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Rieti, capital city of the Lazio province, extends along the Velino River, in a wide area over the Terminillo slopes. Conventionally known as Umbilicus Italiae (the navel of Italy), that is, the geographical centre of the Bel Paese. The city has a flourishing economy that develops in various fields, and it gets its resources from agriculture and industry as well as commerce and tourism. Rieti, originally the capital of the Sabine nation, became part of the Roman domination, to be then sacked by the Saracens and by Roger II of Sicily in the following centuries. The destiny of the area was indissolubly connected to the State of the Church from 1100 onwards, except for a brief Neapolitan period. Among the urban attractions that the city offers to visitors, there are the striking ruins of the ancient Roman Bridge over the Velino, the elegant Palazzo Vescovile (Bishops’ Palace) built in the XIII century, the majestic Romanesque Cathedral, devoted to the Assumption of Virgin Mary, and the characteristic Cloister, an example of Baroque architecture. The interesting masterworks kept at the Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art and the City Museum are also important, as well as the ring of walls from the II century and its traditional four “portas” or gates: Porta Conca, Porta Cintia, Porta d'Arci and Porta Romana. Winter sports lovers can stay at Rieti’s marvellous hotels and restaurants to enjoy the 20-km track for Nordic skiing and the 40-km one to practise Alpine skiing in the excellent facilities on the Reatini Mountains, especially on Mount Terminillo, in Lazio, usually known as “the mountain of Rome”.

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