Notice: the content of this page has been translated and adapted (by o. Velo) from
Photos by “Itinerari Laziali” unless otherwise specified,
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This long trip, divided – for readers’ easiness – into three parts leads to the discovery of the small historical and mostly concealed (and somehow “secrets”) villages of the Tuscia belonging to the areas of Rome and Viterbo. They are intact and unspoiled areas, filled with poetry and wrongly kept away from the main touristic routes, in many cases represented by villages and hamlets not even appearing on the maps but surrounded by breath-taking landscapes.
Most – if not all – of them are within easy and short reach from Rome and Viterbo and they are ready to offer the visitor a long lasting remembrance of his/her visit to this exceptional area of Central Italy.
The tour starts from Rome: leaving the Aurelia road, the tourist meets – immediately after the Massimina Hamlet – the first bucolic landscapes and views. After a few kilometers, the road develops in turns and crosses lateral small roads leading to the Cassia Road or Lake Bracciano through many interesting rural sites (Castel di Guido, Torre in Pietra, Tagliata and so on) and crossing one of the most undamaged portions of the Agro Romano.
This is the area of the Roman artichoke and the typical local cheese “Pecorino Romano” and the “Caciofiore”, an “ancient” cheese obtained from thistle.
Following the road to the North and just before the crossroads to Cerveteri, a small deviation leads to the picturesque hamlet of Ceri, suddenly appearing on the bottom of a small valley, with its high medieval battlement walls emerging from a tufa hill
Of Etruscan origin, the small village boasts the “Chiesa dell’Immacolata Concezione”, filled with frescoes from the XIIth century.
From Ceri there is a small road leading to Cerveteri crossing hills covered with vineyards producing the worldwide famous wine bearing the same name.
Once in Cerveteri – famous for the Necropolis of Banditaccia (Unesco heritage) – an inner road takes to Castel Giuliano, typical agricultural centre dominated by the Patrizi Palace with its wonderful park and monumental rose garden (visits allowed only in Spring).
Once returned to the Aurelia main road, we shall continue our trip toward Civitavecchia and meet a turn to the right to Lake Sabatino and posts showing the name “Sasso” and referring to the two huge trachyte stones emerging from the ground and known as “Sassoni di Furbara”.
A little further, we shall meet another huge stone – on the right – dominating the hamlet of Sasso, hence the name.
After the door, the environment appears as belonging to the past with a rustic and small square surrounded by stony houses covered with climbing vegetation. Here, is the Patrizi Castle-Palace.
From the small square, a small path leads to the Sasso (Stone) and to almost unknown Colli Ceriti with typical Mediterranean vegetation and streams.
Once back to the SS1 – now crossing a wide plain land delimited by the sea and the irregular shape of Monti della Tolfa (Tolfa Mountains), the tourist reaches Tolfa through one of the most pristine landscapes of Latium (and not only) characterized by endless horizons and savage nature. Tolfa is reached after some 20km. It is the homeland of the famous “catana”, a leather small bag much in use among students during the ‘70s.
Pay a visit to the belvedere and the ruins of the Fortress and continue your way following the Mignone Valley, toward Manziana. The landscape is of top rate beauty, a mix of romantic and bucolic thanks to the harmony of the reddish rocks and the smooth, green hills with untamed meadows dotted with the powerful cows of Maremma and horses. You are in the newly born Park of the Tolfa Mountains where you can visit the very small village of Rota.
The small village, of uncertain origins and belonged to several proprietors, is private and normally visits are forbidden but the surrounding areas is filled with interesting archaeologic sites (Necropolis of Ferriere and Pian di Conserva)
Not far from Rota, a long and uncomfortable road leads to Civitella Cesi (another out-of-time hamlet), surrounded by etruscan and medieval remains. A better solution is to reach Civitella from a more comfortable road starting from Blera.
Following the way toward Lake Bracciano, there is the lovely hamlet of Monterano Vecchia (Old Monterano) with is pleasant mix of remains and nature, used for many historical and fantasy films.
Once reached Tolfa, follow your way to Allumiere and then to the Farnesiana, an ancient miners village dated back to the XVIth cent and its very ancient church. We are in the so-called area of the “Terre della Farnesiana” (Farnesiana Lands).
The dusty road of the Farnesiana leads the tourist to the feet of the medieval ghost village of Cencelle and then to Aurelia road.
From here, the tourist may decide to go back to Rome or to continue and reach the charming Tarquinia (with its medieval towered centre and the worldwide famous necropolis) and then Viterbo passing through the VIIth century hamlet of Monte Romano. After a while, a deviation on the right leads to Civitella Cesi, Blera and Barbarano Romano, one of the most unspoiled and beautiful hamlets of the whole region.
This area is filled with archaeological sites deep into an uncontaminated nature (San Giovenale, Luni sul Mignone, Marturanum…) and not far from river Mignone, offering great opportunities to (fly)anglers in search of shy and huge white fish concealed in the depths of a wild nature.
From here, Viterbo is not far and can be reached easily and quickly, still immersed in a unique environment.