What to see
art & architecture
Our area makes the perfect base for exploring the cities of central Italy. Orvieto is only 18km away and both Rome and Florence can be reached by car or train in just over an hour. Sienna is equally easy to reach, as are the Etruscan cities of Tarquinia and Tuscania. Umbria is minutes away – just over the Tiber – with the beautiful hilltop towns of Todi and Spoleto and then Deruta, Perugia and the Franciscan cities of Assisi and Gubbio.
On request we organise personalised tours led by an official tour guide: half-day tour €120; entire day €240.We are always delighted to suggest suitable itineraries, and we are very happy to offer guests help in arranging car hire or a driver.
The area offers a multitude of beautiful stately homes and famous gardens waiting to be discovered: the magnificent Palazzo Farnese at Caprarola with its surrounding park and gardens; the gardens of Villa Lante at Bagnaia; the imposing Castello Ruspoli at Vignanello with its superb Italian garden which Princess Claudia opens to visitors on appointment; the ecclectic “Ideal City” of La Scarzuola at Montegabbioni – an extraordinary and timeless twentieth-century folly; and here in Civitella d'Agliano La Serpara, the Swiss artist Paul Wiedmer's contemporary sculpture park.
Other local attractions not to be missed include Bomarzo's famous renaissance pleasure gardens, the “Park of the Monsters”, which lies just outside the hill-top village, with its castle which, like the park, was once owned by the Orsini. Perched on one of the nearby spurs of clay typical of the area stands Civita di Bagnoregio, a pretty medieval village built on Etruscan foundations and known as “the dying town”: centuries of erosion have left it a dramatic island of clay accessible only via a long steep footbridge with spectacular views.Another almost-island, the nearby city of Orvieto rises up over cliffs of tufa rock, with its beautiful cathedral and deep Etruscan grottos.
hot springs & spas
Viterbo, main town of the “Tuscia”, is famous for its “Bulicame” and “Bagnacci”: natural pools of mildly sulphurous water fed by hot springs. The town also offers a well-equipped spa, the Terme dei Papi, with open-air pools of hot spring water that can be enjoyed year-round, and a full range of spa treatments including saunas, mud therapy and massages.Saturnia, another famous spa town, is also nearby and, thanks to the volcanic nature of the area, this region of Italy offers a host of beautiful, if lesser-known, places whose hot springs and spa waters offer an opportunity to relax and pamper oneself (Bagni San Filippo, Bagni Vignone and Terme di Orte).
lakes & seaside
The beautiful coastline of the Argentario or the Duna Feniglia is just over an hour away by car, but good swimming is also to be had in the crystalline waters of our local lake, Bolsena. Lake Bolsena and little Lake Vico (surrounded by hazel orchards) are volcanic lakes and officially protected areas of outstanding natural beauty, and both offer the chance to go canoeing, windsurfing, fishing and – on Lake Bolsena – sailing.Near Lake Vico, sports fans can also make use of the federal golf club “Le Querce” at Nepi-Sutri. For walkers the hills and mountains of the Monti Cimini and Monte Amiata offer wonderful excursions amid magnificent beech and chestnut woods, and in winter Monte Amiata is a charming place to ski (offering both downhill and cross-country skiing).