Municipalities in Latium
Within the Park territory, municipalities in Latium stand out for their sharp difference in elevation between highest and lowest points: climate, vegetation and cultivations vary accordingly. Such difference is instead not so marked as far as the inhabited area is concerned: according to the 1991 population census, all towns and villages are located within an area, which has its lowest point in Mole di Vito (390 metres asl) and the highest one in Fontitune (952 metres asl). Both localities are included in the municipality of Picinisco, which in the 1950s encompassed other residential areas higher than 900 metres asl (Rocca Capotunno and Rocca degli Alberi), but they are today uninhabited. Another typical feature of these municipalities is the high percentage of people living in scattered houses and hamlets, which explains why small towns are seemingly over-endowed with services.
All the residential areas are situated higher than 400 metres asl, on hill tops or other overlooking positions on valley borders; they are all located near cultivable areas and water springs, mostly on limestone soil and facing south. Topographical positions are on the contrary diverse: villages can be situated on slopes (Alvito), on spurs (Picinisco), on ridges (Le Caselle in the municipality of Settefrati), in mixed-type locations between a spur and a fan (San Donato Val di Comino) or between a peak and a saddle.
Almost all the villages feature the ruins of an ancient castle in their oldest part (Alvito is a prime example in this respect). Street patterns are irregular in the old towns: narrow and winding cobblestone alleys converge towards the church square; streets run parallel to contour lines and are often connected by steep stairs.
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A picturesque medieval village on the carbonate rock cliffs of Monte Pizzuto