A Tale of Two Cascades: Exploring Isola del Liri’s Natural Marvels
There is not just one waterfall in the historic center of this incredible town; rather, there are two waterfalls. It is mind-boggling to think that there is a location in Italy that is like that. While we are in the heart of Ciociaria, just a few kilometers away from Sora and the border with Abruzzo, we are in one of the most beautiful villages in the province of Frosinone, which is located in the region of Lazio.
In fact, the historic heart of the village is situated on an island that was formed by the Liri River, which splits into two arms here and will reunite a few hundred meters further south. The name of this settlement, Liri, is derived from the topographical peculiarities of the village.
At an elevation of around 200 meters above mean sea level, the municipality may be found. & is currently populated by roughly 12,000 people; in the past, the area was known by the name Insula Filiorum Petri; after that, it was called Isola di Sora; and since 1869, it has been known by its current name.
Since the 19th century, Isola del Liri has been playing a role that is of main importance for its industrial activity, particularly in the paper sector. It is still possible to take in the architecture of the historic Fibreno-Lefebvre paper mill, which is currently undergoing renovations in preparation for its eventual transformation into a “Museum of the Civilization of Paper and Telecommunications.”
A freshwater aquarium is going to be built in the area that was formerly occupied by the Boimond Paper Mill. At the same time, the buildings that were formerly occupied by the Southern Paper Mills and the S. Francesco Lanificio are going to undergo renovations that will transform them into places where economic and cultural activities will soon take place.
The Boncompagni family had obtained the Duchy of Sora in 1580, which allowed the town to enter a period of prosperity and tranquility. This occurred a significant amount of time before the factories arrived. The Duke of the area selected the local castle as his place of abode; now, the structure, along with a large number of other structures in the region that were constructed at the request of the same family, is considered to be one of the most significant historical sites.
Isola del Liri: What’s to see and do there
Isola del Liri is the only city in Italy that possesses this particular feature, and as a result, it is acclaimed specifically from the perspective of tourism. The waterfalls are, without a doubt, the most notable attraction of the island. It is an amazing 27-meter drop that is immortalized by an unlimited number of photographs, paintings, and films that depict it in all of its falling strength right close to the Castle Boncompagni-Viscogliosi.
The biggest one is located on the eastern arm of the Liri and is known as the Great Cascade (or Vertical Waterfall). In comparison to the Great Cascade, the Valcatoio cascade, which is located on the western side of the river, is not as impressive due to the fact that its waters are controlled and utilized to supply a hydroelectric plant. Not only does the jump have the same difference in altitude (about 27 meters), but it also follows an incline of 17%.
In addition, for this reason, there is a tourist route that leads to the River Park, where you can walk while being accompanied by the remnants of the ancient paper machines. It is indisputable that the power of water was the driving force behind the establishment of industries that utilized machinery that utilized the energy that was generated by the flow of water.
In close proximity to the fork in the Liri is where you will find the Boncompagni-Viscogliosi Castle. It is believed to have originated in the middle ages and served as a defensive bulwark which was intended to protect the entire plain. After some time had passed, it was eventually incorporated into the ducal patrimony of the Della Rovere family, and in the 16th century, it was transferred to the Boncompagni family.
By the seventeenth century, the structure underwent a thorough metamorphosis from a military castle to an elite stately palace. This transformation was accomplished by the addition of paintings and costly embellishments, which significantly altered the structure’s look. Today, the castle, which is privately owned and is currently being used as a residence, is only accessible for visits on some exceptional occasions (including certain days of the FAI), and it is also open for weddings and other special events.
A number of churches can also be found inside the town, including the church of Santa Maria delle Forme, the church of Sant’Antonio, and the church of Santa Maria dei Fiori. The church of San Lorenzo Martire, which dates back to the seventeenth century, is particularly well-known for its altarpiece that dates back to the sixteenth century and its significant organ.
Events and fun things to do
It is not simply processions and festivals that take place in this city; since 1988, the Liri Blues, which is considered to be one of the most significant blues festivals in Italy, has been held there annually. The festival is hosted in the month of July in Piazza de’ Boncompagni, which is its original location despite having been held in several places in previous years. The event is still free of charge and continues to take place in the same location. A partnership between Isola del Liri and New Orleans was established in 1997 with the purpose of showcasing the local enthusiasm for blues music and the significance of the festival.
How to get to Isola del Liri
While traveling along the Liri railway line, the train provides service to Isola del Liri. This route connects Avezzano (L’Aquila) to Roccasecca (Frosinone). As a result of the fact that the line is not electrified and has been subjected to a number of closures and substitutions of the service with buses over the course of its history, it is essential to check the situation before embarking on a journey. In spite of this, the most convenient method to get to Lazio village is probably by automobile. The closest major cities are Sora, which is located seven kilometers away on the SR82, and Frosinone, which is located twenty-two kilometers away on the SR214.