Beyond Rome

The Colosseum

These itineraries are loosely described but are full-day excursions taking between 6-8 hours

Etruscan Faces

Visit the well-preserved 5th century BC painted Etruscan tombs under a hillside outside Tarquinia. The mysterious people in these colourful scenes are shown hunting, merry- making, dancing and banqueting: uplifting images expressing the Etruscans' immense love of life. The walled town of Tuscania nearby has a small museum and two splendid churches dating from the 12th and 13th century, not to mention a commanding view of the surrounding landscape. On a hot day it is easy to make a small diversion to Lake Vico and have a relaxing swim in its cool waters before returning to Rome.

All roads lead away from RomeThe Colosseum

On the consular road Via Cassia, north of the city, lies the small town of Sutri, which has a Roman amphitheatre, tombs and mithraeum, all of which were dug out of the volcanic tuff rock. It later became an important staging post for pilgrims on their way to Rome. Some miles away, lost among the wooded valleys of Tuscia, it is possible to wander along part of an ancient Roman road which led to the east coast. This stretch of road is lined with tombs of every type carved into the rock. On a hot day it is easy to make a small diversion to Lake Vico and have a relaxing swim in its cool waters.

Civita di Bagnoregio and Orvieto

The ColosseumOf Etruscan Origin, this fortified town became a Roman Camp and is now little more than a picturesque village perched dramatically amid an eroding landscape. We cross the modern bridge which leads to the ancient gate, we visit the medieval church with its famous wooden crucifix and end up at the birthplace of Saint Bonaventura, surrounded by superb views towards the mountains beyond. We then drive on to nearby Orvieto. A vibrant town with Etruscan roots, now best known for its outstanding Cathedral which houses one of the most audacious and powerful chapels in Italy, which we visit. Time to enjoy Orvieto before returning to Rome.

Local delicacies

Lazio with its fertile, volcanic soil and plentiful water supply produces enormous amounts of vegetables. For the excursions in this section I have decided to include the option of having a picnic lunch made from local specialties like salamis, cheeses, seasonal salads and fruit. This can turn lunch into an effortless and informal pleasure, sitting in the shade, enjoying the surroundings, whilst keeping costs reasonable.