An important strategic site, the fortified village developed at the end of the Roman Empire: the Castle was built for the strategic purpose of controlling the trade on the Tiber River, as well as on the Via Amerina and the underlying valley.
In the Middle Ages the Orsini and the Colonna families fought for its control. In 1492 Stefano Colonna put the village under the jurisdiction of Amelia; ten years later, in 1502, he surrendered it to the Orsini, who ruled it until the dynasty died out in the 1700s. Penna in Teverina then came under the jurisdiction of the Papal States, which ruled it until the creation of the Kingdom of Italy (1860).
ART, CULTURE, ENVIRONMENT
Penna in Teverina offers both the beauty of the Amerino countryside as well as a number of interesting monuments. The medieval village has maintained its original structure, marked by towers and gates: one enters through Porta Civica, which leads to Piazza di San Valentino with the Parish Church of Santa Maria della Neve.
An essential sight is Palazzo Orsini, which has an attractive Italian garden, and where one cans still see the coats of arms of the two families to which it belongs: the crushed rose of the Orsini and the Anguillara eel. Also worthy of note are the "Mammalocchi" Busts, original travertine columns with allegorical figures standing at the entrance to a private villa.
Nearby, at Castiglioni, there are the ruins of an ancient Roman bridge over the Tiber, and the ruins of a Roman villa at Pennavecchia.
The surrounding area, spreading out from the spacious balcony of the village into the Tiber River valley, enhances the natural stage that the historic center of Penna in Teverina becomes during the Grape Harvest Festival (first weekend in October), with starring roles given to grapes, grape must, wine and local sweets made with must.