From Tivoli to San Polo dei Cavalieri

This exclusively naturalistic itinerary offers particularly suggestive views over the Aniene valley river and crosses through the untouched environment of the Monte Catillo Reserve, an area which is precious for its protection of rare species of flora such as the rich forests of cork-oaks, Holm oaks, and beech-woods, as well as of different kinds of birds such as kestrels, buzzards, tawny owls and scops owls.

Leave the historic centre of Tivoli and follow the strada provinciale (by road) towards Marcellina to the Arco di Quintiliolo; turn right and follow the directions for the path towards the Don Bosco village. The path climbs up the Monte Catillo, the peak of which is marked by a large metal cross, which can be reached via a short detour from the main path. Further ahead, after some abandoned quarries to the right, a sports field and, finally, a clearing, mark the entrance to the wood of cork-oaks.

Having come out of the wood, follow the ridge of the Monte Giorgio and proceed slightly downhill on the right, then cross a level stretch running along this side of the Colle Piano, which can be reached via a short detour. Further ahead, at a fork in the road with white-yellow directions on the left marking the path to the Fonte Bologna and Colle Lecinone, continue straight on and go round the Colle dei Travi to the right, leave Monte Rampino to the left and proceed towards a ridge covered by a forest. Continue downhill to a meadow and a fork in the road, and even further to the Colle Lucco. Return to the initial fork in the road and leave the path to the Fonte Bologna on the left; take the downhill path to the right towards a pylon, and cross through a small valley past a gate marking the entrance to the Monte Catillo Reserve. Continue across the hillside which offers a beautiful view overlooking the Aniene river valley and Castel Madama. Further ahead the path widens among the fields and leads to a drinking-trough with two dirt tracks and a cement road which leads to the San Polo by road. Take the dirt track to the right which leads on to the by road and follow it to the left, then turn left up a path leading to the San Polo cemetery, from where you can admire a beautiful view of the castle and the town, both of which can be easily reached. The massive castle of San Polo has a rectangular structure, with a central donjon and four semi-cylindrical towers at the corners. The town, which once belonged to the Templars and to the monastery S. Paolo fuori le Mura, passed to the Orsini family in the 14th century, and, in 1558 to the Cesi family. Federico Cesi renovated the castle with Federico and Taddeo Zuccari’s help, as well as with that of Girolamo Muziano, who then also worked on the Villa d’Este in Tivoli.

Time 4 hours
Marked itinerary Yes: yellow-red, white-red
Difficulty Average – Easy

For further information, contact:
www.parks.it/riserva.monte.catillo/iti.html
S. Ardito, A piedi nel Lazio, vol. 2, Roma 2005

Area
Via Tiburtina