Isola del Liri. It's one of the local towns that we often go to because there are two favourite caffé on Corso Roma where we can sit by the river and then take a walk down to the castle and waterfall.
On a warm evening when some of our family are with us it's even better.
However, on a sunny day in the first week of April we sat for a while by the fountain in the area outside the gelateria enjoying a drink before taking a stroll by the river to see the waterfall from a different viewpoint. The area around the Municipal Town Hall, which is next to the gelateria, is gradually having a makeover, but there's still more to do. I wandered up the side street attracted by the colourfully painted wooden boards around the construction site, but then turned back and didn't take any more photos as an elderly lady was sitting on her doorstep and I didn't want to intrude.
The old factory where paper was made using the force of water from the waterfall to produce power to drive the machines has now been opened up to the public. There are steps up to a first floor storey of the old block of buildings and a galleried walkway leads to a viewing platform. Here you can get a different view of the castle, the waterfall and a tantalising view of the gardens above (not open to the public).
Students from a school in a nearby town have painted murals on the walls of the gallery with the themes of water and the old paper manufacturing industry.
This mural with its bird's eye view of Isola del Liri shows clearly how the river flows through it and surrounds the town.
The walkway through the old mill exits into a courtyard and the viewing platform.
A family group were taking photos of the view and moved over so that we could do the same. A girl in the family party offered to take a photo of both of us. (I've had to lighten them) and we started a conversation in English as well as Italian. They too were out for a stroll before lunch and this local girl was taking family visitors around the town. She told us a little more about the project to renovate the historic building which will take time and money to complete.
The 12th century fortified palace, the Castello Boncompagni-Viscogliosi, was later owned in the 17th century by Duke Giacomo Boncompagni, Constable of the Castello Sant'Angelo in Rome, who married Constanza Sforza. They both had papal connections through separate family lines. It was Constanza who beautified the castle with the commissioning of sumptuous decorations and frescoes and created the formal gardens in the grounds.
The two photos above taken when we've been there in the earlier months of the year is a reminder of how spectacular the force of the water can be at certain times and how useful this must have been to power machinery. There's another waterfall at the other end of the town which I wrote about here.
It was a good drive out before returning home for our own lunch.