What to see in Tuscia: itinerary among parks, villages and spas

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Martí Micolau

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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La Tuscia it is one of the most beautiful and interesting Italian areas from the landscape point of view, but also from the archaeological and cultural one. It includes part of Lazio, Tuscany and Umbria, the territory of Tuscia has great potential: in addition to medieval villages and towns in which time seems to have stopped, there are many lakes and natural parks (all of extraordinary beauty!) and, for those looking for a little relaxation, there are plenty of spas and spa facilities where you can enjoy a day of regenerating dolce far niente.


  1. Lakes and natural parks
  2. Medieval Towns and Villages
  3. spa
  4. Recommended itineraries
  5. User questions and comments

Lakes and natural parks

For trekking lovers or for those who simply want to spend a few hours immersed in nature, Tuscia has a wide choice of lakes and natural parks to be visited through hiking trails suitable for all ages.

1 - Lake Bracciano

Lake Bracciano is one of the most famous lakes in the region, located a short distance from Rome. Of volcanic origin and with an extension that counts it among the ten largest lakes in Italy, Lake Bracciano offers enchanting landscapes, especially the Sabatini Mountains that frame the basin on the north side.
In addition to fishery, which is one of the most popular activities in lake tourism (especially eels and perch), near the Bracciano Lake there are many walks to explore the homonymous natural park and the ancient villages. One of the most popular is the one that leads to Orsini Odescalchi Castle of the village of Bracciano, an example of Renaissance architecture in the military field. Inside, the castle museum is open every day with hours that vary according to the season (Full ticket € 8,50; reduced € 6,00).

How to reach us: From Rome it is easily reachable along the Via Aurelia; after Civitavecchia, take the road that leads from Porta Tarquinia to the town of Bracciano, crossing the Tolfa and Manziana mountains. Get directions

2 - Lake of Mezzano

Lago di Mezzano is a small, rounded lake that originated about 400.000 years ago. Still little known to mass tourism, this volcanic lake offers a luxuriant nature and that peace typical of uncontaminated places. There aren't many distractions in its surroundings: the most challenging activity you can choose to do is the peaceful walk that winds its way around its perimeter.

How to reach us: Getting there is not that easy; the Strada Provinciale Lago di Mezzano (duly signposted) suddenly turns into a dirt road in the middle of nowhere. Beware of speed limits! Get directions

3 - Lake of Bolsena

Lake Bolsena boasts the title of largest volcanic lake not only in Italy, but even in all of Europe. Very popular, especially in the summer, due to the abundance of campsites and tourist facilities located along its banks, the lake satisfies the various interests of visitors, whether they are looking for walks in the woods, tastings and tours of the cellars or background paths historical-cultural. In this regard, the passage of a section of the Via Francigena in the municipality of Bolsena (to which the miracle of Corpus Domini is apparently linked).

How to reach us: to get to the lake from Rome, just take the SS. Cassia in a northerly direction for just over a hundred kilometers, or coming from the A1 Autostrada del Sole motorway it will be necessary to exit at Orvieto, and then follow towards Bolsena. Get directions

4 - Lake of Vico

In the middle of a wonderful natural oasis, Lake Vico is appreciated above all for the wealth of local flora and fauna. In its waters, in addition to different varieties of freshwater fish (including perch, pike, trout and eel), it is possible to see specimens of Otterwhile in the undergrowth live foxes, wild cats, weasels and dormice. In addition, hundreds of species of migratory birds find refuge among the fronds of the trees. The best way to appreciate the Vico Lake Nature Reserve is to follow the paths far and wide, getting lost in the green: you can do it on foot, on horseback or, for the more sporty, on a mountain bike.

How to reach us: From Rome, just follow the SS. Cassia to the Lago di Vico exit; from the A1 motorway, on the other hand, you have to exit at the Migliano Sabina tollbooth. From there, you must first follow to Rome, Civita Castellana, Caprarola and finally to the lake. Get directions

5 - Natural reserve of the salt pans

In the town of Tarquinia, extends a 'protected area of over 170 hectares of great scientific and naturalistic value. The Saline Nature Reserve is home to very rare species of plants and animals, including the Common Tortoise, the Coral Gull, the Pink Flamingo and the Gray Heron. Once used to satisfy the salt needs of the capital and the cities located on the Tyrrhenian side, the original Salina has been transformed into a protected oasis and the village has become an inhabited village since the end of 1889. Since 1997, thesalt extraction it is inactive, but it is still possible to visit the reserve freely without bothering the animals present (it is advisable to follow the path of the freshwater lake).

