Labro

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The origin of Labro as a place-name has been variously interpreted. Some say that it derives from the Latin "aper, aprum", wild boar, in reference to a legend which has it that, while hunting one day, a patrician, a member of the De' Nobili family, from the zone of Rieti, vowed to build a castle on the site of his first kill. In fact, even today, Labro's coat of arms carries a wild boar under an oak tree. Another version, perhaps the more credible, derives the name of Labro from the Latin "lavabrum", or basin, an account of the locality's proximity to the lake of Piediluco, once much bigger than it is now and probably contiguous with the town of Labro itself.
In the 10th century, the castle of Labro is mentioned as having been constructed by the De' Nobili after the model of the Rocca di Spoleto. When, in the year 956, the German emperor, Otto I, nominates Aldobrandino De' Nobili lord of this and twelve other castles located between the Duchy of Spoleto and the county of Rieti, Labro entered its feudal period. Indeed, the medieval age left Labro little peace. In fact, the battles waged in this period gave the town a highly belligerant reputation. Innumerable contests were fought against the neighbouring castles. Especially violent were those against the Rocca di Luco.
In the second half of the 15th century, the De' Nobili family lost control of Labro, whose previously invincible heights (now the site on which the church stands) were surmounted by a great tower wich afforded a view of the very heart of Italy. The ancient De' Nobili family now retained control of nothing more than the castle-walls, within which, in the 16th century, Giordano De' Nobili built the castle wich still exists today as handed down through the Nobili-Vitelleschi family. Other sections were either demolished nr modified; the tower was pulled down and the Hall of Arms converted into a church. Apart from this, however, the rest of village remained intact and has so reached our times with its practically unchanged medieval buildings, narrow, winding stteets, and antique portals.


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