Cassino is located at the foot of Monte Cairo near the confluence of the Rapido and Liri rivers, 140km southeast of Rome. The city is best known as the site of the Abbey of Montecassino and the Battle of Monte Cassino during World War II, which resulted in heavy Allied and German casualties as well as the near total destruction of the town itself. Today, Cassino is also home to the University of Cassino and a Fiat automotive plant.
Cassino's origins lie in the Volsci settlement of Casinum, at the base of the nearby Monte Cairo. Casinum passed under the control of the Samnites, but the Romans eventually gained control of Casinum, establishing a colony there in 312 BCE. At least once during Punic Wars, Hannibal passed near Casinum. Casinium was also the site of a villa belonging to Marcus Terentius Varro.
The modern town which arose on the site of the ancient town of Casinum was called San Germano, but on 28 July 1863 the name was officially reverted to "Cassino".
The site of fierce fighting during the Battles of Monte Cassino during World War II, the old town was almost completely destroyed and was rebuilt south-east of its prior location in a relatively short space of time. Because of this, and despite the recent construction of a large number of new roads and roundabouts, the town has a somewhat disorderly road network. The city is developing commercially as well, following the construction of many shopping centres in the environs, which, however, also increase traffic congestion, particularly on the roads leading into the city.
Winter high 11C/52F Winter low 2C/35F
Summer high 30C/86F Summer low 18C/64F
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