The north of the Lazio region
The three lakes in northern Rome are a popular holiday destination and weekend recreation area. Lago di Bolsena, the largest of the 3 lakes, is located on the northern edge of the Lazio region. You can visit the beautiful places on the lake here, e.g. E.g. Bolsena, Montefiascone and Capodimonte (seaside resort). In the vicinity of this lake are worth seeing: Orvieto (city on a steep rocky plateau) and Viterbo (city by popes), also Pitigliano (Etruscan city), Cività di Bagnoregio (the dying city) and Bomarzo (with the park of the monsters).
If you drive south from Lago di Bolsena, 40 km further south you will reach the small lake Lago di Vico. This lake, located at 500 meters above sea level, is one of the Lazio areas of particular naturalistic value and has therefore been declared a Natural Reserve. To the east of this lake is the town of Caprarola, which is well worth seeing. If you drive a further 30 km south of Lake Vico, you will reach the third lake, Lago di Bracciano. On the way you pass the interesting town of Sutri (town of the Etruscans with an interesting park). Near the Lago di Bracciano is the village of Calcata Vecchia (formerly a ghost village) perched high on a rock. Below we provide information on the above-mentioned places of interest around these three beautiful lakes.
1. The north of the Lazio region
Tarquinia - Located near the coast, Tarquinia was an important Etruscan site in ancient times. To this day you get a unique insight into the customs and customs of the Etruscan high culture. Tarquinia is a medieval city that is well worth a visit. Around Tarquinia, numerous tombs with beautiful colored murals of great artistic and historical value have been preserved. In them, scenes of everyday life and religious rites of the Etruscans come to life. There are many Etruscan tombs around Tarquinia, some of which have remains of mural paintings, the most interesting ones are in the necropolis of Monterozzi on the outskirts of Tarquina. This necropolis, which can also be reached on foot, and the interesting Archaeological Museum can be visited for an entrance fee. Tarquinia is located north of Rome, 1 hour and 21 minutes from Rome.
Cerveteri - This small town (Etruscan name: Kysri - Roman name: Caere) was one of the most important and largest Etruscan cities in ancient times, with up to 80,000 inhabitants. Near Cerveteri is a vast Etruscan necropolis, the Cerveteri Necropolis. It was robbed of almost all art treasures by tomb robbery, but the well-preserved tomb architecture is of great variety (tumulus tombs). The main necropolis of La Banditaccia is just outside the town of Cerveteri. A small road leads to the necropolis lying lonely in the landscape. It can be visited for an entrance fee. Cerveteri is located north of Rome, 54 minutes from Rome.
The Lungo and Ripasottile Nature Reserve is particularly worth seeing in spring and summer, when the water of the lakes is clear and fresh. On Monte Terminillo, in addition to the snowy slopes in winter, there are many trekking trails. This nature reserve is 11 minutes from Rieti.
Antuni - The village is located on Lake Turano. It is a medieval village that was created when the artificial lake did not yet exist. During World War II, the site was abandoned after a pilot's mistake, who instead of destroying the bridge over the lake, dropped a bomb on the town. Today it is a treasury of beauty frozen in time. Lake Turano is 1 hour 20 minutes from Rome.
Rocca Sinibalda Castle- Perched on a cliff overlooking the Turano Valley not far from Rome, Rocca Sinilbalda Castle is a spectacular synthesis of Renaissance fortress and palace. Inspired by Ovidio's Metamorphoses, the medieval castle dominates the small stone village of Rocca Sinibalda. The castle is 1 hour 17 minutes from Rome.
Lago del Salto Lake is the largest artificial lake in Lazio and was created by damming the water of the Salto River. Fiumata and Borgo San Pietro are the most beautiful villages around the lake. Lake Salto is near Rieti and 1 hour 29 minutes from Rome.
