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Wednesday 23 Oct 2019
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Outskirtes PDF Print E-mail

Thirty kilometres of wide sandy seashore with great pine woods join the seaside resorts of Tarquinia Lido and Marina di Montalto di Castro. Inland, the golden fields, olive groves and vineyards of the Latium Maremma extend towards the slopes of the Vulsini and Cimini hills, whose volcanic craters are home to Lake So/sena (and its islands, Bisentina and Martana) and Lake Vico. The nature reserves at Monte Rufeno (Acquapendente), Selva del Lamone (Farnese, Ischia di Castro) and Lake Vico remain unpolluted. Soriano ne/ Cimino is treasured for its splendid beech-wood, situated at an altitude of over a thousand metres. The Valle dei Calanchi affords an unusual panorama of plateaux resting on clay (Civita di Bagnoregio).

Villas and castles:
Villa Lante at Bagnaia, Villa Farnese at Caprarola and the Parco dei Mostri (Monsters' Park) at Bomarzo: here are three surprises from the late Renaissance, complete with gardens, fountains, frescoes and sculptures. They form part of a chain of castles and palaces which were often rebuilt on pre-existing medieval sites owned by the local feudal nobility: Orsini (Soriano nel Cimino and Vasanello), Marescotti-Ruspoli (Vignanello), Monaldeschi (Bolsena), Farnese (Caprarola, Gradoli, Valentano), Borgia (Civitacastellana, Nepi), Odescalchi (Bassano Romano), Albornoz (Viterbo), Santacroce-Altieri (Oriolo Romano). The Rocca dei Papi (Papal Palace) in Montefiascone and the Abbadia castle in Vulci.

Historic Centres:
Viterbo earns a mark of distinction, here: aristocratic palaces (of Priors,
Popes, Farnese, Poscia, Gatti, and Mazzatosta); the unique medieval quarter of San Pellegrino; a dozen or more sculpted fountains, churches and cloisters from various epoques; a museum with numerous masterpieces (the "Pietà" by Sebastiano del Piombo) and a well conserved town wall dating back to the earlyeleventh century.

Places of faith:
Worth noting are the Romanesque churches of Tuscania (San Pietro and Santa Maria Maggiore), masterpieces of palaeochristian art. Impressive, too, is the abbey in San Martino al Cimino, near Viterbo, which dates back to the Pontigny Cistercians. Viterbo hosts some austere early-medieval churches (especially San Sisto, San Giovanni in Zoccoli and Santa Maria Nuova), as do Montefiascone (San Flaviano), Tarquinia (Santa Maria in Castello) and VetraIla (San Francesco).

First of all, Tarquinia. the Etruscan necropolis (where about a dozen tombs, of those excavated, are open to the public) is famous for its wall frescoes (VI-III century BC) depicting scenes from the dead person's life: hunting, banquets, dancing, games, animals, demons and more. In Tuscania the sarcophagi of the Curunas (IV-Il century BC) would be worth three stars, on a scale of one to five, and in Vulci we find the bronzes and characteristic black buccheri.
The rocky necropoli of Blera, Barbarano Romano ,Norchia and Castel d'Asso can be reached if a little care is taken the excavated tombs are often surrounded by thick vegetation. Worth noting at Ferento (near Viterbo) are the remains of the Roman Theatre and at Falerii Novii (Fabrica di Roma) the Cyclopean masonry of the old town destroyed and abandoned in the Middle Ages.


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