the Ausoni and Aurunci mountains and the Tyrrhenian Sea. The plain includes three lakes and is agriculturally very fertile. Most in evidence are greenhouses for the production of early crops for sale in Rome. The 15-km (10mi) sandy beach stretches from Sperlonga in the South-East to Terracina in the North-West and lies along the Gulf of Gaeta, with views (when the weather is clear) to the Pontine Islands. It is marked by a somehow well-preserved, typical Mediterranean coastal dune landscape.

The territory of Fondi is partially included in the Regional Natural Park of Monti Aurunci.

History

Fondi has an ancient history, beginning with early settlements about 1000 BC: later the area was settled by the Italic tribes of Aurunci and, subsequently, Volsci. According to the legend, it would have been founded by Hercules in memory of the killing of Cacus.

The first historical reference to Fondi dates to 338 BC, at the time of the Latin War, when its inhabitants (together with those of the nearby Formiae) gained minor Roman citizenship status ("civitas sine suffragio"). After a failed attempt of revolt led by Vitruvius Vaccus (330 BC), Fondi remained a Roman prefecture; later (188 BC) it received full citizeship, with a government led by 3 aediles.

The importance of Fondi lied in its position across the old Via Appia, began in 312 BC, which was for more than two millennia the main roadway from Rome to southern Italy. The historical center and surrounding wall of Fondi form still today a square, like in the Roman camp walls, whose decumanus was formed by the city tract of the Via Appia.

After the Gothic War and the Lombard conquest of Italy, Fondi remained a dominion of the Eastern Roman Empire. Later a part of the Papal States, in 846 it was burnt out by the Saracen coming from their fortress of Garigliano: they settled there until they were defeat in the Battle of Circeus of 877, and Fondi was switched to the Duchy of Gaeta.

In 1140 Fondi passed to the Dell'Aquila family, of Norman heritage, and then, in 1299, to the powerful Caetani barons (in the person of Loffredo Caetani, nephew of Pope Boniface VIII), who made it for two centuries the centre of their power, and a centre of artistical development as well. In 1378 the powerful Count Onorato I Caetani summoned here the conclave in which the cardinals elected Clement VII against Urban VI (Western Schism).

The Caetani lost Fondi after the Charles VIII of France's expedition to southern Italy, and it was assigned to the condottiero Prospero Colonna. Under the Colonna the city met another period of artistical and cultural splendour, thanks of the court held by Giulia Gonzaga, who lived in Fondi between 1526 and 1534.

In 1534, Fondi was sacked by Barbarossa, who was seeking to kidnap the beautiful Giulia and bring her as a gift to his emperor Suleiman. However, she managed to escape. Another sack followed in 1594, starting the decline of the city, which had in the meantime passed to the Carafa of Stigliano. In 1720 Fondi was acquired by the di Sangro family.

In 1818 the declining city, surrounded by marshes affected by malaria and brigantage, lost the bishopric seat existing there since the very early years of Christianism.

Economy

Agriculture in the area around Fondi has been always favoured by the presence of abundant water sources and by the climatic conditions. The traditional production of agrumes has been recently supplanted by that of vegetables and fruit.

Fondi is the seat of an important market for agriculture and food products which distribute some 1 million tons of agriculture products every year.

Main sights

Fondi's main sights include:
*The Castle, with a characteristical round tower standing up to more than 30 meters, symbol of the city. The castle was built in the 14th century by Onorato I Caetani over a stretch of ancient Roman walls. In the 16th century it was the seat of Giulia Gonzaga's court of literates and artists. Since 1987 it houses the City's Museum.
*The adjacent "Palazzo del Principe" ("Prince's Palace"), constructed in 1466-1477 and attributed to the Catalan architect Matteo Forcimanya. Its portals, the bifora, the court and the loggiato forma an interesting synthesis of Catalan-Gothic and Angevine architectures.
*The Cathedral of St. Peter (Duomo, 14th century), built over a Roman edifice, identified as a temple of Jupiter. It houses the sepulchre of Cristoforo Caetani, a marble bishop cathedra and Cosmatesque pulpit from the 13th century, an "Annunciation Tryptych" by Cristoforo Scacco and "Majesty with St. Peter and St. Paul" by Antoniazzo Romano.
*The "Collegiata di Santa Maria Assunta", preceded by a wide staircase and built in the 15th century by Onorato II Caetani. It has a Latin cross plant, with an aisle and two naves: main points of interests are a cyborium from 1491 and the venerated statue of the "Madonna of the Sky".
*The medieval churches of "San Domenico" and "San Francesco".

ee also

*Caetani
*Giulia Gonzaga
*Lake Fondi

External links

* [http://www.comune.fondi.lt.it/ Official page for the government of Fondi] it icon


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