Orvieto, which is not in Lazio but already in Umbria, can be reached by car in a day trip from Rome. That's why we integrated it into our blog. It has an exceptional location: the churches, palaces and houses of the old town are located on a rocky plateau that slopes down steeply on all sides. Between the brown-colored buildings on the rock rises the radiant white cathedral, a beautiful church worth seeing. Orvieto also offers an intact old town worth seeing, with many interesting shops. Small, tidy, welcoming, Orvieto offers many beautiful sights and also excellent gastronomy.
A marvel of Italian Gothic architecture, Orvieto Cathedral reveals an extraordinary harmony despite the fact that 20 different artists have worked there for more than 3 centuries. The construction was finished in the 16th century. The interior contains two fundamental religious and artistic chapels: the Cappella del Corporale and that of San Brizio. The San Brizio Chapel in Orvieto Cathedral is a masterpiece of the Italian Renaissance. The theme of the chapel is the Last Judgment, a pictorial story of the end of the world populated by angels, terrifying demons, sinners waiting and the saved flying to heaven.
Pozzo di San Patrizio- This fountain, marvel of engineering, was built in the 16th century at the behest of Pope Clement VII, who entrusted the work to Giuliano da Sangallo the Younger. The aim was to ensure the water supply in Orvieto at any time of the year. Sangallo's masterpiece were the large and independent double spiral staircases, one for going down and the other for going up.
Underground city of Orvieto - For 2,500 years the inhabitants of Orvieto dug into the tuff rock on which the city was built and built another underground and hidden city. Only in the last few years has a group of speleologists uncovered a complex labyrinth of over 1200 caves, tunnels, wells and cisterns. Today it is possible to discover the underground of Orvieto thanks to the "Orvieto Underground" project that accompanies tourists in the discovery of these fascinating tunnels.
Piazza del Popolo- The square only gains its charm at night, when the yellow lights come on, and on Thursdays and Saturdays, when the cars aren't there and the market comes alive. The square then becomes again the central place of civic life in Orvieto. The silhouette of the "Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo" dominates the large square, with the strange tower and the beautiful staircase that leads to the entrance hall.
The Museo dell'Opera del Duomo museum is made up of 4 small rooms including the Chapel of San Brizio, the Church of Sant'Agostino and the Albèri Library. But it is the papal palaces that deserve a visit because they display few but exceptional works, collected in the so-called Stanze delle Meraviglie.
Torre del Moro- Today it is a cultural center but above all a place from which to enjoy an exceptional view of the Duomo and the roofs of Orvieto. The clock, a point of reference for Orvieto and tourists, started working in 1885 and is still there.
The Fortress of La Forzezza di Albornoz- Destroyed and rebuilt several times, the fortress was only rebuilt in the 15th century. In reality, the decay continued over the following centuries and not much remains of the original structure. Today the fortress houses the public gardens and is the ideal place for a break overlooking the surrounding valley.
Trattoria La Palomba
Original trattoria in the old town.Family business with excellent Umbrian cuisine.The trattoria is located 400 meters from Orvieto Cathedral.
Address Via Cipriano Manente 16, Orvieto
Phone +39 07 63 34 33 95
3. Viterbo & Cività di Bagnoregio & Bomarzo
Viterbo, the most important city in Latium after Rome in the High Middle Ages, lies on the plain between Lake Bolsena and the Monti Cimini, north of Rome. Surrounded by an intact 5 km long 13th century city wall, the old city center is definitely worth seeing. It has interesting medieval quarters, especially around the San Pellegrino district. Numerous churches and palaces have survived from the great period of the Middle Ages for Viterbo, when popes resided in the city. The Porta Fiorentina is one of the gates with access to the city. On the north side of the wide piazza della Rocca there is the Rocca Castle, a Gothic building from the 13th century. Nearby you can admire the Church of San Francesco. The pilgrimage sanctuary Santuario di Santa Rosa is located near the Piazza Verdi. Also worth seeing is the Piazza delle Erbe, with a beautiful fountain guarded by stone lions. Between the Piazza delle Erbe and the Piazza del Gesu there are various sights: Church of Santa Maria della Salute, Palazzo Comunale, Palazzo Chigi, and Church of the Gesu. Nearby is the Casa del Podesta, with a tall 13th-century tower. Nearby is the Church of Santa Maria Nuova. The Piazza della Fontana Grande with the Fontana Grande, the oldest of Viterbo's numerous ornamental fountains. Nearby are: Casa Poscia, a typical noble house of the 14th century, Palazzo Gatti and Palazzo di Alessandri.
