Our top ten places to visit from Villa degli Armeni
ten of our favourite things to do and see in the Sabine Hills, Lazio and Umbria, all within about one hour's drive from the villa
Choosing a top ten of places to visit was very difficult because there is so much to see here! I limited myself to places which are about one hour’s drive or less from the villa, and I haven’t included all the medieval villages in the local Sabine Hills area worth exploring, because it’s impossible to choose just one. I’ve also not included Rome!
I cheated a bit by grouping together some of the places you can see on one day trip. There’s a good mix here, some very close to the villa and others a little further away, which will take you into different areas of Lazio and Umbria, each with it’s own character.
Use the interactive map at the bottom of the page to see where each site is, send it to yourself by email, or open it on your phone if you need directions.
1)Farfa Abbey, a very ancient monastery, was once the site of one of Europe’s biggest markets. You wouldn’t guess that now, the setting is very calm and tranquil, but you can still see the shopkeeper’s counters on the houses lining the streets around the monastery. You can visit the monastery and church and investigate the monastery’s herbalist shop and some other small shops, including one that sells handmade textiles. Farfa regularly hosts events, and on the first Sunday of the month there’s an antiques and local produce market.
2)If you fancy a walk in truly beautiful surroundings you only need to drive about 10 minutes up the mountain from the villa to find yourself at the starting point for several beautiful walks. Choose between the ancient and mysterious San Michele hermit’s cave, or head upstream to discover some delightful little waterfalls and pools, the so called “Pozze del Diavolo”, or Devil’s pools.
3) Also very close to home, you should not leave without a quick trip to visit Catino’s unusual pentagonal tower. Our village of Poggio Catino is divided into two centres: Catino and Poggio Catino, Catino being the older of the two, although both are pretty ancient! You can walk to the tower starting from the road that leads steeply up on the left of the C’e’ Catino Bar. You’ll find yourself in the hidden bowl of rock that gave Catino its name. From there take the path up to the tower. You can come back down through the village which is also very interesting, with a few hidden surprises of its own. Round off the experience with a coffee, ice cream, pizza and stunning view at C’e’ Catino.
6)One of my personal favourites is the Monster Gardens at Bomarzo, a truly unique place I urge all my guests to visit. Built in renaissance times, the garden features extraordinary allegorical sculptures set among trees in a natural way which was very unusual in those times. This is another place that is good to visit in hot weather, and kids will love it too!
9)Orvieto is another of our places to visit you absolutely should not miss. A picturesque hilltop town in Umbria with a very impressive cathedral, winding medieval streets to explore, the strange St Patrick’s well, and you can even do a tour of underground Orvieto. Add to that some great food and wine you can easily make a day of it.
Places to visit near Rome, Sabine Hills, Lazio and Umbria
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