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e-borghi travel 9, Craftmanship e-borghi: Etruscan moods

Tasty week-end The territory between the Cimini and the Sabini Mountains is an area of strong tastes and old traditions. Some important places that are famous for their food and wine products are set between Viterbo and the wide province of Rome. In Winter they celebrate their best products, the treasure of their territories. The oil and the wine are the protagonists of the Italian tables and here, one hour far from the centre of Rome, two important festivals are held at the week-ends of November. Our tour is starting in Vignanello. It was an ancient domain of the Papal State, this village is set at 400 metres of altitude and it’s featured by a beautiful historical centre. The original settlement developed on a hill surrounded by two valleys crossed by two rivers on the border with the village of Vallerano that we’ll reach after a short walk. Then we’ll have dinner at the restaurant Al Poggio, we’ll start with an appetizer, the chestnuts (marroni) with bacon, the fennel and the honey from the chestnut trees, we’ll continue with a dish of chestnuts gnocchi with the boar’s sauce and an arista with the chestnuts. Everything will be accompanied by some good Doc red wine from Vignatello which is featured by a dry, warm and balanced taste. We’ll spend the night in Vignanello, at the B&B Casa delle Meraviglie, a beautiful house surrounded by many green chestnut trees. Saturday from Vignanello to Civita Castellana The festival of the New Wine will warm us up along the routes of tastes and the old crafts, the parades and the music will keep us company. This important Fall appointment in the area of Tuscia near Viterbo will give us the chance to stop at the typical wine cellars or at the oil mills to taste and buy a bottle of wine or oil. This festival is a great opportunity to visit the best corners of this village accompanied by the local expert guides. We’ll visit the Collegiate Church of Santa Maria della Presentazione, built between 1710 and 1723 by the will of the prince Francesco Maria Ruspoli, the feudal lord of Vignanello and the bishop Galeazzo Marescotti, we’ll also visit the Connutti, the underground tunnels, the Ruspoli castle and its beautiful Renaissance garden which is considered one the most beautiful gardens of Europe. Then we’ll reach Civita Castellana, half an hour by car passing by the centre of Fabbrica di Roma. Perched on a rocky spur that is stretched between two deep canyons that are created by the tributaries of the river Treja, Civita Castellana was the capital city of the Falisci, the name with which the Romans called the ancient people from the Southern borders. We’ll spend our afternoon strolling around the historical village of Civita Castellana and we’ll also buy some good local products. Civita Castellana is one of the main places for the production of pottery thanks to the nearby fireclay and China clay caves. If you love the vases, the painted tiles and the jewels you must stop at the Mastro Cencio’s artistic pottery shop, a workshop that produces high quality pottery objects. For the gourmet people the sweets shop La Pastarella can’t be missed, it’s a craft lab where you can taste the typical sweets. The sweets shop Natili is another interesting place where you can buy some good cookies, the cakes and the pastries. You can buy the mushrooms, the cheese and the salami at the Norcineria Artigiani dei Sapori and many other delicious products from the local tradition are at your disposal at the store Le Ghiottonerie of via Roma. After our stop at the historical shops we’ll visit the stronghold of Borgia, also called Sangallo stronghold, it’s an interesting example of the Renaissance architecture, it was built by order of Alexander VI Borgia, the archaeological museum of the Agro Falisco is based there, it exhibits a collection of findings of the area of Lazio between lake Vico, the Tiber banks and Mount Soratte, a wide space is dedicated to the pottery findings too. We’ll have dinner at the restaurant Erminio alla Ghiacciaia, the temple of the cuisine from this area where we’ll taste a dish of pappardelle with the boar sauce and we’ll sip the red wine from Tuscia mainly the red Colli Etruschi Viterbesi Grechetto. We’ll spend the night at the elegant Palace Hotel Relais Falisco, an ancient palace dating back to the 17th century in the historical centre. Sunday from Civita Castellana to Montelibretti Sunday morning is perfect to visit the architectural landmarks of the village. We’ll reach the Medieval Cathedral of Santa Maria Maggiore by strolling around the narrow streets of the historical centre. It’s featured by a front side with a twelve-rays rose window and a porch that was a typical element of the Medieval architecture. The Fountain of Dragons (Fontana dei Draghi) stands out in the middle of Giacomo Matteotti square, its main features date back to the period between the 14th and the 19th centuries, it was built under the papacy of Gregory the XIII in 1585 to decorate the square and increase the water supply. The fountain is surrounded by four dragons and the water that fills the fountain comes out of the dragons’ mouths on each corner. The Museum of Pottery Casimiro Marcantoni also deserves to be visited, it’s located inside the ex-church of Saint George that has been celebrating the history of this place in Lazio since the end of the ‘700 up to the second part of ‘900. When we leave the village we’ll get along the Flaminia Road and we’ll see the oldest church of Civita Castellana, Santa Maria dell’Arco or del Carmine, it’s run by the cloistered nuns nowadays. We’ll stop at the restaurant La Giaretta for lunch where we’ll taste another typical dish from this area, the soup of beans and porcini mushrooms then we’ll reach our last stop, the village of Montelibretti. After leaving the most Sothern foothills of the Viterbo area we’ll move towards the tiny village in the surroundings of Rome, the capital city. Less than an hour across the countryside to reach the slopes of Mounts Sabini and stop in Montelibretti where they will be celebrating the festival of “bread, oil and …”, it’s an opportunity to taste the typical local product, the extra virgin olive oil and visit the oil mills of this area. Not just the oil but the bread as well which is another appreciated product from this area together with other typical products like the “frittello con broccolo” and the “salsiccia con pitarta”, flavoured with the coriander. Perched on a rocky spur between the valley of Tiber and the valley of Fosso Carolano, Montelibretti is a tiny village surrounded by the forests and by the orchards where the olives, the cherries, the peaches, the figs, the apricots and the plums are cultivated. The historical centre is featured by the charming Barberini Palace dating back to the 17th century and the Parish Church of Saint Nicholas of Bari, built in 1535 and restyled in 1773, it keeps the paintings “Madonna in trono con Bambino” (Madonna on the throne with child) and “Santi Domenico e Caterina” (Saints Dominicus and Catherine) dating back to 1600 while in Colle del Forno some findings from an Etruscan necropolis have been found, some of them are kept in the National Museum of Copenaghen. Our weekend will end at the Tenuta La Salvia in the nearby of Palombara Sabina, another characteristic place of this area, it’s a farmhouse a few kilometres far from Montelibretti where we’ll celebrate our unforgettable week and in the Etruscan lands of Lazio by tasting a good barbecue of meat and some good local red wine.

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  • #Italiancuisine
  • #Italiantable
  • #autumnfairs
  • #fairsoftypicalproducts
  • #foodandwineweekend
  • #oilfestival
  • #winefestival


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