The Upper Tuscia Viterbese and its treasures
The Upper Tuscia Viterbese and its treasures
Il Podere di Marfisa is located in the Upper Tuscia area of Viterbo, near many nature reserves and sites of cultural and historical interest and enogastronomic heritage, including Vulci, Viterbo, Bolsena Lake, the Terme di Saturnia and Orvieto.
The Tuscia is a vast territory, occupied in past ages by the Etruscan people. Evidence of their civilization are the remains of tombs and archaeological finds, now displayed in the local museums. The Etruscan civilization has inspired the Terre di Marfisa farm in the choice of names for its wines and its oil.
Farnese, in the province of Viterbo, is a beautiful village perched on a tuffaceous cliff. Its origin dates back to the Bronze Age and owes its current name to the powerful and noble Farnese family who lived here and, starting in 1537, had control over the Duchy of Castro and Ronciglione.
Today access to the centre of Farnese is allowed by the passage through the Porta Nuova from which the ancient viaduct departs. The village is characterized by a main street that runs externally around the cliff, while inside are a network of alleys and evocative views. The small streets of the town inspired Luigi Comencini, the famous Italian film director, to choose Farnese as the setting of the film "Pinocchio" in 1972. The places used for the scenes are still visible following the "Pinocchio" itinerary.
The area around Farnese is rich in fauna and beautiful vegetation; it offers one of the most beautiful natural areas in which the Regional Park of the Lamone Forest develops, with marked trails for exploring and admiring the many different animal species.
Worth visiting in Farnese: the Church of the SS. Salvatore, which dates to the 16th century, and where it is possible to admire various works including the solemn Mass of Paul III, attributed to Antonio Maria Panico; the Rocca, the ancient residence of the Farnese dukes, built by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger; the Church of San Rocco, which houses a splendid seventeenth century painting by Lanfranco that portrays Saint Anthony of Padua.
Just 5 kilometres from Farnese is Ischia di Castro, which was the main centre of the Farnese Duchy. In the Museo Civico you can admire the artefacts of the ancient Etruscan life and of the noble Farnese family.
Testimony of the past are also found in the ruins of Castro, with the necropolis that houses tombs dating to the VI century BC, and the ancient Etruscan road dug into the tufa with walls that are 20 metres high.
The Hermitage of Poggio Conte offers a particularly evocative route, along which are visible the engravings, paintings and architectural ruins, which are evidence of the life of the monks in the Middle Ages.
Grotte di Castro, about 20 kilometres from Il Podere di Marfisa, is another of the medieval villages of Etruscan origin perched on the tufa. The necropolis, the church of Santa Maria del Suffragio, the Museo Civico, and the Town Hall designed by Vignola are certainly worth a visit
In the town of Montalto di Castro, a 30-minute drive from Farnese, is the archaeological park of Vulci, an ancient Etruscan city abandoned in the 8th century BC. The different trails in the vast archaeological area in the middle of a protected natural reserve are extremely suggestive. In the archaeological area are the ruins of houses, frescoes, tombs, while all the artefacts can be seen in the Archaeological Museum of Montalto.
A few minutes from the Archaeological Park are the Vulci thermal baths: four large outdoor swimming pools of different temperatures, equipped with beach chairs and umbrellas.
You can reach Lake Bolsena by car in a few minutes from Farnese and from Terre di Marfisa. Located at the intersection of Lazio, Umbria and Tuscany, it is an interesting tourist destination and a starting point for visiting the medieval villages surrounding the lake, playing sports and tasting local dishes, especially based on Coregone, the typical lake fish.
In the medieval village of Bolsena you can visit the Monaldeschi Castle, the Museum with the archaeological finds, the Collegiate Church of Santa Cristina which incorporates four churches of different ages, and the tomb of the Saint.
Capodimonte is a promontory in Lake Bolsena, with a characteristic village, which was once part of the Farnese Duchy and is also a fascinating tourist destination.
Valentano, a 10-minute drive from Farnese and Terre di Marfisa, is located in a dominant position between Lake Bolsena Lake and the Tuscan coast. During the Duchy were built the Rocca and the churches. At the end of the Duchy the Rocca became a convent for cloistered nuns until 1930. Today the Rocca is a museum and cultural centre for conferences.