Zagarolo and beyond


From my base just outside Rome in Zagarolo, I have spent what turned out to be over 4 weeks finding some hidden gems in Lazio. The furthest destination was only 2 hours from home base.

I’ll mention these geographically and not in time visited order.

Palestrina, Castel San Pietro Romano, Tivoli, Nemi, Castel Gandolfo, Rocca di Papa, 

Cerveteri, Tarquinia,  Santa Severa

Tarquinia and Cerveteri are well known centers for the Etruscan civilization. The painted tombs of Tarquinia (in the direction of the cemetery) and the Archeological museum (in the city) are worth visits. There about 18 tombs open for viewing (the number changes for works in progress) and the audio guide is recommended. Steps lead down to the tomb entrances and there is a light box to illuminate the interior. It usually took be 2 or 3 light cycles to get my “fill” but there are always jack rabbits that can be satisfied with a glimpse. I can easily spend a couple of hours there. 

The necropolis of Banditaccia holds very different tombs. These are built above the ground in rounded mounds. Stairs lead up to the entrances and then there are steps down into the tombs themselves. One of the best examples is the Tomb of the Reliefs which is positioned like the ones in Tarquinia and the entrance is at ground level. This area gives a clearer picture of the way Etruscan cities were laid out as it is representative of a true city. 

For something entirely different, is the castle and sand beach of Santa Severa. The castle is closed at this time for restoration but you can walk through the borgo inside the  walls and visit museums of the sea and minerals. There are also art studios which offer various courses. I enjoyed a break from driving and waded in the still warm water, then sat on a rock watching the sea and wondered where the large trees washed up near the shore came from. Other than one woman digging in the sand and a couple further down the beach, I had it to myself. 

Lake Bracciano, Nazzano, Sutri

Cassino, Abbey of Montecassino, Sora, Lido of Fondi, Abbey of Fossanova, Subiaco

Associated blog can be found at:

IMG 7455


©TAB 2012-2015