On the foothills of the Sabine mountains, overlooking the countryside that stretches all the way to Rome, a solitary tower stands guard above the hamlet of Catino, which is part of the town of Poggio Catino.
Poggio Catino is named after the enormous karstic sinkhole that hides beneath the hamlet and has helped make the site a formidable fortress. In the early Middle Ages, the area marked the border between the Roman/Byzantine territory of Rome and the Lombard duchy of Spoleto, and one of the main thoroughfares through the mountains.
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