Lazio, Italy — Part 1

Ancient and medieval villages in northern Lazio.

Anyone who’s been to Italy, has been to Rome. And if you’ve been to Tuscany you’ve probably visited the hill towns. In this piece we put the two together — an itinerary of ancient hill towns, some small, some large, that are on the outskirts of Rome.

This is the first in a series articles on the subject. For this particular itinerary, the focus is north of Rome, in the Viterbo Province of Lazio Region. We use Rome as the starting point, and the tour includes 6 towns, with a total round-trip drive of about 160 miles, manageable in a full touring day.

​As a word of caution, some of these towns are very small and may only be worth a drive through, while others might require more time. Try to keep in mind how many you want to see if you find yourself whiling away the hours in the first town. Budget your time accordingly if you want to see everything — you certainly don’t want to miss Calcatta, the last one on this drive.

​On that note, this trip should be done on a weekend — Calcatta is ghost town during the week. During the weekends it’s an artist community and full of activity, but come Monday virtually everyone is gone.  ​

We recommend that you use a GPS so you don’t waste time lost in the back country, a very easy thing to do in Italy. And it’s best to plug in each town to your GPS before you leave home, save it, and then pull up each town from your saved destinations when you’re ready to move on. You might also find it helpful to print out the itinerary pages in this article so you have a hard copy in your hands while traveling.

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