The Castle and the Palace of the Caetani
The Castle of Fondi stands in the centre of the town. The ancient Roman Appian Way runs alongside it. The imposing baronial castle has cylindrical towers and formidable defencive walls. The first fortress was built in 1140 by the Norman Dell’Aquila family on top of the existing Roman Walls. During the 13th century a castle was built. The structure was remodelled many times over the centuries by its owners, the Caetani and Colonna families. Several stages of construction can be seen today. In the early 14th century Roffredo Gaetani oversaw a building phase which included the construction of the square tower. The large cylindrical tower and the two smaller ones date from the next construction era of the second half of the 15th century. In the 19th century the battlement of the keep was demolished and for a time the structure was utilised as a prison.
In recent years the building has been thoroughly restored. Today it houses the Civic Museum of Fondi which holds some interesting artefacts relating to the town’s history. The castle is also a venue for many cultural events and exhibitions.
The Caetani Palace
Closeby is the elegant Caetani Palazzo del Principe or Prince’s Palace which was constructed between 1466 and 1477 by Matteo Forcimanya. It was commissioned by the Duke of Fondi, Onorato Caetani II, and later was the home of the beautiful countess Giulia Gonzaga Colonna. The building has some ornately carved stone windows and the gateway that leads into the historic centre also has a passageway which connects the palace with the castle.