Stage 43 –Vetralla-Sutri. Very beautiful stage, with woods and sheep farms. It winds right and left of the Via Cassia. The landscape is dominated by the Cimini Mountains. It takes you back on a fairly varied route for the relief, but nothing too difficult, indeed it is largely in the shade and therefore more enjoyable in warm periods. The route is located at the foot of Mount Cimino on the top of which is the lake of Vico of volcanic origin; you walk in a beautiful wood for a few kilometers. Then after immense hazelnut groves there is the Torre d’Orlando. After several kilometers a long journey begins in a natural depression with various fords on wooden walkways and you arrive in the area of the caves, near the Etruscan necropolis. This leads to Sutri, which deserves a careful visit for its history and monuments.
43 – Points of Interest
Sutri:“The future of the papacy, ruler of the world was decided during the meeting between Pope Gregory II and the Lombard king Liutprando at the foot of Monte Mario”, writes Gregorovius in his history of the popes. In fact, that meeting gave the Roman pontiff the opportunity to exercise his primacy. Liutprand prostrated himself at his feet, asked for and obtained forgiveness. It was 728 and just at that moment the temporal power of the popes began, of which Sutri, today in the province of Viterbo. It was the first territory of the Papacy, having been a gift from Liutprand himself. The story is remembered in this town of Tuscia on the Cassia, about 50 kilometers from Rome. Moreover, Sutri deserves a visit for its vast historical-monumental heritage. Legend has it that it was founded by the god Saturn. Crossed for centuries by pilgrims on their way to Rome, Sutri was the last stop before making the journey that led them to Monte Mario. Still today it displays the evidence of pre-Roman and Roman civilization gathered in the Archaeological Park of Poggio Salvorelli, a short distance from the Franceta or Vecchia gate, from which you enter the ancient village. Also in the same area is the amphitheater dating back to the Augustan age, entirely dug into the tuff and of great scenographic effect. Suggestive are the rock tombs of the VI-IV century BC. formed by parietal niches. Climbing up the hill close to the Roman theater, you reach Villa Salvorelli in whose park there are the ruins of the castle of Charlemagne which was the residence of the Anguillara family. To see: Santa Maria Assunta, San Francesco, San Silvestro, Villa Savorelli, Porta Vecchia, Torre degli Arraggiati, Roman amphitheater of Sutri, Necropolis of Sutri, Catacomb of San Giovenale
Torri d’Orlando: In the Vicomatrino area, there are three towers of different periods and designs, and heaps of rubble from two other likely similar buildings. These are two Roman funerary monuments of the 1st century. to. C. and a bell tower belonging to a Benedictine church “Sancta Maria in campis” (X century). The most imposing is formed by a square base, surmounted by a cylindrical body, 16 m high in total. Originally it was probably covered with peperino slabs and the niches that can be seen on the surface could contain bas-reliefs with images of the deceased of the rich families of the vicus. According to legend, Orlando, the valiant paladin of Charlemagne, king of the Franks, loved to rest with his companions in arms in the shade of the great oaks.
Capranica: it is crossed by the historic Via Romea Germanica and Via Francigena. The first information about human settlements dates back to the Etruscan period but certain data date back to the early 1000s. At the beginning of the 14th century, it became the domain of the Anguillara. After the popular revolt that expelled them, it entered the patrimony of the Papal States as a Cardinal’s Governorate. Located on the slopes of the Cimini Mountains, it is not far from the suggestive lake of Vico. It is built on a tuffaceous spur. To visit the historic center: a real crossroads of roads. The bulk of the Castle dominates the whole area, with its battlements and the tower which now houses a clock. They meet: the Accoramboni Palace, seat of the Municipality, with the frescoed noble floor, the portal of the former San Sebastiano hospital (archaeological find that adorned the Collegiate Church until 1800), the Church of San Giovanni (19th century) with the beautiful Crucifix 15th century wooden palace, Palazzo Patrizi Naro (seat of the Municipal Library), the Church of Santa Maria (which preserves the altarpiece of the Savior Blessing from the 13th century) and finally the Church of San Pietro, built on the remains of a Roman temple. Even more important, both from an architectural and artistic point of view, are San Francesco (XII century) and the Madonna del Piano (XVI century). In San Francesco, located in front of the Palazzo del Comune, it is possible to admire a fresco attributed to the young Michelangelo. The Church of the Madonna del Piano, the work of Vignola, is a beautiful Baroque church, with a frescoed wooden ceiling and is instead located outside the historic center, about 300 meters from the access door to the old town. In the surrounding countryside it is possible to visit the remains of Etruscan and Roman artefacts, such as the “Castellaccio“, and the remains of “Vicus Matrini“, the first human settlement in the area.