The nature-track of the Perna Valley

This itinerary unfolds in the Riserva naturale di Decima-Malafede (nature reserve), one of the largest and most varied around Rome. It is easy and instructive, and can be folowed both on foot and by bicycle, and leads to Casal della Perna farm. There are many different options to choose from, including paths towards the Sughereta di Vallerano (cork forest), the castello di Decima, the casale della Zolfatara, passing through centuries-old woods and traces of prehistoric and Roman settlements.
From the Eur Palasport underground station, take Via Cristoforo Colombo (mind the intense traffic): pass by the pretty Laghetto (lake) and take in the fine gardens with Mediterranean species and beautiful Japanese cherry trees. Futher on, visitors can admire the fine Palazzo dello Sport building, now Palalottomatica, built by Pier Luigi Nervi for the 1960 Olympic Games and recently completed with an interesting conical sculpture by Arnaldo Pomodoro. Once you reach a large crossing with traffic lights, follow the main lane and the road signs for via Pontina. Continue straight on, passing under the flyover of the Grande Raccordo Anulare (GRA, ring-road), until you reach Spinaceto: don’t enter it, but turn left via a roundabout and follow the road to the right, parallel to via Pontina, following the road signs for the Nature Reserve. At the second fork in the road, turn left and follow a white road lined with eucalyptus trees: this was once a swampy, malaria area and the monks of the nearby Abbey delle Tre Fontane systematically planted these trees as they believed that they purified the air from the miasma of the infection. Continue along this road into a small valley and pass by a horse-riding centre: after this follow a road uphill which leads to the farmhouse of Torre di Perna, an old watchtower transformed, in the 16th century, into a hunting estate and now into a farm. Here there are several road signs which set out the different routes. Turn left onto the path which leads to the beginning of the valle di Perna (Perna valley), which then goes downhill. A fork in the road leads to the bottom of the valley, marked by a ditch which goes into a wood of cedars and holm-oaks. Return to the fork in the road, turn left to reach the top of the Monti della Caccia (hills) where some centuries-old cork trees grow. Further on, you will see a tuff quarry: the ring-like path now ends and leads back to the entrance.

By train: Outward journey:Line B underground railway (get off at EUR Palasport)
Return: Line B underground railway (get on at Eur Palasport)
By bicycle: Length: about 16 km
Difficulty: easy

For further information, contact:
Riserva Naturale Decima-Malafede, +39 06 84497483

Area
Via Severiana