Pastena (whose name derives from the verb "pastinare", to cultivate) is a small town in the province of Frosinone, located a short distance from the inner layers of the Ausoni Mountains. A small settlement, that belonged to the Volsci, which was later conquered by the Romans, but of which, the first documents of its existence date only from the XI century. Last possession of the Kingdom of Naples, near the border with the Papal States, in the X century its territory became part of the Duchy of Fondi that, in 1153, was proclaimed County by Riccardo Dell'Aquila. In the XIII century the town was ceded to the Caetani, followed in the XV century by the Colonna and, in 1591, it was incorporated into the fief of the Patriarch. In the XVIII century the lands became a possession of the Marquis Casali del Drago, until it was ceded to last local lords of Pastena.
Sites of Interest:
- the suggestive Caverns (Grotte) of Pastena, discovered in 1926 by the Roman Speleological Club. Located within the chain of the Ausoni mountains, they the result of a long and continuous erosion produced water from an underground river;
- the medieval walls (approx. 615 meters) interspersed with a series of circular and square shaped watchtowers and two main entrance gates (Porta Napoli and Porta Roma);
- the boundary stones that delimited the Papal States from the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies;
- the little Church of Our Lady of Stains, located on the border with the territory of Falvaterra and features an octagonal plan;
- the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore, flanked by a Romanesque Bell Tower;
- the Church of St. Anthony of Padua, dating back to XV-XVI centuries;
- the Church of Santa Maria al Parco, with Bramante style features, currently desecrated, it is the seat of the theater dedicated to Italian actor Nino Manfredi, who grew up near to Pastena;
- the Museum of Farming and of the Olive Tree Cultivation.