Legend has it that, in the 8th century, some inhabitants of the neighboring village of Vico Matrino chose the site for its beauty, safety, and salubrity. Initially, they called it Capranica, from Caprae ilex (Holm of the goats), which later became Capranica, apparently due to a goat named Nica.
The oldest settlements on the territory of the present-day Capranica date back to the Etruscan period, even though the first information about the area dates from 1050. Until 1300, Capranica was under the jurisdiction of the convent of Saints Cosmas and Damian, just like the neighboring municipalities. In 1305, with the arrival of the Anguillara family, the village would become one of the most important of that time.
In 1337, Francesco Petrarca stayed in Capranica, run by Orso degli Anguillara at the time. Orso was one of the most remarkable characters of his family and the only count to reside permanently in the castle. In this period, the fortress where the counts planned their raids was expanded.
From then on — especially with Count Everso — Capranica expanded its influence on the surrounding territories and took part in the war against the Prefects of Vico throughout the 15th century. The last remarkable count was precisely Everso who, in 1435, fought alongside Pope Eugene IV to expel the previous prefect Giacomo di Vico and his two sons Menelao and Securanza.
In 1465, the successors of Everso, Deifobo and Francesco, started a feud against Pope Paul II. They provoked the uprising of Capranica and adjacent villages, and, later, the fall of the Anguillara, on 7th July 1465. The newly-elected cardinal governor, appointed by Pope Paul II, made Capranica the capital of the governorship, that was as wide as the former domains of the Anguillara.
The cardinal-governors that ruled Capranica encouraged the enlargement of the town and, before 1700, the construction of some of the main palaces. In 1831, Pope Leo XII revoked the title of chief village to Capranica. After the Italian unification, the town lived the same events as the entire province. During the Second World War, it was repeatedly hit by bombs, especially the main station.
- Railway lines Rome-Capranica-Viterbo and Orte-Capranica
- from G.R.A.: take exit 5 “Cassia Bis” toward Viterbo and continue onto Cassia Bis
- from Viterbo: take the panoramic Cassia Cimina toward Rome
- A1 for 42 km until exit Magliano Sabina