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Comune di Nerola
Nerola is located in Italy
Location of Nerola in Italy
Coordinates: 42°10′N 12°47′E / 42.167°N 12.783°E / 42.167; 12.783Coordinates: 42°10′N 12°47′E / 42.167°N 12.783°E / 42.167; 12.783
Country Italy
Region Lazio
Province Rome
 • Mayor Domenico Paolini (since May 2002)
 • Total 18 km2 (7 sq mi)
Elevation 453 m (1,486 ft)
Population (December 31, 2004)
 • Total 1,419
 • Density 79/km2 (200/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 00017
Dialing code 0774
Patron saint St. George
Saint day March 23
Castello Orsini of Nerola.

Nerola is a city and comune of 1,419 inhabitants of the province of Rome, Latium, Italy.


The name Nerola is probably derived from the Sabine word nero or nerio, which meant "strong" and "brave". The inscription on the fountain in the piazza of the town hall A Nerone tuum Nerola nomen habet traces the origin of the name back to the Roman emperor Nero, who belonged to the gens Claudia, which had distant Sabine origins. In the site traces of a Roman era villa have been found, which legend attributes as belonging to Nero himself.

The fountain in the town hall square.

In the second half of the 10th century AD, the castle Castrum Nerulae was founded by the "Sabine chancellor" Benedetto Crescenzi and was held by the Crescenzi family until 1235, when it came under the direct control of the pope. At the end of the twelfth century, the fiefdom was granted to the Orsini family, who constructed the current Castello Orsini. At the end of the 15th century, the castle was subsequently reinforced with strong towers and other defensive works, which fortified the village that it encircled. Near the castle, the chiesa vecchia (Old Church) was constructed in 1483.

In 1644, the castle and the territory of Nerola were yielded to the Barberini family along with the Montelibretti family, and from 1728, they entered into possession of the Sciarra clan, and thereby to the Lante della Rovere family, who founded the beneficial institution of the Ospedale dei Pellegrini which assisted many who journeyed along the via Salaria. In 1867, the castle was occupied by a contingent of partisans of Giuseppe Garibaldi who were fighting against papal troops.

View from the center of the town.

Since passing to Marquis Ferrari-Frey in 1939, the castle has been restored and now houses a hotel.