Bomarzo - The beautiful village of Bomarzo with ancient walls is sheltered by a castle on a ridge above green valleys. The massive Palazzo Orsini (16th century) that dominates the town can only be visited on special occasions. The main attraction is the Parco dei Mostri, just outside the village, one of the most idiosyncratic and enigmatic mannerist gardens in Lazio. Silent monsters, giant statues, cave faces, a tempietto and a crooked house are in this green and small park. It is possible to visit the park for an entrance fee. Bomarzo is 19 minutes from Viterbo. Marturanum Regional Natural Park - The park is located in the municipality of Barbarano Romano, in the province of Viterbo. It has dozens of well-marked trails that can be traveled on foot, by MTB and on horseback. The Sentiero dei Valloni connects Barbarano Romano to Blera, passing the gorge carved in the tuff by the Biedano torrent. Along the way you will encounter waterfalls, caves and tunnels, all the way to the Devil's Bridge (Ponte del Diavolo) on the ancient Via Clodia. The route along the Necropoli di Caiolo is the most suggestive, with hundreds of Etruscan tombs carved into the tuff and surrounded by very lush vegetation. This natural park is located 36 minutes from Viterbo.
Cività di Bagnoregio - The east of Lago di Bolsena Cività di Bagnoregio is worth seeing. Its old brown tufa houses are crowded together at a dizzy height on an isolated, steeply rising rock base, surrounded by furrowed eroded valleys. Until the end of the 17th century the village formed a coherent city with the neighboring Bagnoregio, then an earthquake that caused part of the city's rock to collapse created a dividing chasm. The residents then gradually left their place, although tourism has recently rediscovered the picturesque village. Cività di Bagnoregio is 22 minutes from Lake Bolsena.
Villa Lante in Bagnaia is located 9 minutes from Viterbo. It is one of the most beautiful Mannerist gardens in Lazio. In Bagnaia you can visit the historic center.
4. Lago di Bolsena & Pitigliano & Tuscania
The beautiful lake Lago di Bolsena is about 100 km north of Rome and can be reached from Rome by car in about 1.5 hours. The two larger towns of Orvieto (in the east) and Viterbo in the south are close to Lago di Bolsena. The shore zones of Lago di Bolsena have remained undeveloped for long stretches, dense reed belts alternate with small stretches of beach made of dark, fine-grained lava sand. In the middle of the blue water surface are two small islands, the idyllic Isola Bisentina and the tiny Isola Martana. Bolsena, the main tourist town on Lago di Bolsena, is very popular with tourists looking for sun and relaxation. Here the holiday guests will find tranquility and intact nature. Bolsena has a beautiful townscape with a historic center, which stretches up the hillside with old tuff stone houses to the walls of the medieval Castello. The main attraction of Bolsena is the Santa Cristina church in the center of the town, which can be visited on the Piazza Santa Cristina. The originally Romanesque church (11th century) is worth a visit. From the Piazza Matteotti (town center) we climb up to the Castello Monaldeschi, the imposing medieval castle of Bolsena.
Capodimonte, near Lago di Bolsena - The picturesque town lies on a promontory protruding into the lake. The Farnese Castle dominates the town. Behind the castle is the small medieval quarter. The boats to the island of Isola Bisentina start from the small harbor and here you will also find the beautiful beach promenade with plane trees, which offers perfect opportunities for swimming and relaxation. The small island of Isola Bisentina can also be visited in summer with organized excursions from Bolsena or Capodimonte, with island tours through nature.
