Molina-Castelvecchio Subequo

The station of Molina-Castelvecchio Subequo serves the two municipalities of Molina Aterno and Castelvecchio Subequo. It was opened in 1875.

The two villages are located in the Aterno valley.

Molina is located in the beautiful setting of the San Venanzio gorges, in an area that is both rugged and picturesque. 

The human presence in the area since the Italic period is attested by the cyclopean walls of Mandra Murata – on the mountain east of Molina – and Colle Castellano, as well as the discovery in the area of bucchero pottery dating back to the 6th century BC, tombs, walls and mosaics, capitals and Roman epigraphs. An archaeological excavation in 1877 near the railway station uncovered a cippus dedicated to Hercules from the 1st century BC. 

The village of Molina probably developed around the three-storey watchtower. Between the 13th and 18th centuries, the tower was incorporated into the baronial Palazzo Piccolomini, but subsequent extensive renovations, completed in the 18th century, permanently erased all traces of it.

Places of historical and artistic interest are the religious buildings and palaces. The Church of Saint Nicholas of Bari is a classic example of the adaptation of medieval architecture to Baroque taste. Built in the 12th century, it was extensively remodelled in the 17th century and definitively rebuilt after the 1703 earthquake. Despite the 17th and 18th century additions, the lunette and the main portal still show traces of Abruzzo Romanesque art.

Evocative of its location is the Church of the Madonna del Colle. It was built on a hill overlooking the medieval village in the 16th century, as the inscription on the portal dated 1517 testifies. The building has been remodelled several times over the centuries and only two Renaissance elements remain: the portals, both of which bear the symbol of Saint Bernardine of Siena, the Christogram “IHS”.

Lastly, worthy of note is Palazzo Piccolomini. unicumIt is unique: it was built on the remains of the old castle of Molina, which was transformed from a military fortress into a noble residence over the centuries. The building has a large porticoed courtyard, a Renaissance balcony and an ashlar portal. In the 17th century, the Pietropaoli barons asked for the building to be enlarged, which can be seen in the addition of residential buildings around the courtyard. The coat of arms of the Pietropaoli family is visible on the entrance portal, as well as the rusticated ashlar exterior and the vaulted interior.

Castelvecchio Subequo stands on a hilltop within the Sirente–Velino Regional Park.

Of ancient origin, Castelvecchio preserves the archaeological heritage of Superaequum, one of the main sites of the Paeligni tribe.

There are numerous archaeological finds from the Peligni, Roman and early Christian eras, such as the remains of a temple dedicated to Hercules Victor, the remains of baths, aqueducts and fortifications, as well as a remarkable catacomb cemetery from the 4th century. 

Project by Riattivati Youth Cultural Association 

With contributions from: FAI – Fondo per l’Ambiente Italiano ETS, INTESA SANPAOLO, Rotary Club Rieti 

Thanks To the promotion comittee: Amici di Rieti, Associazione Culturale Giovanile Riattivati,  Rotary Club Rieti e Associazione Collezionisti “Sabatino Fabi”