Hi Anon ! I am sorry that it has taken me so long to get back to you regarding your question about Zagarolo. I am very glad to hear that you and your family are weel and happy--and possibly planning TWO trips to Florence next year!!! Now I am jealous ! It looks like we will be definitely waiting until October or November to return to Italy. We have decided to visit my little grandson again in the spring, so Italy will have to wait.
I wrote a fairly long thread about Zagarolo this morning on the Rome forum. It seems as though you are not the only one who was curious about that town ! I will try to give you a short summary though.
Zagarolo is a medieval town built on the site of an imperial villa and they have discovered many antiquities there. The town is built on a ridge and dates to the 12th and 13th century. It is about a mile long with one main road rinning through the middle. It is the small town that I was looking for. No tourists,only a handful of shops,medieval buildings,gorgeous views,wonderful people, and filled with palpable memories.
I knew very little about Zagarolo until I returned home and did more research, yet I was able to feel it while walking through the streets. It seems to be like many other very small towns in Italy, with a mixture of people who work hard, people who are poor, people who believe in carrying on the traditions of Italy and their little town, and probably a few who have more wealth.However, I couldn't sense that there is much money in this town.I now know that about 80% of the people in Zagarolo commute to Rome everyday for work.
I only recently discovered that the great Caravaggio fled first to Zagarolo before going to Naples and Sicily, and indeed he did two paintings in the Palazzo Rospigliosi in Zagarolo. I do also know that the town has had it's share of nobility and prominent historical figures, especially being that it is such a tiny city. The Colonna family owned and ruled the city for many years, and later the Rospigliosi family gained control of it.The Palazzo is actually a ducal palace. Sixtus V lived there for a while to preside over the progress of the aqueduct, Acqua Felice, which was vital to Rome.
So, now you know !! It sounds like a city that I would fall in love with, doesn't it ??!!??
Hope you have a wonderful holiday season. I will not be on here very much as I am preparing, with great anticipation, for our family's Christmas.
If I don't get to "talk" to you much for the next week, please know that you are always in my thoughts !! You are definitely one of my Angels.
Ciao cara !!