Beautiful countryside and villages brimming with charm and ancient history. Choose from such places as Lake Bolzena, Montefiascone, Civita di Bagnoregio, Tuscania, Tarquinia Viterbo and Villa Lante.
A NOTE ABOUT DRIVING TIMES
Driving times will vary based on the itinerary we establish. Generally speaking the driving times from Civitavecchia are not bad; for example, Tarquinia is 20 min away, Tuscania 40 min, Viterbo and Villa Lante an hour.
Before Rome was Rome, the Etruscans settled in this part of Italy. Today you can still see remnants of their sophisticated civilization as you enjoy the landscape in this picturesque area north of Rome.
This service has a variety of configurations based on your interests.
Civita di Bagnoregio
Founded by the Etruscans more than 2,500 years ago, Bagnoregio sits on a volcanic plateau high above the Tiber river and is easily recognizable by the long footbridge that leads to it (not suitable for those with limited mobility). Now somewhat of a Medieval ghost town, Bagnoregio will interest those who are keen on architecture, as building styles in the village span several centuries.
Lake Bolsena is quite popular due to its beauty and is a nice choice if you’re seeking natural vistas and a breath of fresh air. At the highest point on the lake sits Montefiascone, offering visitors stunning views and interesting stories of its past.
If architecture is of interest you might want to visit San Flaviano, a Romanesque church from the 11th century. The church is actually composed of two structures, one on top of the other, containing some unusual frescoes, most notably San Flaviano himself on horseback, dressed for war.
The history of Tarquinia precedes the rise of Rome, when the Etruscans inhabited the central part of Italy. They were a fascinating and advanced culture whose story can be experienced in Tarquinia’s excellent Etruscan museum. The museum contains an impressive collection well-preserved sarcophagi, paintings, tombs, and frescoes from the 6th to 1st centuries B.C.
Outside Tarquinia get a look at the “city of the dead” — one of the largest and most beautifully excavated necropolis in Italy. (Closed Mondays. Not suitable for those with limited mobility. There are about 15-20 stairs to get down into each of the tombs.)
Ancient history continues in Tuscania, where the Medieval basilica of San Pietro stands on the site of the Etruscan acropolis. The church is very beautiful and quite particular, inside and out. Inside you will find the old mosaic marble floor, decorated with intricate geometric patterns, and massive columns from the 11th Century with beautiful capitals.
Villa Lante (closed Mondays)
Villa Lante is a noble property from the late 15th/early 16th centuries featuring Mannerist gardens of surprise. The Mannerist style emerged in the late Renaissance, when art was considered to have reached its apex. Movement and drama are central to the style, as can be seen in paintings and sculpture from the period as well as these fascinating gardens. The nobles who commissioned them were attracted by the idea of surprise and novelty in the garden’s design for the purpose of impressing their guests at outdoor parties. Enjoy the splendor of a bygone era as you stroll amongst the big shade trees, fountains and water features. If you love gardens you may very well never want to leave.
Architecture enthsiasts will appreciate Viterbo, as it one of the best-preserved Medieval cities in central Italy and contains many architectural points of interest covering various centuries and styles. In the 12th century Viterbo became a favourite residence of the Popes, hosting the papacy for a couple of decades in the 13th century. Today the Palazzo dei Papi (Palace of the Popes) is one of the most popular attractions in Viterbo. Visitors will also be fascinated by stories of the city’s yearly procession of the macchina di Santa Rosa — a 100-foot decorative tower honouring Santa Rosa, the city’s patron saint. Every year on September 3 the tower is carried through the streets of Viterbo on the backs of 100 local men.
DURATION: 8-9 hrs
OTHER COSTS & NOTES
- Entrance fee for Villa Lante, 5 Euro pp, paid directly at the admissions desk
Villa Lante is closed on Mondays.
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