Mazzano Romano is an ancient medieval hamlet with a marvelous location, either for the beautiful nature and landscapes either for the opportunity it offers to visit historical and naturalistic sites.
Just 40km from Rome, 30km from Viterbo and 14km from the lake of Bracciano, these are just some examples of the strategic position this hamlet holds.
Also, being surrounded by the natural park of the Treja Valley, it is a great place to make excursions.
Immersed in the typical Mediterranean Bush, Mazzano is connected through many trails to other relevant hamlets in the park, as Calcata, the archeological site of Narce and the abandoned hamlet of Santa Maria.
Starting from our Holiday Home we can take a lot of routes, choosing between many cultural and historical ones just by walking through the alleys of the hamlet, moving then to the near Calcata, with its narrow streets and small squares, and then visiting Faleria to see the ancient, massive castle of the Anguillara family.
Alternatively, we can immerse ourselves in the beautiful wood of the Treja Valley in which Mazzano Romano is nestled.
Following the course of the Treja River we can also reach the beautiful hamlets of Calcata and Faleria, in the same way as in the old times people used to move from one community to the other.
The regional park of the Treja Valley lies in the municipalities of Mazzano Romano and Calcata, respectively in the Provinces of Rome and Viterbo, and covers a territory of 1000 hectares.
It has lush greenery with different species of oak trees and also many others, such as walnuts, chestnuts, privets, maples, hornbeams and hazelnuts.
On vertical walls carved in volcanic rocks there are continuous lines made of holm trees. Along the river are poplars, willows, alders, elms and dogwood trees.
These woods were once inhabited by the Falisco people and signs still remain of their past presence, it is not uncommon to find here and there inscriptions on tuff and necropolis.
Also, with such place, rich in nature and water, there are of course a lot of animals.
Field mouse, moles and shrews inhabit the wood, along with predators as foxes, beech martens, skunks and weasels.
It is remarkable the presence of mammals like badgers, porcupines, hedgehogs and wild boars.
There are also many species of birds of prey as black kites, buzzards, kestrels, sparrow hawks and the increasingly rare falco biarmicus. During night time nocturnal birds can be encountered, such as owls, tawny owls and barn owls.
Other birds are the nightingale, the winter wren, the great tit, the cuckoo bird, the jay, the oriole and the king fisher.
Also, in the ruins of the old church of San Nicola, in the hamlet of Mazzano, nests the jackdaw.
Early in the morning two splendid pairs of grey herons fly over the majestic valley.
From the archeological and historical points of view, the beautiful trails allow us to visit the necropolis of Pietrina, Pizzopiede, Monte Cerreto, Monte Le Croci, Monte Li Santi and even the amazing wells of Montegelato, with its medieval towers.
Booking in advance with the Natural Park Office, in Calcata Vecchia, it is possible to take guided tours in the whole area.
(Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II, 4 – tel. 0761 587617 - more info at www.parcotreja.it)
Be sure not to miss the Civic Virtual Archeological Museum of Narce in Mazzano.
In the surroundings of the Treja Valley, the important center of Civita Castellana is well worth a visit. There are the fort of Sangallo, the Agro Falisco Museum and the Duomo of Civita Castellana with its façade, which dates back to the XII century, and the portico with the huge central arch.
Halfway between Fabrica di Roma and Civita Castellana there is the roman town of Falerii Novi.
Another interesting town is Nepi, with the churches of S. Biagio (950) and S. Tolomeo (1543) and the fortress of the Borgia family, where Lucrezia, Il Valentino, Pope Alessandro VI and Pope Paolo III were once hosted.
There is also another stronghold known as "Bastioni Farnesiani" which was first planned in 1540 by Sangallo Il Giovane. Beside these, of great interest are the municipal palace (1542), the aqueduct (completed in 1727) and the catacomb of Santa Savinilla, considered one of the most important funerary complex in center Italy due to its monumental nature.
Fascinating, near Sutri, are the Roman Amphitheatre, the Etruscan Necropolis, the cathedral of S. Maria Assunta and the church of la Madonna del Parto, entirely carved in the tuff, that dates back to the XIII-XIV century.
Caprarola with the Palace of the Farnese family and its marvelous gardens is one of the best examples of estate built in a mannerist architecture, it was designed in XVI century by Antonio da Sangallo Il Giovane and finished by Vignola. Very near stands the Vico Lake, a volcanic lake tucked away in woods. No doubt that this is one of the most beautiful lakes in center Italy.
The area is part of the Natural Regional Reserve of the Vico Lake.
Then there is the town of Viterbo with the Palazzo dei Papi, the medieval hamlet of San Pellegrino and the thermal baths where to restore body and mind.
Going to the west there are the lakes of Martignano and Bracciano, which are valuable touristic destinations for bathing, sailing and all sort of sports.
Worth a visit is also Civita di Bagnoregio, also known as the "dying city" is at present inhabited by only twelve people and its part of the association "I borghi più belli d'Italia" (The Most Beautiful Hamlets of Italy)
Also in this area we find many important historical sites as the tower of Stracciacappe, the old farmhouse of Martignano and the imposing castle of the Orsini family in Bracciano.
Bracciano, Anguillara Sabbazia and Trevignano Romano are three extraordinary locations that look out on the lake, in an area where nature has a strong impact on the emotional sphere of everyone.