Its origins are ancient, and after the arrival of the Romans (IV century BCE) the area became part of what was then called the Sannio Region. Under the control of the larger surrounding cities, first Spoleto and then Cascia, it was linked to their history. The more powerful families defended it during the Middle Ages, building the four castles of Poggiodomo, Usigni, Mucciafora and Roccatamburo. When it came under the control of the Papal States, during the reign of Pope Urban VIII it enjoyed its most flourishing period. It became a comune in 1809 under the reign of Napoleon and managed to remain politically independent even after it was once again enveloped by the Papal Restoration. In 1860 it became a part of the unified State of Italy.
ART AND CULTURE
The centre of Poggiodomo has various fascinating buildings, like the castle (XIII-XIV century), the Church of San Pietro (XIV century), with interesting frescoes painted between the XVI and XVIII century, and the Church of San Carlo Borromeo (1633), home to nine wooden Baroque altars from the XVII and XVIII century.
Well worth a visit, in the surrounding area, are the hermitage of the Madonna della Stella, a mystic place of refuge and contemplation, and the Church of San Bartolomeo in Mucciafora.
In Usigni, known as the city-palazzo for the quality of the buildings constructed here at the behest of Cardinal Fausto Poli, secretary to Pope Urban VIII, is the Church of San Salvatore, built between 1631 and 1644 by Cardinal Poli with a XVI century façade bearing the heraldic shield of Pope Urban VIII, and Palazzo Poli, the cardinal's elegant residence.