There are so many reasons why you should settle down and live the Italian dream in Arpino and here is our top-5 list!
1. Location, Location, Location
Arpino is one of the major medieval hilltop towns, perfectly located in the beautiful landscapes of the region Frosinone of Lazio, in the heart of Italy. You can reach both central Rome and Naples as well as three major airports (2 in Rome and 1 in Naples) in 1-2 hours by car. If you stay out of the rush hour traffic you can be in Rome in a little bit over one hour for lunch or shopping. There are also high speed trains if you prefer not to drive.
Arpino is also a great location to explore the fascinating region and within one hour’s drive you reach the coast with beautiful, genuine and charming coastal towns like Terracina and Sperlonga. This coast line is at least as charming as the more tourstic areas up North like Portofino and Cinque Terre. A one hour drive in the other direction from Arpino takes you to Abruzzo National Park, one of the most beautiful nationalparks in Europe where you can also go skiing in the winter time. You could also go trekking or hunt for truffles in the rolling hills surrounding Arpino.
Two hours drive south from Arpino brings you to the stunning Amalfi Coast, where you can also catch a speed boat to Capri or explore Pompeii. The enchanting town of Arpino is a well-kept secret but is a place that provides a genuine Italian town experience in a truly historic setting and with an optimal location to explore the middle and south of Italy.
Arpino is the perfect base for exploring, within 2 hours you reach the Amalfi Coast, Capri and Naples. Within 1 hour you reach Rome, coastal towns Terracina & Sperlonga and Abruzzo National park.
2. The Fascinating History
Arpino’s long and distiguished history goes back over 2700 years and there are landmarks everywhere in the area. It was first a settlement of a local tribe, the Volscians, in 7th century B.C. They built the huge Cyclopean Walls with a pointed arch gate that is almost 4 meters high, this is the only existing pointed arch left in the world by the way!
Then there is the 2000 year old Roman road Via Latina that went straight through Arpino, parts of it can still be admired in the main piazza. Several famous Romans came from Arpino, the most prominent one was the consul and famous orator Cicero, whose statue now can be seen in the main square of the village. Other Romans born in Aprino are Gaius Marius (The 3rd founder of Rome) and Marco Agrippa (The architect of the Pantheon in Rome).
During the Middle Ages the town belonged to the Kingdom of Naples and King Ladislaus of Anjou-Durazzo built the massive “Ladislaus Castle” on the Falconara hill, overlooking Arpino. Before 1861 (when the textile industry was moved up North by political decisions) Arpino was one of the leading textile producer in Italy featuring many successful businesses and prominent families. During these wealthy days many beautiful palazzos were built in Arpino and today both Italians and foreigners have started to renovate these beautiful buildings.
3. The Spectacular Views
Arpino has the most stunning sunsets and is surrounded by beautiful nature wherever you look. The views are spectacular and can be enjoyed from many view points as well as well as from the provate homes of those living here,
4. The Food & Wine
In Italy food and wine are very important, it is all about great quality and almost everything is locally produced. In Arpino, a region of some 7000 people, we have several local butchers, excellent wine and cheese shops, a pasta factory (where they custom make your pasta according to your wishes) and a number of grocery stores with locally produced olive oil, fruits and vegetables. Not to mention all the charming bars and cafes surounding the main piazza of Arpino where you go to enjoy your daily espresso or apertivo and watch the daily life pass by.
The best pizza we have had (honestly!) is the white four cheeses pizza made in the local pizzeria, behind the square in Aprino. There are several amazing restaurants in and around Arpino, many with mentioning in the prestigous Guide Michellin. Great food and wine experiences is part of everyday life here and it is super cheep compared to the touristic areas up North (an espresso or capuchino is 0,9 Euros and a pizza dinner with wine would cost 20 Euros for 2 persons)
5. The Friendly People
Arpino is a living community with a lot of young people, some even moving into Arpino to start up new businesses like agritourismos (eco friendly hotels/restaurants), working in administration or agriculture. Many are farmers and the region produces some high quality olive oils, vegetables and wines. This is still a town where people seem to help eachother and actually care about one another. If you need a plumber you just go down to the piazza and have an espresso and you will find one. Whatever your questions are (and they are many when you buy a house in Italy) people are happy to help out.
And finally, there is the climate!
Being a hillside town, Arpino enjoys mild summers as well as mild winters. It does generally not get crazy hot in the summers or super cold in the winters. We spent November, December and January in Arpino and actually could sit most days outside in t-shirts during lunch time. In summer there is a nice breeze. So, the climate, like the views, history, people, location and food is perfect!