FIUGGI Originally called Anticoli di Campagna, the obscure conglomerate of stone buildings gained renown as early as the 1300s, when Pope Boniface VIII claimed his kidney stones had been healed by the mineral waters that gushed forth from the nearby Fiuggi spring. Two centuries later they relieved Michelangelo of what he called "the only kind of stone I couldn't love". Soon the miraculous acqua di Fiuggi was being sent in bottles to all of Europe royalty. Not until the turn of this century did it become fashionable to make pilgrimages to spa towns, and it was around that time that the king of Italy renamed Anticoli in honor of its most celebrated attraction. Today Fiuggi is a classic Italian hill town, beginning with its layout as two separate towns. Blanketing the slopes at 2500 feet above sea level is the medieval old town called Fiuggi città. At its feet is the 20thcentury spa town, called Fiuggi Fonte, where you can taste the waters for yourself and admire many beautiful facades painted with the delicate Liberty style that was so popular in Italy from 1910 to 1930. Few towns have more steps than Fiuggi, which offers you the option of ascending by following the impeccably cobbled streets around and around the hill top or by clambering straight up. As you stroll through the lanes, pay a visit to the tiny church of Santa Maria del Colle, and to the church of St. Biagio, which was entirely rebuilt in the 17thcentury. Ironically, the rather unusual cast iron fountain in Piazza Piave was erected only in 1907, to celebrate the arrival of running water in this town that owes its very existence to the abundant springs running below the hill. At the center of the ancient town, is the ornate Palazzo Falconi, surpassed in splendor only by the former Grand Hotel, now the municipal theatre.
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