TREKKING ALONG VIA AMERINA
This area lies mid way between Rome and Tuscany and it boasts both the scenic countryside of the latter and the historical background of the first.
How can you make a journey through time, hiking a paved Roman road surrounded by ancient tombs? Here we go! We can reach the medieval town of Civita Castellana and then walk for approx 2 hrs along a fascinating stretch of the “Via Amerina”. It was an ancient Roman road with strategic importance in the area, originally inhabited by the Faliscans. These people were definitely defeated by the Romans in the year 241 BC and their main city, Falerii Veteres (where is now Civita Castellana), was destroyed and re-built close by, under the name of Falerii Novi.
The “Via Amerina” took its name from the final destination, the umbrian town of Ameria (today Amelia) and represented an important fast connection between Rome and Umbria, especially for commercial reasons.
It became very useful also during the early middle ages, when it connected safely Rome to Ravenna: here the Byzantine had their Italian headquarter, called “the Exarchate”. Medieval towers and castles protected the road and the pilgrims’ paths for centuries in the so called “byzantine corridor”.
Near the location now called “Cava degli Zucchi” we can hike for approx three miles surrounded by the amazing landscape of a necropolis that was in use from the III century BC until the III AD: all forms of burial are visible, from inhumation tombs carved in the rock to columbarium for cremations, altars and aediculae.
Complete your day trip:
A visit to the remains of Falerii Novii is almost a “must”, with the preserved walls and the intact Jupiter Gate. The remains of the town still need further excavations, but the evocative landscape is a perfect backdrop for the cistercian church of Santa Maria in Falleri, dating back to the XII century.
Sutri can be another interesting stop, for its ancient amphitheatre and the dark mythraeum converted into a medieval chapel called “Madonna del Parto”.
Once in the area, you cannot miss the town of Civita Castellana and its Renaissance castle called “Rocca dei Borgia”, as it was started by the future pope Alexander VI, cardinal Rodrigo Borgia. The fortress hosts an archaeological collection, including finds from Falerii Novi. And the Duomo, dating back to the XII century, boasts great cosmatesque decorations even on the external porch.
relax seekers and families
The hot springs of Viterbo are at easy reach for a relaxing bath and a massage… During summer we recommend a stop at the uncontaminated Lake of Vico