Lazio and Umbria
has long been overshadowed by its capital, Rome, and of course Rome is one of the world’s top destinations and well worth a visit. But what many of Rome’s visitors don’t realise is that, away from the crowds and heat of the city, there is a wealth of other sights to explore, perhaps at a gentler pace, and a landscape of stunning beauty to rival Tuscany or Umbria, Lazio’s better known neighbours.
Villa degli Armeni makes a great base to explore Lazio and the southern part of Umbria too, here are some of our top picks of things to see during your stay, all within an hour’s drive from the villa:
Bomarzo Monster Park: this could be one of the world’s strangest gardens, 500 years old and filled with fantastical allegorical sculptures with a theme of the monstrous and the strange. Unforgettable and kids will love it.
The Umbrian towns of Spoleto, Todi and Orvieto. Explore these beautiful medieval towns set in rugged landscapes, Orvieto has a very impressive cathedral.
Palazzo Farnese in Caprarola: Renaissance Palace with some stunning frescos, including the famous map room.
Marmore Falls These spectacular falls were actually man made, by the Romans! You can combine your visit with a boat trip around nearby Lake Piediluco
Villa Lante: Formal renaissance gardens, with fountains, pools and grottoes. Located in Bagnaia, you can combine with a visit to nearby Viterbo.
Lago Turano and Lago del Salto. These 2 lakes are set in stunning mountain landscapes, with little villages where time seems to have stood still. You can’t swim, but take your camera and a picnic, or eat at one of the lakeside restaurants. The drive there is really picturesque too.
Piscine Tevere: a good place to take kids, 5 large swimming pools with water slides set in a park with picnic tables.
Etruscan Necropoli at Tarquinia and Cerveteri: The Etruscans came before the Romans and were a little more laid back! The tombs at Tarquinia have some amazingly well preserved frescoes, showing the Etruscans enjoying life, with music and feasting.
The beach at Santa Severa: Our favourite beach north of Rome, it’s free, nice and sandy, great for kids and it even has it’s own castle. The restaurant “Il Pescatore” at the castle end of the beach is also a favourite.
The Tarot Garden: Extraordinary sculpture garden created by Niki de Saint Phalle