LAZIO | BOMARZO + VILLA D’ESTE + VITERBO + BAGNOREGIO

Our traveling journey in this sultry Italian summer continues and ends in Lazio.

Our first stop is the Giardino dei Mostri di Bomarzo. The park, dating back to the mid-1500s, was created at the behest of Prince Orsini by the architect Pirro Ligorio – who created a path in Renaissance mythology and folklore. Monsters and basalt sculptures adorn this labyrinth with a still uncertain meaning, however it represents an architectural feat for the time it was conceived in. The park is surprising and every step, it seems to lead one deeper and deeper into a fairy-tale world. Although it is not my ideal park, it is definitely worth a visit and re-joy childhood.

Our next stop is Tivoli, we stop toVilla d’Este – the elegant Renaissance villa and Unesco heritage. We stroll from rooms with large frescoes to the luxuriant garden where a riot of fountains are waiting for us to gush out water. In addition to fountains and heat, we also find a crew engaged in filming the new episodes of “The Medici” tv-series. After the short tour allowed, we look around uncertain whether to visit the city as well. The traffic and the summer heat wisely suggest us to head to Viterbo.

The hot afternoon sun warms the air and we can’t wait to rest for a while before wandering around this ancient village. Our B&B is located in Piazza del Gesù, one of the beating hearts of the small and delightful Viterbo. To welcome us we find an elegant house with a garden attached to an old church, our room is furnished with extreme but essential decor, with a large window overlooking the sunset.

We can definitely use a jump in the water, so we promptly take advantage of the recently renovated B&B’s swimming pool for a refreshing bath and a regenerating relaxation by the vineyard. We are in the good company of the quiete noises of the medieval city outside the gate and the two dogs of our hosts. The atmosphere is surprising and even if we would gladly stay in the water as long as we can, the city buzz of the late afternoon calls us, so it’s time for us to go out for a walk. We get lost in the San Pellegrino district, we enjoy the view of the Duomo and the very elegantPalazzo dei Papi and watch the sunset from the terrace overlooking Palazzo dei Priori. Although fleeting, our foray into the city satisfies us, as does our dinner with cold-cuts and cocktails seating at the table of a pub close to the cathedral.

The following morning, the last stop awaits for us, an obligatory stop at “The city that dies” famously renown as Civita di Bagnoregio. An ancient medieval village perched on the non-eroded rocks of the Valle dei Calanchi, a city that can only be reached by crossing a bridge built in 1965. Observing it from afar, one has the impression of being a hobbit in search of the ring . As we enter, we wander around observing the alleys and the small shops, the bars and the few houses still inhabited, once again it feels like traveling in time.

Despite all the beauty discovered and the one still to be discovered, it is time to come home. We are happy that this Italian summer has surprised us.

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