Isola del Liri, the only Italian city whose historical center is crossed by a waterfall.
Isola del Liri is an Italian municipality in the province of Frosinone, holder of an enviable record: it’s one of the few cities in the world to be crossed by a waterfall. Another curiosity is that the waterfall in Isola del Liri is not just one but two, one more big, the “Cascata Grande”, and the other less impressive but with the same jump, the “Cascata del Valcatoio”.
Isola del Liri is a natural islet created by the namesake river, and has been inhabited since Roman times. Of Volscan origin, after the fall of the Western Roman Empire Isola del Liri was dominated by the Byzantines, the Lombards, and then by various noble families affiliated to the different Kingdoms of Campania. Later it was part of the Duchy of Sora, becoming a ducal seat under the Boncompagni family. In 1796 it was annexed to the Papal States.
The town’s main sight is the ducal castle Boncompagni-Viscogliosi, a fortified palace near to the two waterfalls. Its origins dates back to 1100, and after the acquisition of the Duchy of Sora by the della Rovere family, it became one of their main residences. It was housed by their successors as dukes too, the Boncompagni, and in the 17th century Costanza Sforza turned into a luxurious palace, with biblica frescoes, basreliefs of the duchy’s lands, and a garden. For the beauty of the interiors and its uniqueness in the Italian architectural heritage, it’s included in the list of “national monuments” by the italian state.