BREVE STORIA DI ARICCIA ....pg2
The last sure news that we have of Ariccia; follow the dark centuries of the Middle Ages, that saw, among other things the erection in the VII°-VIII° century, the Collegiata of the Assutta on the acropoli, which in the meantime had become a refuge for the surviving superstitous population. In the first centuries of the Middle Ages, Ariccia, together with neighbouring towns, became the theatre of fights between the aristocratic (Baronial) Roman families and the Catholic Papacy.
That, in the meantime, trying to fill the empty void left by the empire, whose authority, in truth, had been reduced due to the distance being too large to Costantinopole.
The nobles, like the Counts of Tuscolo, the Frangipane, the Pierleoni, the Malabranca, the Colonna and the Catholic Church are in continuous war between themselves for the control of the territory. In the meanwhile, the distance of the Pope, who had transferred to Avignon, was a disadvantage in his Campaign, and the Roman countryside had become a desolate and inhospitable land where malaria reigned.
The Savelli gave to new life to the city; the town was repopulated and Vallericcia was recultivated, the eminent Statutes (that were later renewed in 1610) came into force to regulate the relationships between " His Excellency" and the 'Terrazzani' as the inhabitants came to be called. For nearly a century the Savelli lived in the palace located in the old village but around the half way through 1500, we do not know exactly when, the construction of what today is Palazzo Chigi began.
Forced by a disastrous debt situation the Savelli in 1661 sold the city to the reigning Pontefical family, the Chigi of Alexander VIII°. Thus re-begins here the second rebirth of Ariccia: the Prince Chigi radically transformed the village using the work of the Baroque genius of the Gian Lorenzo Bernini.
The Palace was finished, and work to construct the Collegiata of the Assunta in front of the Baronial palace was begun and at the same time the ancient church constructed in the Mediaval Era was pulled down. The viariuos constructions completely transformed Ariccia and it acquired the appearance that has remained practically unchanged until he present time.