Hamlets and landscapes of Tuscia: from Viterbo to Orvieto

This itinerary moves through in the area known as “Teverina” (wetted by river Tiber – click here for the gallery) and it starts from Viterbo. It is the “capital” of Tuscia, the “City of the Popes”, where the word “Conclave” was born: the town is stunning because of its perfectly preserved medieval squares. 

Viterbo-Piazza S. Pellegrino 6 RCRLB

In few minutes, thanks to a comfortable highway, we can reac the little medieval town of Vitorchiano, The centre preserves all the 1200s architectural elements of Viterbo’s S. Pellegrino and Piano Scarano hamlets and gives wonderful sights of the medieval life.

Vitorchiano-Veduta 2 RCRLB (2)

From Vitorchiano on the way to Grotte Santo Stefano (on the Belvedere square) the tourist can find a Moai, the typical statue from the Easter Island.

Vitorchiano-Moai 1 RCRLB

From here we can follow two different paths: the first leads to Grotte Santo Stefano and the other one (shorter but not less intense) takes us to the highway Viterbo-Orte, direction Orte. 

Teverina-Paesaggio fra Bomarzo e Vitorchiano RCRLB

We leave the highway at the exit to Bomarzo which we reach and cross (whose ancient and medieval hamlet appears – inviting and intriguing – on the left).

Bomarzo-Veduta 6 RCRLB

Bomarzo – really worth a short visit – is well known and famous thanks to its Monsters’ Park (worth itself a trip) and many archaeological remains (the sites of Montecasoli and Santa Cecilia and the appreciable “Etruscan Pyramid”). Bomarzo is surrounded by misterious valleys that the tourists love to discover in spring and in late autumn to admire the wonderful colours of the woods and of the countryside.

Bomarzo-Palazzo Orsini, panorama 1 RCRLB

Following the road down a steep hill we reach the Tiber Valley and we cannot help noticing the lovely and fascinating hamlet of Mugnano in Teverina emerging with its tower on the top of a tufa hill and surrounded by green and peaceful lawns.

Mugnano in Teverina-Piazzetta RCRLB

Once visited this graceful hamlet, we go back to Bomarzo and to the highway which we do notenter: at the crossing, we turn to left and drive for a few kilometres until we meet the post “Chia” on the left. It is a very small and ancient burgh – pertaining to the municipality of Soriano nel Cimino – half of which in remains and under restoration. 

Chia-Veduta RCRLB

Chia is famous for being on the banks of Fosso Castello (Castello Stream) where some of the scenes of “Il Vangelo secondo Matteo” have been shot in 1964. “Il Vangelo” is one of the masterpieces of Pier Paolo Pasolini – one of the most famous and discussed italian cinema directors who decided to spend the rest of his life in this small village: he bought the famous “tower”, now known as Pasolini’s tower. Pasolini was found – dead – on Ostia beach, near Rome and his death is still object of arguments and discussions.

Castello di Chia 1 RCRLB

The road to Chia has no exits: we must go back to the main road where we turn left. We reach Bassano in Teverina, a very small and scarcely inhabited village which has been completely restored during the past decades because heavily damaged by an explosion of a train containing ammunitions during the Second World War.

Bassano in Teverina-Vicolo 1 RCRLB

Once visited Bassano, we can visit Orte, an ancient etruscan town, with Renaissance palaces and medieval towers, rich of interest for the underground itinerary (“Orte sotterranea”).

Orte-Vicolo con bandiere 3 RCRLB

Then we go back to Vitorchiano (via the highway to Viterbo) and continue our trip toward Grotte Santo Stefano. This area – known as “Teverina” because it develops on the banks of the Tiber – is dotted with ancient castles, fortresses and extensions of olive trees and vineyards producing excellent wine and oil. 

Castiglione in Teverina-Strada della Lega, paesaggio 1 RCRLB

From Grotte di Santo Stefano, a modern village, many archaeological and naturalistic hiking trails start (Ferento ruins, Infernaccio falls, The Ring Stone, Piantorena, etc.) in a very beautiful, almost wild, countryside. 

Ferento-Scorcio 2 RCRLB

Then the road leads to Montecalvello – a castle-hamlet completely uninhabited but still in perfect conditions, last dwelling of Balthus – and to Graffignano with its Baglioni-Santacroce castle (XIth century).

