The area around Picinisco was given by the Longobard Duke of Benevento in 744 to Montecassino. This area, in turn, was given to the Benedictine abbey of San Vincenzo di Volturno in 866 by the Emperor Ludovic II after an expedition against Saracen incursion further south. It is likely that the peasant farmers in the area at this time lived in isolated communities and had no need, yet, to seek the security offered by grouping themselves together, higher up on more defensible slopes. The construction of the castle in Picinisco began in 1054.

Picinisco is one of the main small towns situated in the south east of the Lazio Region, in the Abruzzi mountains of the Apennines. Perched high on a ridge (750 metres) overlooking the whole of Val Comino valley. Picinisco’s territory forms part of the Parco Nazionale d’Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise -voted by Lonely Planet in 2011 as one of the five best National Park’s in Europe. Its height offers in the hottest months of the year, a relieving freshness, especially at nighttime.

While the origins of Picinisco are lost in time, what is certain is that the first written record of the name is to be found in 1017 and the first record of the Castle in 1054 – one of many in this part of Italy at this time as the formation of new settlements (castella) enabled more effective land development, the fortification of settlements (new or old) for defensive purposes, and the vesting of jurisdictional powers in these castelle. The Castle was followed by the Belltower in the early 13th century adjacent to the Church of San Lorenzo and then the Church itself in 1305 – although the Church of Santa Maria at the Cemetry was mentioned in the records of Monte Cassino in 1110, but further archaeological evidence proves this to have been a place for votive offerings by the Romans before the birth of Christ.

The first dwellings in the environs of Picinisco which have been discovered (by Don Dionigi Antonelli) to date are located in the hamlet today known as Immoglie formerly San Valentino, razed by the Saracens prior to 894. The majority of the buildings in the Old Town date from 1700 to 1900, although parts of the original fortification walls from 1000 remain in use in a number of buildings (including the Hotel “Sotto Le Stelle”).