Italy Today

The secrets of Lazio

Feel like a movie star in Rome and ride a horse in Viterbo area

The secrets of Lazio

Claudia Astarita

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There is no question about the beauty of Rome. The German newspaper Die Welt has defined it a "Breath taking beauty", the Guardian reported "It is impossible not fall in love with Rome".

To experience the Dolce Vita spirit of the city and feel like Audrey Hepburne in Roman Holiday or Marcello Mastroianni in Fellini's films, the best you can do is to hire a Vespa. There is a cultural association called "Rome on a Vespa" that suggests five different itineraries on the two wheels: "Ancient", "Baroque", "Christian", "The hidden areas" and "Along the Tiber".

If instead you wish to follow Jep, the impassive protagonist of the Oscar-winner "The great beauty", you can discover the city behind the scenes. This means accessing ancient palaces belonging to the high society, like Altemps Palace, home of the Roman National Museum. Here, among the loggias, colonnades and galleries, you can admire unique statues and bas-relieves.

Also present in Sorrentino's masterpiece from 2013, the Vatican gardens are worth a visit. Here, all Popes have walked and prayed for many years. Speaking about Popes, the medieval village of Viterbo, situated an hour and a half north of Rome, used to be the papal domicile and still treasures ancient constructions like the Dome and the papal thermal baths.

In the surroundings of Viterbo, you can also follow the Etruscan pilgrims' tracks and go back to the seventh century b. C. Away from the bulk of tourism, you can travel back in history. The best way to reach ancient archaeological sites is to ride a horse and follow the river stream. In this unspoiled landscape it is very likely to incur into herds of grazing animals.

While Rome has evolved into finer cuisines, like gourmet vegetarian ones, these rural areas preserve more traditional flavours like a great variety of seasoned cold cuts and sausages.

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