Itinerary: Rocca Sinibalda, Castel di Tora, Collalto Sabino, Orvinio, Monteleone
Discover Sabina area, not far from Rome, scattered with small medieval villages rich in history, art, charm and beauty
This is another panoramic and scenic tour. Let's start our journey in the area of Sabina from Rocca Sinibalda (pic n°4), a perfectly-preserved medieval village surrounded by the silence of the nearby hills.
You can easily reach Rocca Sinibalda from Rome by following the famous Via Salaria. You will recognize the typical regional landscape a few miles before reaching the village, which is dominated by a majestic castle built in the eleventh century and surrounded by ancient farmhouses overlooking the valley.
We continue our tour by taking Strada Provinciale Turanense, which goes along the narrowest part of lake Turano, until we reach Castel di Tora (pic n°1). At the very entrance of the village, there is a signboard, which reminds us that Castel di Tora is one of "The Most Beautiful Villages of Italy". Walking through its narrow alleys adorned with strings and bows of the typical Medieval architecture, we can easily understand the truth of that saying. First, we encounter the remains of the polygonal tower that were once part of the castle, then the lookout towers of the ancient walls that used to protect the town. Keeping on walking throughout the town, the side streets become perfect windows to enjoy the incredible views of the surrounding nature, Colle di Tora and Lake Turano, until we reach the main square with the wonderful eighteenth-century Church of St. John the Evangelist.
12 kilometers from here we will find Collalto Sabino (pic n°3), located on a hill close to the southern part of the beautiful Lake Turano (pic n°5). This town is also considered as one of "The Most Beautiful Villages of Italy". The town was the former venue of a monastery belonging to the nearby Abbey of Farfa, whose ruins are located on a nearby hill. The traces of its old role as a fortification still lie in its defensive walls dotted with stone gates, and in the Baronial Castle, restored and kept alive by the many noble families who have lived there.
We leave Collalto Sabino behind us and then we get to Orvinio (pic n°2), one of the most typical villages of the Sabina area, again listed among "The Most Beautiful Villages of Italy". It is the highest village in the National Park of Monti Lucretili. The Medieval village is dominated by the great castle overlooking the village, probably built in the twelfth century and now belonging to the Marquise Malvezzi Campeggi. The town is characterized by picturesque alleys and the beautiful Church of Santa Maria dei Raccomandati with its diamond-shaped bell tower, located in the highest part of the town.
Before returning to Rome through Via Salaria, there is the must-visit medieval village of Monteleone Sabino with the Shrine of Santa Vittoria (pic n°6). Located on an artificial hill just below Colle Foro, the church is mostly built in Romanesque style, and most of its renovations have occurred thanks to the work of the Orsinis, the local feudal lords who lived in this area in the second half of the fifteenth century. The façade, which is narrower than the body of the church, is entirely covered by stone and marble, while the church gate is decorated with white marble garlands, and it is surrounded by four blind arch-shaped windows. The eaves are embellished with a series of blind rounded arches.
Tour: A scenic journey in Sabina to discover the beauty of this area
Departure town: Rome
Places: Via Salaria (Rout Salaria), Rocca Sinibalda, Castel di Tora, Collalto Sabino, Lake Turano, Orvinio, National Park of Monti Lucretili, Monteleone Sabino, the Shrine of Santa Vittoria
Arrival town: Rome
Some pictures of this trip:
Castel di Tora (pic n°1); Orvinio (pic n°2); Collalto Sabino (pic n°3); Rocca Sinibalda (pic n°4); Lake Turano (pic n°5); the Shrine of Santa Vittoria (pic n°6);
Panoramic and scenic views during the whole tour!