Montefiascone, by Lago di Bolsena - This small town stretches on a crater rim above Lake Bolsena. The cathedral rises above the city with beautiful views over the houses of the old town. The town is also known for its white wine Est, Est, Est, which is produced in the area. The most interesting church in terms of artistic history in Montefiascone is San Flaviano, a medieval building near the center of the village.
Pitigliano - Above the stone houses of Pitigliano rise a palace, an aqueduct and the tower of the Duomo. Medieval Pitigliano gives an image of bygone times, since it has remained intact, and nothing disturbs the picturesque ensemble, especially with evening lighting. A tour of the winding old town is a pleasure. Stone houses grow up from a green tufa rock that rises steeply out of the forest. A beautiful view of Pitigliano opens from the Church of the Madonna delle Grazie, located on the road towards Manciano. The Orsini castle guards the entrance to the old town. In the vicinity are the atmospheric Etruscan gorges dug into the tuff (hiking trail along the Via della Cava). Pitigliano is 33 minutes from Bolsena.
Sovana - Not far from Pitigliano is the dreamy little town of Sovana. The old town center essentially consists of a single street. Along this beautiful street, inviting for a stroll, is the imposing ruin of the Aldobrandeschi Castle from the 11th century, in the center of the town is the beautiful Piazza del Pretorio. From the center begins the old paved path to the cathedral of Santi Pietro e Paolo (11th century) on the western edge of the city rock. In the valleys west of the city are the interesting Etruscan necropolises of Sovana, which can also be reached on foot following the path that descends from the Duomo. Sovana is located 42 minutes from Bolsena.
Sorano, one of the southern Tuscan tuff places, offers a beautiful view with old houses on steep rocks and has retained its originality, as there is little tourism here. Sorano, the third of the southern Tuscan tuff places with ancient houses on steep rocks. Worth seeing is the main church Collegiata di San Nicola di Bari and the city gate Porta dei Merli. In the middle of the old village, the Sasso Leopoldini rises above the roofs of the medieval quarter. Sorano is located 32 minutes from Bolsena.
Tuscania - This small town is located in the hill country about 25 minutes from Viterbo. It has a well-preserved historic center with a number of Romanesque churches of great historical interest. East of the old center (a little outside of town) are two very interesting Romanesque churches. Both churches (Church of Santa Maria Maggiore and Church of San Pietro with adjacent Bishop's Palace, both from the 11th century) can be visited. Perched on seven tufa promontories, Tuscania is one of the most beautiful villages of Tuscia Viterbese. At Tuscania is the bisected by the river Marta
5. Lago di Bracciano & Lago di Vico
Lago di Vico - Located at an altitude of over 500 meters, in the heart of the Cimini Mountains. It is a lake of volcanic origin and large hazelnut plantations stretch along its banks. Etruscan tombs can be found on the slopes behind. This lake is one of the areas of Lazio with a special naturalistic value and has therefore been declared a nature reserve. A few kilometers to the east, with Caprarola, this almost uninhabited landscape offers a glimpse of another world, the splendor of Italian history and art.
Caprarola is overlooked by the Palazzo Farnese, a Mannerist building worth seeing. The palace rises with bright facades at the highest point of the place. On the western outskirts is the baroque church of Santa Teresa, from where you have a beautiful view of the Palazzo Farnese and the old town of Caprarola and the surrounding hills. The Palazzo Farnese was built by the Farnese family in the 16th century. It can be visited with guided tours. Caprarola is 14 km from Lake Vico.
Sutri is located between Lago di Vico and Lago di Bracciano, almost 50 km north of Rome and surrounded by greenery. The best way to reach the sleepy little town from Rome is via the Via Cassia. Tufa plays a crucial role in Sutri. The historic city center is enthroned on a tufa hill. In the small but important archaeological park of the city there is an ancient amphitheater made of tuff. And the ancient Etruscans once carved tombs into the tufa walls of the area.
