|Comune di Aquino|
Church of Santa Maria della Libera
|o Mayor||Libero Mazzaroppi|
|o Total||19.24 km2 (7.43 sq mi)|
|Elevation||106 m (348 ft)|
|o Density||280/km2 (720/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|o Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
|Patron saint||Saints Thomas Aquinas and Constantius of Aquino|
|Saint day||March 7 and September 1|
The name comes from the Latin Aquinum, probably from aqua, meaning "water" as witnessed by the abundance of water that still crosses the territory today including many small springs.
After its conquest, Roman Aquinum became an important commercial and production centre situated on the ancient Via Latina. In 211 BC it was given the title of urbs, the prerogative of Rome alone. In 125 BC the nearby town of Fregellae was destroyed and Aquinum grew to become the most important nucleus between Rome and Capua.
The patron saint of Aquino is St. Constantius of Aquino (San Costanzo).St. Thomas Aquinas, OP was born in 1225 in the castle of Roccasecca, 8 kilometres (5 mi) north of Aquino, to a collateral branch of the family of the Counts of Aquino, whose primary seat was Aquino.
One of the gates through which the Via Latina passed, now called Porta San Lorenzo, is still well preserved, and there are remains within the walls (portions of which, built of large blocks of limestone, still remain) of two (so called) temples, a basilica and an amphitheatre.
Outside, on the south is a well-preserved 1st century BC triumphal arch with composite capitals, known as Arco di Marcantonio, and close to it the basilica of Santa Maria Libera, a 9th-century building in the Romanesque style erected over the remains of an ancient temple of Hercules Liberator, now roofless. Several Roman inscriptions are built into it, and many others that have been found indicate the ancient importance of the place, which, though it does not appear in early history, is vouched for by Cicero and Strabo.
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