Montecalvello-Veduta da Vallebona RCRLB

From Graffignano we drive back to the Teverina main road and turn left – aiming to the North – and after some kilometres we find the ancient hamlet of Roccalvecce – under the municipality of Viterbo – with its magnificent Costaguti Palace-Castle.

Roccalvecce-Scorcio 1 RCRLB

The castle, the perfect place for weddings and social occasions, is also a good and appreciated solutions for holidays immersed in a silent and peaceful nature.

Roccalvecce-Veduta da lontano da Celleno RCRLB

In front of Roccalvecce – on the other side of the valley – there is a wonderful sight of Celleno Vecchio, an abandoned and a “ghost” village now being recovered and re-inhabited.

Celleno-Scorcio del borgo RCRLB

The area of Celleno is famous for the cultivation of cherries and houses one of the most interesting Sagre (Festivals) in April when the colorful branches make the village a real explosion of whites and pinks.

Celleno-Paesaggio ai piedi del borgo RCRLB

Castel Cellesi (a sort of colourful village-farm) is within easy reach and really worth a visit thanks to the nice area and the tall bell-tower (similar to those present in the North of Italy).

Castel Cellesi-Scorcio RCRLB

A little further we meet San Michele in Teverina, surrounded by peaceful sights and with the palace connected to the rest of the hamlet via a nice bridge.

S. Michele in Teverina-Scorcio 1 RCRLB

We are not far from Civitella d’Agliano. This is the area of wine and wheat thanks to the immense fields surrounded by woods of oaks, cypresses and pines trees. The landscape remembers the tuscan countryside.

Civitella d'Agliano-Panorama 1 RCRLB

Civitella d’Agliano is not the “usual” hamlet like all the other small villages we have met so far. It is a real Commune with its Mayor in spite of the fact that the inhabitants are no more than 1000 in total. The village is all gathered around a steep tufa block and grants a bird’s eye view on the Tiber Valley, the Calanchi of Bagnoregio and the mountains of Umbria.

Civitella d'Agliano-Veduta 3 RCRLB

Vaiano is a far and away burgh surrounded by “Calanchi” (starting point for most of the adventurous trekking paths) not far from Bagnoregio and its hamlet Civita, worldwide famous as “the dying town”.

Vaiano-Chiesa della SS Annunziata ARLB

“Heart” of the Calanchi Valley, Civita of Bagnoregio is visited by many thousands of tourists from all over the world…

Civita di Bagnoregio-Veduta 7 RCRLB

Once reached Lubriano (with its magnificent view of the Calanchi Valley) we continue to Sermugnano, near the border of the province of Viterbo and Orvieto.

Lubriano-Scorcio 1 RCRLB

Sermugnano is one of the many small villages with very few inhabitants (less than 100) and still in good conditions, immersed in the silence of nature, far from noise and confusion.

Valle dei Calanchi-Paesaggio ai piedi di Sermugnano

The next destination of this itinerary is Castiglione in Teverina, well known for its wines and offering superb sights of agricultural economy and of the Calanchi Valley.

Castiglione in Teverina-Vigneto verso Sermugnano 1 RCRLB

Now we are near Orvieto, with its wonderful monuments, as like as Saint’s Patrick’s Well and the gothic Cathedral, and also with its good wines: so we can finish the itinerary tasting a glass of Orvieto docg wine…

Orvieto-Veduta 1 RCRLB

Translation by Osvaldo Velo (http://flyfishingtuscia.com/) in collaboration with Luca Bellincioni and Arianna Federici.

Recommended accommodations

Roccalvecce (VT)“Castello Costaguti”

Annunci

One response to “Hamlets and landscapes of Tuscia: from Viterbo to Orvieto

Rispondi

Inserisci i tuoi dati qui sotto o clicca su un'icona per effettuare l'accesso:

Logo WordPress.com

Stai commentando usando il tuo account WordPress.com. Chiudi sessione / Modifica )

Foto Twitter

Stai commentando usando il tuo account Twitter. Chiudi sessione / Modifica )

Foto di Facebook

Stai commentando usando il tuo account Facebook. Chiudi sessione / Modifica )

Google+ photo

Stai commentando usando il tuo account Google+. Chiudi sessione / Modifica )

Connessione a %s...

%d blogger hanno fatto clic su Mi Piace per questo: