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Ischia di Castro is a town in the Lazio Maremma region, where the first settlements are believed to date back to the prehistoric Paleolithic and Neolithic ages. With the medieval period and the specially designed planning by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger, the village expanded and became the Duchy of Castro.

Art, nature and the farnesian splendor

Ischia di Castro and its castle were also part of the Farnese family’s possessions, which is why the town’s emblem includes three lilies. The town receives numerous visitors every year due to its archaeological richness, including both Etruscan and medieval elements. Besides the ancient city in the woods of Castro, the former capital of the Renaissance duchy that was razed to the ground in the mid-17th century by Papal forces, one should also mention the rock settlements of the Poggio Conte Hermitage and Chiusa del Vescovo, a visitable hermitage with a church containing valuable frescoes.

To access the historic center, you pass through a small arch under the Clock Tower, built at the tip of Rocca Farnese. This tower is considered one of the oldest palaces owned by the Farnese family. Once inside, on a small square, you’ll encounter the Cathedral of Sant’Ermete. While its origins are not certain, the main structure seems to date back to a period between 1759 and 1766.

Events in Ischia di Castro

Among the events and festivals held in Ischia di Castro are: the Festival of Art, Music, and Crafts (AMA Ischia) during July; the Gran Premio delle Carrettelle, a unique race featuring handcrafted vehicles; and the feast of Sant’Ermete, dedicated to the patron saint of the town, held in August.