Today you will get “off the beaten path” and enjoy this fun and educational Roman countryside tour to experience beautiful places in terms of both history, archaeology, art, nature and food.
Your English-speaking chauffeur/guide will welcome you at your hotel or any other place of your convenience in downtown Rome at around 8:30am (suggested time).You are about to visit Le terre del Lago, a beautiful, very interesting and sometimes surprising part of Italy. The area lies to the North of Rome. It is bordered by the Tolfa Hills, the area around Viterbo, known as Tuscia Viterbese, and the Tiber valley, and includes the regional nature reserves of Bracciano-Martignano and Monterano.
Lake Bracciano is less than an hour north of Rome but a world away from the noise, traffic and crowds of the capital city. The volcanic crater lake is rimmed with low hills, woods and charming, tranquil medieval towns that sit right at its shoreline. The countryside is beautiful and unspoiled – a nature lover’s paradise. The waters of the lake are crystal clear, thanks to environmental initiatives to keep it free from pollution.
This area around Lake Bracciano has been home to the Etruscans, the Romans and some of the noble families of medieval Italy.
Each of them have left something of their history for you to discover.
Three towns sit on the lake – Bracciano, Anguillara and Trevignano Romano where you’ll find charming atmospheres, quaint shops, coffee bars and restaurants.
Bracciano is better known for its castle “Orsini-Odescalchi” built during the second half of 15th century by Napoleone Orsini. The castle is in great condition and became famous worldwide when American movie star Tom Cruise married Katie Holmes at the castle in 2006. In this majestic castle, surrounded by six cylindrical towers, have sojourned Popes, emperors, artists and it is rich of remarkable collection of medieval weapons and fresco paintings. Guests will appreciate the magnificent view of the lake from the ‘loggia’ located in between the towers. The Odescalchi Castle only allows tours led by their English-speaking guides, so while on the castle tour, you may be with other visitors.
Afterwards, we will continue to Anguillara, another lovely Medieval village of about 12,000 citizens. It takes its name from “Angularia” because of an ancient roman villa positioned exactly on a right corner of the same lake. Here in Anguillara, after your driver/guide has introduced to you the history of this village he will give you some free time to stroll around.
You can climb passing between the medieval streets on top of the village (just 10 minute walk), which offers a spectacular view of the entire lake.
At lunch time, we will be happy to suggest some typical local restaurants in the area based on your specific interests where you can taste some great authentic local dishes.
Upon request there is a possibility to organize lunch in a local “Villa B&B” near the lake for an authentic local meal. There you will get the chance to taste typical dishes with a variety of organic products, all planted in the same property. A rich variety of mixed starters and homemade “pasta” together with local wine, mineral water and dessert will be served in the magical atmosphere
on the veranda overlooking the Bracciano lake (price is 30 Euro per person).
After lunch, we will continue to Calcata, a small village located high on top of a mountain, where cars and mobile phones are a distant reality. Hidden behind strong and high walls rising directly from the rocks, Calcata defended its inhabitants against all worldly influences, only to surrender to an international community of artists and craftsmen.
During the weekends, Calcata turns into a busy little town with a number of art galleries, restaurants, shops and stalls selling handmade jewelry.
We will return to Rome approximately at 4.30pm.
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