When time is short but you want to keep exploring, a nice trip out of town is always a good idea. With a route conceived to spend the day between history and nature, here are the places to see for a nice trip that start from Rome. A path that unfolds between history and nature in Bassa Sabina. A day thought out to walk and be in touch with nature, once again, and far from the crowd and Covid19-related stress.
First stop: Nunnery of St Cosimato and the Hermits of St Benedetto in Vicovaro
At 50km from Rome, lies the first stop of the day:the Nunnery of St Cosimato and the Hermitages of St Benedict in Vircovaro. The Nunnery is located on these hermitages, a rocky complex perched on the Aniene river, where several grottos have been transformed into chapels. It dates back to the 6th century and it is a place that evokes the spirituality of the relation between man and nature. It does not take much to go visit it and it is worth it. A little trivia: this place has been the on-location set of the third season of the TV show Suburra, when the wife of Amedeo Cinaglia finds refuge in the convent.
Second stop: Villa of Horace in Licenza
Continuing on toward Orvinio, we casually come across the small town of Licenza and a sign with the directions to Horace’s Villa. What… the roman poet Horace whom I studied in school many years ago? Yes, him. Quintus Horace Flaccus, between 33 and 32 B.C., receives this villa from Maecenas as a gift, a villa that was unearthed only in 1915. During his stay in this villa, Horace wrote some of his most famous works and describes the nature around him as beautiful and lush. To date, the archaeological site is well preserved and the mosaics are visible and clear: a true step back in time. With the quiet of the surrounding wood, the smell of the tree and the total lack of anything remotely modern, just for a moment you get to feel like you are in ancient Rome.
Third stop: Orvinio, one of Italy’s most beautiful towns
A 20 minutes car ride from Licenza and finally we get to Orvinio. Located in the Rieti province, Orvinio is the highest town in the Park of the Lucretili Mountains, 840 above sea level. Its small town center is really gorgeous and nicely cared for. By crossing an arch, you access the town center and the main road which takes you to the imposing castle towering high over the valley and that dates back to the year 1000. Our idea to stop to grab a bite at a local restaurant is immediately dampened by some local who invite us to taste the very famous pizza of one of the town’s oldest bakeries. So, our plans change and we decide to continue our trip and head for a surprise hiking place!
Last stop: Abbey of Santa Maria al Piano and Park of the Lucretili Mountains
We read that there are small falls that you can get to on foot and we decide, with our backpacks filled with that amazing pizza, to reach them and have a bite there on the spot. With the car we get to a very charming desert and semi-abandoned area theAbbey of Santa Maria al Piano. Benedictine abbey currently abandoned, the ruins of which seem in all respects to have come out of a legend. An ancient legend tells that it was built at the behest of Charlemagne in gratitude to God for having won a battle. With the car parked, we decide to enter the wood by foot, walking on a path where we meet other people. Finally, we reach these small falls inside the Park of the Lucretili Mountains where – far from any kind of chaos – we enjoy the sound of flowing water.
Day oy of the city of Rome : wonders within easy reach by car and day
We have succeeded once again in discovering magical places off the beaten path but extremely interesting, just a car ride away, that you can reach easily and then get back home in the same day. Easy to get to to spend the day in a different way discovering the Lazio region and its many marvels, both historical and natural. But stay alert, it is not over!
Featured image: Licenza Turismo