How to reach us: from Largo della Pace in Civitavecchia, take the Strada Statale 1 and continue along Via Aurelia Nord at La Scaglia. From here, take the road towards Bagni di Sant'Agostino and take the Provincial Coastal Road: in less than twenty minutes, following the signs, you will arrive at your destination. Get directions

Medieval Towns and Villages

Another more than valid reason to explore the geographical area of ​​Tuscia are the picturesque towns and medieval villages, many of which have remained untouched by the passage of time.

1 - Viterbo

Papal seat for over twenty years, Viterbo is the City of the Popes still little known internationally. The very extensive historic center and the buildings made of peperino, a precious local gray stone, make this medieval town the real flagship of Viterbo's Tuscia. Impossible to visit Viterbo without stopping at the symbol of the city, the Palace of the Popes, the highest expression of Gothic architecture. In addition to this, however, a walk in theancient San Pellegrino district, perfectly preserved (the San Pellegrino in fiore event is held here every year for botany lovers!). The Piazza della Morte and the Cathedral of San Lorenzo are also very beautiful.

How to reach us: by car: from the Autostrada del Sole, exit at Orte (28km from Viterbo). By train: thanks to the direct Rome-Viterbo line. Get directions

2 - Tarquinia

Tarquinia is the Etruscan city par excellence, testimony of an ancient people and tourist center of great importance. According to legend, the city was founded by the hero of Etruscan mythology, Tarconte. Among the main points of interest, the National Museum is worthy of note for the incredible quantity of archaeological finds, found in the surroundings and dating back to ancient times; the Church of Santa Maria di Castello and that of San Giacomo, in addition to the elegant Palazzo Vitelleschi, now the seat of the National Etruscan Museum.
For those more interested in spending time on the beach, however, not far from Tarquinia is the Tarquinia Lido, seaside resort with many establishments, shops, restaurants.

How to reach us: Tarquinia can be reached quite easily both with the buses that depart from Civitavecchia (served by the CO.TRA.L bus company) and with your own means through the Statale 1. Get directions

3 - Civita di Bagnoregio

Perhaps the most famous of all the Italian villages, Civita di Bagnoregio is known as the dying city: the cliff on top of which the village is placed is made of clay, constantly subjected to erosion by water. There is no certainty about how long the town still remains "to live", but certainly Civita di Bagnoregio is a small masterpiece that, for those in the area, it is not really possible to miss. Among the most important monuments, it is recommended to visit the Bishop's Palace, the Church of San Donato and the mill dating back to the th century.

How to reach us: access to the village is via a bridge that seems to be suspended in the clouds and is only accessible on foot. Entrance fee € 1,50 / 3,00. Once you cross the bridge, you find yourself immersed in a surreal world, outside of reality. Get directions

4 - Vitorchiano

Another characteristic Viterbo village, Vitorchiano is located overhanging a magmatic rock cliff. The maze of cobbled streets and the imposing walls make the town quite picturesque, giving it that typical charm of little-frequented places. Up Piazza Roma, nucleus of the village, overlook the Church of Sant'Antonio Abate, Town Hall with the clock tower el 'Auditorium in the structure of a former monastery.

How to reach us: from Viterbo, it is just under 8 km of road. Get directions

5 - Caprarola

The territory that extends around Caprarola is a real one paradise for hazelnut gluttons: the fruits that come from these hazelnut woods are of the highest quality, so much so that the Hazelnut Festival, every year at the end of August, to celebrate this product of excellence. The town, however, is also famous for its urban structure (characterized by a central street, the Via Dritta, from which all the consular streets start), as well as for the beautiful Palazzo Farnese, with the monumental Scala Regia and the Italian gardens. Definitely worth a visit there too Church of Santa Teresa Monti Cimini Reserve and the neighbor Lake Vico.

How to reach us: from Rome it is approximately 60 km. There are also connections along the Rome-Viterbo bus route. Get directions


After long walks exploring villages, trekking in the reserves and romantic paths along the lakefront, what could be better than carving out some relaxation in a spa? Think that only in the surroundings of Viterbo there are numerous thermal basins, nicknamed the Baths of the Popes, because in the past they were appreciated and used even by illustrious figures from the Catholic world. Here we indicate the main ones.

