The Sabine side of the Tevere-Farfa Nature Reserve

This is a particularly interesting and safe itinerary for all visitors which crosses the east side of the Tevere-Farfa Nature Reserve: this regional park was set up around an electric dam on the Tiber river which created a marshy area which became a natural refuge for many different kinds of protected species of birds, insects, reptiles and mammals.
The river landscape is fairly varied and offers one of the most stirring views of the Roman countryside: alluvial terraces, vulcanic plains, Mediterranean forests, swampy and river woods. For a large part, the route proceeds along quiet country roads and cycle-tracks.

Leave Monterotondo Scalo by car and proceed along via Salaria for approximately 2 km towards Fiano Romano and then onto via Tiberina. Having passed the fosso Gramiccia (ditch) you will see the Casale di Scorano, a farmhouse surrounded by walls and with an embattled tower, set in the heart of an area reclaimed in the 17th century. Further ahead to the left, and well indicated by sign posts, are the ruins of the archaeological site of Lucus Feroniae. The ancient town of the Capenates, founded in the 7th century B.C., was once a rich Roman colony famous for its market and for the important Feronia sanctuary; having gone into decline and disappeared during the Middle Ages, it was rediscovered and studied from 1962 onwards. At the entrance of the site, the Excavation Museum exhibits documents on the colony and the surrounding agricultural settlements. After the excavations on the the right, follow the directions for Nazzano and proceed straight on through a small industrial site until you come to a wide view of the Tiber valley and the Sabine Mountains.

The path continues along the valley following the course of the Tiber with its different kinds forests and river shore shrubs. Follow the path until you cross via Tiberina and arrive at a small quarry basin to the right of the Meana farmhouse; from here you can descend to the river shore. Having returned to via Tiberina, continue towards the Tiber dam waterfalls, where the Tevere-Farfa Nature Reserve has been created: you may access it via a gate on the right.

This is the Reserve’s meeting point, within the Bussolini farmhouse, a typical example of a Roman countryside farmhouse with a dovecot tower and an outside oven. The actual building houses the Night Museum which, through models and information displays, illustrates the routes and behaviour of nocturnal animals. The path unfolds along an ample curve between Nazzano and Torrita Tiberina, with watch points for the wild birds and paths crossing a marshy area with wide areas of cane-brake. The environment is extremely rich and is a natural refuge for migrating birds. Among the canes, on the marsh land or even on floating platforms, different kinds of wild birds – including coots, moor hens and grebes – roost.

Having reached the bridge on the Tiber, where the road again becomes asphalted, turn left towards the fork in the road leading to Torrita, which can be reached in a short time. From here you may reach Nazzano, a small architectural gem of a village overlooking the Tiber valley with an interesting spiralling urban structure. The main street leads to the 13th century castle which dominates the whole town. The town was founded according to the Capenates tradition and participated in the commercial relations with the Sabine region and Rome thanks to its port which connected it to Rome’s Ripetta port. Documents which date back to 1011 show that it then belonged to monks; subsequently the town was ruled by the Savelli family, who also built the suggestive castle which houses today the River Museum. The Museum guides visitors in the discovery of the river’s eco-system of plants, animal and micro-organisms through dioramas, aquariums, and experiments. Close by is the small church of S. Antimo, built on the ruins of the temple of the Sylvan God, which preserves Roman columns, Cosmatesque mosaics and frescoes by Antoniazzo Romano. To return to the entrance of the farmhouse simply retrace your steps along the asphalt road.

Time 3 hours
Marked itinerary Sign posts
Difficulty Easy

For further information, contact:
Access through via Tiberina at km 31,500,
Sito archeologico Lucus Feroniae, tel. +39 06 9085173
Riserva Regionale Nazzano-Tevere Farfa tel. +39 0765 332533
www.parchilazio.it, www.parks.it, www.teverefarfa.it

Area
Via Nomentana e Via Salaria