Ciampino and its History

In ancient times, on the land next to the Appian Way, at the crossroads between Rome and the other towns of the Castelli Romani, farm houses and country villas flourished, like the one belonging to Quinto Voconio Pollione (2nd century AD). During the 19th century, several archaeological excavations brought to light interesting traces of ancient Roman civilization in this area.

From a historical perspective, the most interesting period was the 16th century. The prelate of the Papal Curia Giovanni Giustino Ciampini, a renowned archaeologist and scientist at that time, moved to a farmhouse in the area known as Ad Decimum, which soon became a centre of cultural gathering. At the time of his death, the cadastral maps indicated the building as Casale Ciampino (farmhouse Ciampino) and the nearby lands took the name of Vigne Ciampino (Vineyards Ciampino).

No particular historic events took place in this area and no communities or human settlements have been recorded. However, owing to its important position it has always been at the centre of the communication routes. An example of such is the Rome-Frascati line in 1856 that crossed the town and for which the Gallery of Ciampino was built.

In 1910 the Società Anonima Colle Parioli was founded, a public limited company that bought land from the Colonna family with the aim of planning a city. The first project was the Garden City.

In 1916, the first living units began to appear and in the same year the Carabinieri, station was located here. At the same time, the airfield was also built for the Italian Military Navy airships and named after Giovan Battista Pastine, an aerostat pilot who had recently deceased.

In 1925, the first religious building was erected, the Church of Sacro Cuore di Gesù (Church of the Sacred Heart) and dedicated to the actual patron of Ciampino. It was built next to the religious institute for the Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, young ladies of high society. The town was developing and the population started to grow.

In the same period, the airport was divided in two areas, the northern part for the airships and the southern part for the aircrafts. It is the airport that will write the pages of Ciampino's history: in 1926 Umberto Nobile took off with the Norge airship towards Alaska and in 1928 the airship Italia left for Milano, from where it took off for the unfortunate mission of the North Pole.

In 1938, the Garden City project was eventually abandoned and replaced by the construction of the distillery and wine consortium of the Castelli Romani in the middle of the town centre.

The Second World War marked the town with extreme devastation and ill-fate, heavy bombing damaged the distillery and the religious institute of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which was used as a military base by the Germans.

At the end of the war Ciampino regenerated. The wine consortium was established at Marino and the airport was opened for civil purposes with international flights from Rome to London and Rome to New York.

The building boom and the town's new services led to a population growth from 154 inhabitants in 1921 to 5.510 in 1951 and increasing to 12.227 residents by 1961, meaning that the population had doubled in just ten years.

The 60s were a period of great development. Infrastructures, services, activities and associations gradually laid the foundations of what Ciampino is today. The local newspaper Anni Nuovi (New Years) is the symbol of those times and is still published today.

The wish for independent administration only came in 1974 when it was separated from Marino and appointed Comune di Ciampino.