Itinerary: Lake Bolsena, Montefiascone, Bolsena, Grotte di Castro, Gradoli, Campodimonte, Marta
Along the astonishing shores of Lake Bolsena near Rome
Lake Bolsena is located north of Rome, in the region of Lazio, near the border with Tuscany and Umbria. Lake Bolsena is the largest volcanic lake in Europe, and it is surrounded by a scenic road long about 60 kilometers, which offers a magnificent view over the lake and its surroundings. You can admire several charming Medieval towns overlooking the lake, such as Bolsena (pic n°1)(pic n°2), San Lorenzo Nuovo, Grotte di Castro (pic n°4), Gradoli (pic n°3), Capodimonte (pic n°5), Marta and Montefiascone (pic n°6).
Bolsena, a nice little town that gives its name to the lake, is an ancient Etruscan settlement that is home to a large necropolis with tombs and funerary ornaments of different shapes. Bolsena is also famous for the miracle of Corpus Christi and for the celebrations of Santa Cristina, the saint patron of the town.
Gradoli is famous for the local oil and wine, especially the dessert wine named Aleatico Gradoli. This town also hosts the imposing Palazzo Farnese, which was built by Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, who was elected Pope under the name of Paul III.
The village of Capodimonte is perched on the picturesque promontory that rises 334 meters a.s.l. over the lake. Do not miss to visit the beautiful island of Bisentina connected to the village by a motorboat service with tourist guides.
The other island in the lake is called Martana and it is said that this island would have kept the relics of Santa Cristina to prevent them from falling into the hands of the Barbarians. Now this island is a private property, therefore, it cannot be visited.
The village called Marta is known for its celebration that honors Madonna del Monte. The festivity is named "Festa delle Passate", but is often nicknamed "Barabbata" as well.
Finally, Montefiascone is a picturesque village on the edge of the lake with its imposing monuments overlooking the lake, such as the Rocca and the Church of Santa Margherita. Montefiascone is a very popular village due to its production of wine, among them the most famous wine is the delicious white wine called "Est! Est!! Est!!!".
Length of tour: 26.4 km
Read more about The Wine Road of Tuscia tasting some excellent local wines
Places of interest:
Bolsena, The Church of Santa Cristina and the Rocca Monaldeschi; (pic n°1);
Grotte di Castro, The Church of St. John (pic n°4);
Gradoli, The Palazzo Farnese (pic n°3) and the Church of St. Mary Magdalene;
Marta, The Clock Tower located in the historic center, about 21 meters tall;
Montefiascone, The Church of St. Flaviano, the Rocca dei Papi and the Cathedral of Santa Margherita (pic n°6);