The Historic Centre of Fondi
In the ancient centre of Fondi the Roman Via Appia runs straight through the old town. Alongside it stands the imposing Baronial castle, a fortress with cylindrical towers and formidable city walls. The fortress was built in the 14th century by Onorato Caetani over some of the existing Roman walls.
Closeby is the Caetani Palazzo del Principe (“Prince’s Palace”) which was constructed between 1466 and 1477 and has a passageway connecting it with the castle.
Medieval Fondi was also protected by high city walls and watch towers. These were were built over the original Cyclopean and Roman foundations and had a perimeter of 1,600 meters. Many of the town’s ancient walls have stood the test of time and are still much in evidence today.
In the north east section of the old town of Fondi there was a Jewish quarter, known as “La Giudea”. There had been a Jewish presence in the town since Roman times. Many of the Jews were weavers and dyers of silk and hemp. Some were textile merchants, however there some who were bankers, judges and administrators.
In Piazza dell’Olmo Perino, there is a building now known as the “House of Spirits”. This served as a place of worship – a synagogue. During the Malaria epidemic of 1633 it was used as a hospital and a place to store the corpses of the deceased.