Born and raised in Rome, I’ve wished so many times to visit Rome as a tourist, to wander around my city with fresh, new eyes – but I’ve found that Rome is not the only place worth a visit in the beautiful region of Lazio. People travel from all over the world to see the Colosseum, the Spanish steps, Piazza Navona, Saint Peter’s Church, but very few of them take time to visit the beauties that are just on Rome’s doorstep. If you’re planning a trip to the eternal city, take a look at these charming villages to visit outside of Rome!
1. Civita di Bagnoregio.
Civita di Bagnoregio, also known as the dying town, because of its remote location and because of the few people that still live there, is one of the most visited villages outside of Rome. Civita is surrounded by a suggestive atmosphere that will captivate you. Founded by the Etruscans over 2,500 years ago, the town has preserved its typical architecture, due to its isolation: Civita is a place where time seems not to exist. In particular, its position, on top of a plateau of volcanic tuff, make the village a unique and fascinating place to visit. Tuff is a very friable kind of rock, which is likely to collapse due to erosion, so the town is in constant danger of destruction. Since 2004, work has been going on to preserve the beauty of this village, and over 80,000 tourists visited the village only in 2017: the destiny of this gem is still unwritten! This is one of the top villages to visit outside of Rome!
Orvieto was a major centre of the Etruscan civilization and is one of the most beautiful towns in the region of Umbria. Like Civita di Bagnoregio, Orvieto is located on the summit of a butte of volcanic tuff, which emerges from the surrounding plains: the view from up there is just spectacular! Its white travertine Duomo is the main attraction and it’s definitely worth a visit.
Its outstanding Megalithic walls and Acropolis (upper town) make Alatri a particularly interesting place to visit, if you love Italian history or if you want to know more about pre-Roman Italy. The town centre is small, but offers lovely restaurants and picturesque views.
Until the second half of the 12th century, Ninfa was a busy village, with tall towers and at least nine churches. Nowadays, the village is in ruins, immersed in a beautiful garden, which stretches over twenty acres. The river Ninfa streams through the park and the flowering trees reflect into the clear water: one of the truly romantic villages to visit outside of Rome!
Situated halfway between Rome and Naples, Sperlonga is known for the discovery of an ancient Roman sea grotto, the perfect place to visit if you are interested in Roman history. The main centre of the village, on a spur of rock overlooking the sea, was established by fishermen. Trying to escape Saracen incursions, the fishermen painted their house white, in order to dazzle the pirates coming from the sea. Nowadays, the houses in Sperlonga are still white and the rock offers amazing views of the coast and the nearby beaches. I would particularly recommend the typical dish of the village, bombolotti al ragù di seppia, a delicious pasta dish with fresh squid sauce.
This hilltop town 30km east of Rome is home to two Unesco World Heritage Sites and both of them are guaranteed to leave you speechless. Villa d’Este is a Renaissance villa, where you can admire magnificent garden fountains and gorgeous frescos. Villa Adriana was Emperor Hadrian’s huge country estate, now in ruins, surrounded by olive and pine trees. This is one of the best villages to visit outside of Rome!
What do you think of these beautiful villages to visit outside of Rome? Let us know if you’ve visited in the comment seciton below!
Featured Image Source: www. Pinterest.com
Italian girl, currently a Master's student at the University of Warwick. In love with food, art and cats.