1 - Baths of Bagnaccio

The Bagnaccio spa area it includes both hypothermal (23-29 ° C) and hyperthermal (64-66 ° C) sources, which are accompanied by significant vapor emissions. A short distance from the city of Viterbo (about 8km), these pools welcome bathersevery day of the year from 7:00 to 24:00, although there are no restaurants or accommodation facilities in their vicinity. The pools, in fact, are managed by a social promotion association (Il Bagnaccio) and, although there is a regulation for the use of the area, the latter is free entry.

How to reach us: from the center of Viterbo, you have to follow the Strada Castiglione. The pools are located at the intersection of Strada Castiglione and Strada Martana, in the open countryside. Unfortunately, no bus stops near the spa area. Get directions

2 - Terme delle Masse di San Sisto

At the southern end of the Viterbo spa area, in the locality of Paliano, there are the Terme delle Masse di San Sisto consisting of two thermal pools of different temperatures (the larger one with hot water, the other smaller with cold water), a lawn where you can lie in the sun, a shop for drinks, toilets and changing rooms. Open at any time of day, these sources are accessible only by subscribing to one annual pass and paying one annual membership fee. (Registration is done directly on site).

How to reach us: the easiest way to reach them is by using your own means. The spa area is located at the junction of the Orte-Viterbo highway, while adjacent to the entrance it is possible to take advantage of a large free car park. Get directions

3 - Terme del Bullicame

If you seem to have heard this name somewhere before, it's because it is mentioned by Dante in the Inferno of the Divine Comedy. The Bullicame Baths are at free access spas closest to the center of Viterbo, from which they are just 2 km away. The surrounding area is part of a beautiful Natural Park but, near the pools, there are no services of any kind.

How to reach us: the car park is very small and unattended, while the urban bus stop is only 200 meters from the springs. Get directions

4 - Terme delle Piscine Carletti

Very similar in conformation to the nearby Terme del Bullicame, also the Terme delle Piscine Carletti are open at any time of any day of the year and it is not necessary to pay admission. Also in this case, there are no particular services near the pools, but a short distance away there are a restaurant and free parking. But be careful to visit the pools in the summer, since there are no trees or shaded areas to shelter during the hottest hours.

How to reach us: Get directions

5 - Terme di Stigliano

Notes for the stoves (jets of steam caused by hot springs) of the natural caves, the Stigliano thermal baths they are ideal especially for those suffering from respiratory diseases, arthrosis and / or skin diseases. The iodine-sulphurous healing waters they have beneficial properties for the body and the greenery grows luxuriantly around the thermal sources, creating a peaceful and deeply relaxing atmosphere. Usable from May to September, the pools of the Parco delle Terme di Stigliano (50 km from Rome) are open from 9:00 to 19:00 (midweek rates: adult ticket € 12,00; child up to 12 years € 7,00. Rates on weekends and holidays: adult ticket € 18,00; child up to 12 years € 12,00).

How to reach us: Get directions

Recommended itineraries

Below we recommend a possible itinerary to explore Tuscia and its surroundings, having available 3 days.

What to see in 3 days

Departing from Rome, we will explore the areas surrounding the Cimini Mountains and the Teverina area.

1 day

  1. Stage 1: Bracciano - Bracciano Lake
  2. Stage 2: Sutri
  3. Stage 3: Ronciglione
  4. Stage 4: Lake of Vico - Nature reserve
  5. Stage 5: Caprarola

2 day

  1. Stage 1: Viterbo
  2. Stage 2: Terme del Bullicame
  3. Stage 3: Terme delle Piscine Carletti
  4. Stage 4: Vitorchiano
  5. Stage 5: S. Stefano Caves

3 day

  1. Stage 1: Celleno
  2. Stage 2: Graffiniano
  3. Stage 3: San Michele in Teverina
  4. Stage 4: Civita di Bagnoregio
  5. Stage 5: Bolsena - Bolsena Lake

What to see in 5 days

In addition, it can extend the itinerary by a couple of days inserting stops along Lake Bolsena and the Maremma area.

4 day

  1. Stage 1: Gradoli
  2. Stage 2: Latera
  3. Stage 3: Valentano
  4. Stage 4: Capodimonte
  5. Stage 5: Marta

5 day

  1. Stage 1: Tuscania
  2. Stage 2: Montalto di Castro
  3. Stage 3: Tarquinia
  4. Stage 4: Le Saline Nature Reserve
  5. Stage 5: Civitavecchia - return to Rome

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