Ghost towns in Northern Lazio

Road type: Gravel 30%, Paved Road 70%

The Tuscia is a stratified region, where every civilization and age has left their traces. Hilly lands where Etruscans, Romans and noble medieval families followed one another, building in the tuff wonderful towns that were often abandoned by the history chances. The ghost towns are waiting for you in this impressive four-day tour of the Northern Lazio, where you will discover the ruins of past civilizations and feel the thrill to come back in Rome from the North by bike, just like the pilgrims visiting the Holy City!

Our ride will begin with the climbing of Orvieto, a wonderful town entirely built on a unique tuff block, with celebre monuments and spots: the spectacular Cathedral and Saint Patrick’s Well. Then we will continue through the hills and the fields of the Tuscia, between harvest, poppies and olive trees, until we reach the first of the ghost towns along our route: Civita di Bagnoregio, the so-called “dying town”, a bunch of small houses that are resisting to the constant erosion of these calcareous territories, an extraordinary monument that today counts just a dozen of inhabitants and can be reached only through a pedestrian bridge.

After a lunch stop to taste the delicious mushrooms and truffles of this region, in the afternoon we will arrive to Montefiascone, episcopal town on the Lake of Bolsena that is known for its white wine, the “Est! Est!! Est!!!”, and we will spend here the first night.

The following day we will move along 17 kilometers of the old via Francigena, through country roads and segments of the ancient Roman Cassian Way until Viterbo, where we will take a train to Manziana, on the shores of the Lake of Bracciano: from here we’ll arrive to the secon ghost town of the tour, through gravel roads and country paths: the mysterious and haunting Canale Monterano, Etruscan settlement, then Roman town and medieval citadel, completely abandoned since 1799, after a plunder by the French soldiers of Napoleon. Its ruins include fascinating tumbledown churches like San Bonaventura, works by Bernini, an aqueduct of the XVII century, the remains of the castle and the older Etruscan and Roman ruins.

After the tour it will be the turn of the impressive Castle Odescalchi, that overlooks the blue waters of the Lake of Bracciano, where we’ll finish this second leg.

The following day will lead us along the shores of the lake to the beautiful city of Anguillara Sabazia, and from there we will arrive in the Treja Valley, a wooded natural reserve with incredible charm, and includes also the Monte Gelato Falls, a spectacular site used in various film sets. A few meters of climbing and then we’ll be able to have a rest in Calcata.

Calcata, the third and last stop of our tour, is not exactly a ghost town, but was partially abandoned through the years, and this made it a place to visit more than to live in: it’s a medieval citadel on a rocky spur with only one access trhough a bridge: in the XVI century it was plundered by the German lansquenets, while in more recent years it hosted some hippy communities.

The fourth and last day we will come back to Rome through secondary roads, just like the pilgrims did for the Jubilee. In order to avoid the great, traffic-congested roads we will use three great green spots that will lead us until the heart of the Eternal City: the Park of Veio, ancient Etruscan settlement, where we’ll have to do a little fording across the Crimera torrent, near the Mola Falls; then the Natural Reserve of Insugherata, wooded area north of Rome, whose paths will bring us directly on the hills of Monte Mario, the highest point in Rome. From here we’ll use a cycle path that offers a spectacular panoramic view of Saint Peter and the Valley of Tevere River, to end our weekend with a ride in the centre to the arrival in Wheely, through via dei Fori Imperiali and Coliseum!

day 1: Orvieto / Montefiascone

  • Orvieto – Cathedral and Saint Patrick’s well
  • Civita di Bagnoregio
  • Montefiascone

Total distance: 43 km
Level: medium

day 2: Montefiascone / Bracciano

  • via Francigena from Montefiascone to Viterbo
  • Canale Monterano
  • Odescalchi Castle in Bracciano

Total distance: 43 km (17 + 26)
Level: medium/easy

day 3: Bracciano / Calcata

  • Lake of Bracciano
  • Anguillara Sabazia
  • Treja Valley and Monte Gelato Falls
  • citadel of Calcata

Total distance: 35 km
Total ascent:
483 m
Level: medium/easy

day 4: Calcata / Roma

  • Veio archeologic park
  • Mola Falls
  • Insugherata regional park
  • Roma sightseeing

Total distance: 52 km
Level: easy

The tour includes:

  • Tour Leader (one for every group of 8 persons)
  • Trekking Bike equipped with water bottle and panniers
  • Helmet
  • Mechanical Assistance
  • Spare bike
  • Luggage transportation with van
  • RC Insurance
  • Hotel (3 nights + breakfast)
  • 4 lunches and 3 dinners
  • Ticket and guided visit to the Castle Odescalchi in Bracciano

Extras:

Accommodation in single room: € 120,00 per person.

Accommodation

Accommodation in Hotel **** or B&B **** in double room.

Food

Lunch and dinner are served in local restaurants with typical food.

Tour leader

Our tour leaders are ready to guide and help you in any situation during your bike ride, so that you can appreciate the road and the places visited in your holiday.

Mechanical assistance

You have at disposition a service of mechanical assistance for every problem at your bike.


Start:

Wednesday 08:00 AM – Wheely Bike Rental – Via Labicana, 118 – Roma

Arrival:

Saturday 07:30 PM – Wheely Bike Rental – Via Ostilia, 29 – Roma

In case the Tour is cancelled for a insufficient number of partecipants the delivered subscription amount will be entirely refunded.
In case the Tour is cancelled for bad weather, it will postponed to another day.
The Tour starts with a minimum of 8 partecipants.
Booking opened until 24h before start.

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