In our previous article "Places to visit in Lazio: stunning places north of Rome", we explored the places in northern Lazio that are well worth visiting. Now we enter the area to the east of the capital, the so-called "ciociaria" and the Valle Reatina, to discover further magical places not to be missed. If you are travelling by car, camper van or planning to move to other regions of Italy, here are some places worth making a detour for during your trip.
"Ciociaria" is the term used to identify the area south-east of Rome and its symbolic capital is now considered Frosinone, a city that is located about 90 kilometres from the Eternal City. About half an hour's drive from Frosinone, the first place you should visit is the Pastena Caves, located within the Monti Ausoni Regional Natural Park. The caves offer an itinerary inside a real masterpiece of nature, including stalactites, stalagmites, ponds and waterfalls.
Just north of Frosinone, you will also find Fumone, one of the most picturesque and best preserved villages. The most beautiful monuments are the Castle, the Collegiate Church of Santa Maria Assunta and the Gothic Church of San Gaugerico. There is also a pleasant walk to be had in the historic centre, where you can enjoy magical panoramic views. The fortress of the castle also houses an extraordinary hanging garden, known as the "terrace of the Ciociaria".
Not far from Fumone, you can also visit Alatri, one of the oldest towns in Lazio, with its imposing Cyclopean walls and the evocative Acropolis. Also visit the monuments of the medieval period, such as the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore, and the monumental fountains scattered around the historic centre.
If you love panoramic views, we also recommend visiting Acuto, an old feud about 37 kilometres from Frosinone, which rises to 750 metres above sea level, on top of a hill from where you can see the immense panorama of the Sacco Valley and the Lepini Mountains.
Closer to the edge of the Lazio Region, we find Alvito, almost on the border with Abbruzzo, and Acquafondata, near the border with Molise. Alvito is a charming medieval town, overlooking the Comino Valley, nestled on the slope of Mount Marrone. This is a beautifully conserved old town full of buildings of great value such as the Palazzo Ducale, with the famous "Teatro di Corte", decorated with frescoes and stuccos. Other places of interest are the Church of Santa Maria del Campo, with its 15th century frescoes, Palazzo Sipari, with its frescoed ceilings and the library holding over 2,000 volumes, the Churches of Santa Teresa, San Rocco, San Simeone Profeta and the Convent of St. Nicholas.
Acquafondata, on the other hand, stands on the dried-up bottom of Lake Vitecusum, nestled in a green valley at an altitude of 925 metres on the slopes of the Monti della Meta. There are only 264 inhabitants, and it is known for its hospitality, for the amazing beauty of the landscape and for its pure and healthy climate.
Returning to the north of Rome, but moving a little further east, about 80 kilometres from the capital, we find the splendid town of Rieti, located in the middle of the Reatina Valley. The city has always been closely linked to the Great Rome, as evidenced by the large bridge at the entrance, directly connected to the ancient Via Salaria. Even at an architectural level, Roman antiquity is clearly visible, but there are also influences from the Middle Ages and elegant noble palaces, which give a touch of sober elegance to the place. We recommend starting your tour of Rieti from the city walls, which date back to the 13th century. Once inside the walls you can explore the Church of Sant'Agostino, the Palazzo Comunale (home of the Rieti civic museum, one of the oldest in the entire Region), the Palazzo del Governo, the Flavio Vespasiano Theatre and the Palazzo Vescovile. Moreover, a small square on the right side of the Church of Saints Camillo and Ruffo, in the city centre, is considered "the centre of all Italy". In the surroundings of Rieti, moreover, which can be reached by pleasant walks in nature, you will find numerous Franciscan sanctuaries, such as the Convent of Fonte Colombo and the Sanctuary of Greccio. Pressing on a little further to the south of the city, you will also find numerous castles and small fortified villages, immersed in the greenery of the valley, such as Rocca Sinibalda and Castello di Bucciniano.
As you will have understood by now, there are many places to visit in Lazio beyond Rome, and just a few days of holiday to explore them all will surely not be enough. If you want to explore the North East of Rome, remember that you can stay in our I Pini Family Park in Fiano Romano, while if you want to explore the "ciociaria", you can stay at the Fabulous Village.
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I Pini Family Park is the holiday camp designed for a holiday far away from all the hustle and bustle of the city, but without having to compromise on the comforts of everyday life, created especially for families and groups...