Between Civitavecchia and the Monti della Tolfa

This itinerary leads from the sea – Civitavecchia’s inland – to the Marturanum Park, close to Barbarano Romano, a town which probably was Etruscan, set on a tufaceous rise on the Sabatini Mountains.
The starting point is marked by the ruins of Cencelle, or Leopolis, built by Pope Leo IV to offer refuge to the inhabitants of Centumcelle who had been evacuated because of Moor raids. The route then leads to Civitella Cesi.
Here riders are in the full of the Tolfa Mountains where the Mediterranean maquis is very dense. After about 12 km we reach Grasceta dei Cavallari where the ruins of an old temple can be seen: this is the only example of an archaic cult on the Tolfa Mountains.
By following the ridge, the route soon leads to a wide plateau, a picturesque place which has always been surrounded by an aura of legend: according to an old popular belief, a mysterious carriage drawn by horses appears here.
Further on, the path enters a wood which leads to a plain where the ruins of the Abbey of Piantangeli can be seen, situated in a dominant position on the Mignone valley.
We are now close to Civitella Cesi, which we leave behind to reach San Giovenale, a very significant archaeological site. Close to a panoramic cliff where the town once stood there is the necropolis where an old road still bears the marks of carriages’ wheels in the tuff. Finally we enter the Park, which is characterised by two different kinds of environment: one of these is the gorge, a river valley deeply dug into the tuff by the Biedano stream and its tributaries. The other environment is that of the hills, where oak groves and prairies alternate with thorny shrubs such as hawthorn and bramblerose. It is also common to see horses and cattle grazing in a wild state. Within the park an Etruscan necropolis has been discovered which experts have identified as the old Marturanum.

For further information, contact:
Associazione Parchi a Cavallo (horse-riding association)
Via Montelupoli 39, 00063 Campagnano di Roma (RM)
Guido Continenza is in charge.
Phone: 335/6094062 – 06/9077415.
E-mail: guidocontinenza@parchiacavallo

This association organises activities with the Park of Veio and offers assistance and guidance for horse-back rides. Guido Continenza has for many years crossed the Rome province tracks, re-discovering forgotten corners and helping to keep old paths alive which the maquis would otherwise have covered.

Area
Via Claudia Braccianese