Bracciano and Lake Bracciano - This small town is situated between Rome and Viterbo on a hill overlooking Lake Bracciano. The eastern part of the town (historical center) with its narrow streets and old facades is worth a visit. The place is dominated by the mighty walls and bastions of the Castello Orsini-Odescalchi. The Castello Orsini - Odescalchi can be visited with guided tours lasting about 1 hour. Lake Bracciano is one of the favorite recreational areas of the Romans. Its water is still relatively clean and there are several small bathing beaches in a calm sea environment.
The picturesque little mountain village of Calcata Vecchia, 22 km from Lago di Bracciano, is a worthwhile destination for anyone who wants to get some rest and inspiration away from the city. Picturesque alleys and squares, a medieval castle, magical photo opportunities and a very special flair are what make Calcata special. Many artists, hippies and dropouts are now living again in the former ghost village, which is surrounded by high defensive walls and which was to be demolished in the 1830s because of the risk of rock falls.
6. Argentario & Maremma
The beautiful peninsula of Monte Argentario is located in the province of Grosseto in southern Tuscany. The municipality of Monte Argentario consists of two larger towns and several smaller villages with relatively few inhabitants. Medieval architecture, beautiful beaches and numerous fortresses await you on Monte Argentario.
Riva del Marchese beach, near Porto Ercole, on the Argentario peninsula. In the village of Le Viste, just a stone's throw from Porto Ercole, you will find an oasis of calm and tranquillity. The beach has an English lawn and you can use various bathing services.
The bathing beach of La Feniglia on the Argentario peninsula is not just a beach: it is a very thin and very long dune, a sheltered oasis bordered by Mediterranean essences and a very long beach that gets wilder and wilder the further you get from the car park becomes. Also noteworthy is the view of the Argentario peninsula.
Cala Mar Morto cove on the Argentario peninsula- A fantastic cove, natural swimming pool with flat rocks that accompany you into the sea. Well-equipped beach that allows you to swim among the colorful fish. Don't forget bathing shoes, mask, packed lunch and sun protection.
The Maremma Natural Park, large nature reserve, is located by the sea, south of Grosseto and near the Argentario. The park is the green heart of the area, and is called Uccellina by the Tuscans. Set up as a nature park, it is now a well-known nature reserve. Several routes are possible to visit the Maremma Natural Park, some on foot and some by bike. In collaboration with Slow Food, various food and wine tours are also organized to discover local organic products. The main entrance to the park is at the village of Alberese, where the visitor center is located. Here you can get all information and buy tickets for the park and rent bikes. Attention, the number of visitors in the park is limited, so it is best to organize entry in the morning.
Giglio Island- This island can be reached from the Argentario peninsula, starting from Porto S. Stefano with about an hour's navigation. The small island is almost entirely hilly, alternating between cliffs and bays with beaches. On the island you can enjoy a peaceful and rural environment and admire the many naturalistic beauties of the place. All beaches have bathing establishments and free areas. The island is surrounded by a clear turquoise sea embellished by its villages. Giglio Porto (where the ferries dock) is characterized by colorful houses overlooking the sea. In its narrow streets there are shops, bars, ice cream parlors and restaurants. Giglio Castello, an ancient medieval village, perched high in the mountains and surrounded by walls with intricate little streets, arches and squares, a place where time has stood still. It can be reached by bus in about 15 minutes. Giglio Campese is a tourist settlement situated on a beautiful beach, with a tower "Torre Medicea" on one side and the "Faraglione" on the other side of the bay. Giglio Campese can be reached from Giglio Porto in 30 minutes by bus.
La Maremmana - Caseificio inno al sole
A dairy.Farm with 400 buffaloes, and 500 meters away a dairy and a ricotta and mozzarella shop.It offers 12 types of cheese made from 100% buffalo milk and a variety of local products.
