Lenola is a small historic town, nestling within the Aurunci and Ausoni Mountains
at a height of 425 metres above sea level. It has splendid views overlooking the
Plain of Fondi, and of the sea and the Pontine Islands beyond and, inland views of
verdant wooded hills, mountains and fertile valleys.
Between the present day towns of Lenola and Pastena can be found the remains of an
ancient fortification known as Ambrifi or the Castrum de Ambris. This community was
built on a hill, it is thought to have been founded on the site of a Roman settlement.
This was abandoned during the 1400’s possibly due to an outbreak of the plague.
During the medieval era, during the time of many Saracen invasions, a fortress and
a Baronial Palace were built in the highest part of Lenola, together with a tall
tower which had commanding views of the surrounding territory. The town was encircled
by a fortified wall into which were incorporated more towers.
In 1534 the beautiful Giulia Gonzaga, Countess of Fondi, is said to have taken refuge
here from the Saracenpirate Kair-ed-Din or Barbarossa, who was trying to capture
her and take her back for the Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent.
Lenola was situated on the border of the Papal States and the Bourbon Kingdom of
Naples, and located on an ancient trading route connecting the town of Fondi with
the Liri Valley.