An off the beaten track area hidden between Rome and Tuscany that is a must to visit.
Charming medieval towns amid plenty of green spaces characterize Tuscia in the northern Lazio region, its chief town being Viterbo. This historic walled town with its medieval centre is an oasis of relaxation and good food and is also where the Via Francigena starts in the medieval district of San Pellegrino and concludes in St Peter’s square in the Eternal City.
The extinct volcanic craters in the area have led to the formation of two lakes: The Lake of Bolsena, the largest volcanic lake in Europe, and Vico Lake are both lakes of rare beauty.
Sandy beaches, Mediterranean vegetation and crystalline waters are typical of this area’s coastline.
From an historic point of view the area is known for the Etruscans, the earliest urban civilization in the northern Mediterranean. One of the main Etruscan (then Roman) settlements was in the ancient town of Tarquinia which is situated at a high point overlooking the sea, testifying to the Etruscan merchant trading past. The city is of great interest for its Etruscan Necropolis, underground tombs with their extraordinary wall paintings depicting Etruscan life which remain perfectly preserved. The site is listed by UNESCO as part of the world’s heritage.
The National Etruscan Museum of Tarquina, held within Palazzo Vitelleschi, is beyond doubt one of the richest and most important museums of Italy and houses a unique collection of Etruscan art and artifacts .
Another must-see of the area is Civita di Bagnoregio, a magical, surreal, fantastic place located on top of a tuff hill that can only be reached by crossing a narrow pedestrian bridge. From there you can enjoy one of the most stunning panoramic views of the whole Lazio region. Nick-named “the town that is dying”, due to the constant erosion of the tuff rocks where it is placed, this citadel, half-way between Orvieto and Lake Bolsena, has Etruscan and Medieval origins. Suspended in time and space, Civita di Bagnoregio is beyond doubt one of the most beautiful and characteristic Italian villages.
And always in the province of Viterbo, in the heart of the Tuscia area, you can find the Garden of Bomarzo, better known as The Bomarzo monsters park: a Mannerist monumental complex created during the 16th century and situated in a wooded valley bottom beneath the castle of Orsini, populated by grotesque sculptures and small buildings located among the natural vegetation. Once Inside the grove you will be catapulted into an imaginary world, populated with mythological animals and huge stone monsters, which have been instilling fear, surprise and wonder into every visitor since the garden was created.