Address Strada Provinciale 131 del Poggiale 72, Principina Terra (Grosseto)
Phone +39 05 64 17 68 089
Lago di Bolsena
Orvieto - cathedral
Lago di Bolsena - Seaside resort Capodimonte
Halbinsel "Argentario" - Badestrand eines Hotels
Free thermal baths near Viterbo
Lago di Bolsena
Bomarzo - Park Parco dei Mostri
Orvieto - cathedral
Free thermal baths in a valley near Bagni di Filippo (Siena)
7. Thermal baths Latium and Toscana
The Viterbese area is a thermal zone. Those who love free baths can go to the Piscine Carletti (2.5 km from Viterbo). Those who prefer a less wild environment can choose the "Terme del Bagnaccio", managed by an association that takes care of cleaning the swimming pools and has created a small paradisiacal garden around the thermal baths. Entry costs 5 euros per person. The Terme di San Sisto have a similar concept, but there is only one pool, which is relatively large.
Thermal Baths dei Papi, near Viterbo - Thermalism in Lazio and in all the regions ruled by the Roman Empire has very ancient origins, in fact it was first the Etruscans and then the Romans who discovered the extremely beneficial and healing properties of thermal waters and the first public baths created, places of encounter and linchpin of social and political life. The Popes' Baths are the oldest in the city of Viterbo and owe their name to Pope Niccolo V, who loved these baths. The waters of the Terme dei Papi in Viterbo are of volcanic origin and can be divided into two types: hyperthermal at a temperature between 40ºC and 65ºC, they are sulphurous, sulphate, bicarbonate, alkaline earth waters; Ipothermal at a temperature between 20°C and 30°C, they are bicarbonate, sulphate, alkaline, earthy, carbonated, ferrous They are incredibly rich in beneficial properties and are effective in treating various health problems.
Terme Libere Carletti (Viterbo) - The Carletti thermal baths are perhaps one of the most fascinating thermal baths in the Viterbo area. The water flows down in numerous streams at 58 ° and feeds several pools. The water is transparent and has impressive colors. (Source temperature 58 degrees C)
Terme libere del Bagnaccio (Viterbo) - These thermal baths consist of 6 thermal pools and two lawns for lying and relaxing in the sun. They are managed by an association that keeps the site clean and safe. You pay an entrance fee of 5 euros, which allows you to use the thermal baths all year round.
The Zona termale delle masse di San Sisto thermal baths - These thermal baths are clean and well organized, even if, given the large number of visitors, the places available are often very limited. There are two pools in these thermal baths, one quite large with hot thermal water and a smaller one with warm thermal water (about 18°C). The thermal baths are currently managed by the Le Masse di San Sisto association. Simply sign up for an annual membership and pay a modest annual membership fee.
Terme del Bullicame (Viterbo) - The free thermal baths of Bullicame are located on the road to Bullicame, 2.5 km from Viterbo. There is a small tub and a larger, elongated one. (Source temperature 58 degrees C)
Terme libere di Saturnia Cascate del Mulino (Grosseto) - The ancient thermal complex is very extensive. In addition to Saturnia's luxurious thermal area, there are a number of natural thermal baths and free baths. Among them are the Gorello waterfalls and the tiered thermal baths of Manciano. The Terme di Saturnia are 56 minutes from Lake Bolsena. (Source temperature 37.5 degrees C)
Terme di Petriolo, Monticiano (Siena) - On the banks of the Farma torrent (Municipality of Monticiano) are the free thermal baths of Petriolo. The remains of a thermal facility date back to the 15th century. The thermal baths are located at the mouth of the torrent, protected by the rocks from the torrent that flows alongside. The thermal baths are 1 hour and 59 minutes from Lake Bolsena. (Source temperature 43 degrees C)
Bagni di San Filippo(Siena) - Hidden in the green woods, at the foot of Mount Amiata, lies a little treasure: the Bagni di San Filippo, the free thermal baths located in Val d'Orcia, near Siena. The Terme di San Filippo are 50 minutes from Lake Bolsena. (Source temperature 48 degrees C).