Monterano

 

A few kilometers out of Rome, the Natural Reserve of Monterano is a beautiful and unique environment in itself. A large oaks grove punctuated by the sulfuric pools connected to the underground sulfur ore, it offers many shallow rivers, waterfalls and caves. One feature however dwarves them all. The ancient village of Monterano was built over the remains of an Etruscan settlement. It steadily grew in power throughout the centuries, becoming the seat of an important dioceses in the Eight century, and even a Ducal residence in the 1600s.

During this period it attracted important artists like Bernini, who designed a few parts of its castle, becoming a really important location. Then it was abandoned. In the year 1799 Monterano was first ravaged by a petty local war about wheat taxes, then it strangely became afflicted by malaria, even if the sulfuric waters shouldn’t allow the reproduction of the mosquito spreading it. In a few months everybody flew the place, which remained abandoned ever since.

Today the scenic remains of Monterano are frequently used as a film set and they are a favorite location for family picnics. The modern village of Casale Monterano, just a few kilometers away, has a rich history and traditions – but nothing can beat the charm of the nearby ghost town.