Cassino

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This industrial, commercial and farming town is located on the plain between the Rapido and Gari rivers. Polygonal walls from the Volsci period are the only surviving traces of the ancient town of Casinum, originally located just outside the modern city. Finds from the same period have also been obtained from the necropolis. Major imperial Roman remains are to be found on the slope of the hill that houses the famous Abbey of MonteCassino. They include an amphitheatre, a theatre and a Greek cross-shaped sepulchre attributed to the Gens Ummida, which was later made into the Cappella del Crocifisso. A great number of statues and inscriptions have been found and now these are displayed in an archaeological museum in the chapel.
HISTORY: The peace between Emperor Frederick II and Pope Gregory IX was signed there in 1230. During World War II (late 1943) the town and the nearby Benedictine abbey of Monte Cassino were strongly defended by Germans blocking the Allied advance on Rome. After five months of concentrated ground attacks and attempts to divert German troops by landings at Anzio and Nettuno, the Allies finally captured the German positions in May, 1944. Cassino was reduced to rubble but was largely rebuilt. Of note is the cathedral (18th century, rebuilt after 1944), which contains the alleged remains of St. Benedict and his sister St. Scholastica. Until 1871, Cassino was called San Germano.


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