About 100 kilometres from Rome and 35 from L'Aquila, in the valley of the Velino river, at kilometre 102 of the
via Salaria, stood the ancient pre-Roman city of Cotilia, considered sacred and a pilgrimage destination for its healing waters.
The Romans built the impressive baths there, the ruins of which can be admired, together with those
of the villas of the emperors Titus and Vespasian, who died here. Varro called Cotilia 'the navel
of Italy' because of its geographical position and the importance of its waters, of which they gave
Seneca, Tito, Livio, Virgilio also gave a laudatory description.