Stage 42 –Viterbo-Vetralla. Short stage but rich in history, among oak groves, olive groves and a well-cultivated countryside. We are now in the Agro Romano, with its peculiarities.
From the Loggia dei Papi, going down the steps, you reach the foot of the hill where the Cathedral and the city are located, and exit from Porta di Valle. Leaving Castel d’Asso on the right, an archaeological area that deserves a visit for its necropolis, you cross an agricultural area dedicated to the cultivation of hazelnut. A rather lively environment in the relief, but without difficulty, through fields and meadows. This is how you enter Vetralla
42 – Points of Interest
Vetralla: is located on the western side of the Cimini Mountains, near the volcanic crater that gave rise to Lake Vico. The name is believed to derive from the Latin Vetus aula (Ancient place) or from Vetus alia, (another implied) old city with reference to Viterbo (Vetus urbs). In Roman times on the Via Cassia about two km from the medieval settlements there was a station of the post office; still near S. Maria di Forcassi there are some walls and part of the pavement of the Roman Forum Cassii. To see: Church of San Pietro, Church of San Francesco, Church of Sant’Angelo, Church of Santa Maria, Monastery Regina Pacis, the rocky necropolis of Norchia.
Castel D’Asso: In 1817 the first Etruscan rock necropolis was discovered, which is also one of the most spectacular, outside the city of Viterbo. The street is dotted with many spas. The necropolis develops along the cliffs that dominate the valley of the Freddano stream which, as usual in this ecosystem, has dug a large gorge, the scene of unique flora and fauna specificities in the world. The spectacle offered by the tombs variously carved into the rock between the 4th and 2nd centuries BC, distributed over two or even three superimposed orders, is truly fascinating. All the facades are characterized by the suggestion that emanates from the representation of the Fake Door, the door to the afterlife, a distinctive element of a people closely linked to the mystical aspect of living and dying. The interior of the tombs, in its uniqueness of comb-like burials, reminds us of a stone belly.