|Barbarano Romano surrounded by medieval walls|
While the pre-Christmas crowds and traffic besiege the cities and shopping centers and most of the Western world is in a frenzy of commercialism, its time to make a visit to one of the many tiny walled town set deep in the Viterbo countryside we call Etruria.
|Only entrance and exit to the town|
This weekend we drove the winding back roads from Vetralla to Barbarano Romano, through a landscape dotted with green pastures where lazy Maremma cattle grazed.
|fountain with town's coat of arms|
Located only 50 miles from the capital of Rome, the town of Barbarano Romano is ignored by most tourists with the exception of those who love eco friendly walking or biking tours and delving into Etruscan sites. See this site for more information about walking tours in the area.
|details on a facade|
|terracotta animals decorate a window|
Sleepy at most times, the town comes alive whenever there is the slightest hint of a festival.
This weekend the festival combined a conference dedicated to tourism in the rock hewn (rupestre) necropolis and ecomuseum of the area with a few tables dedicated to locally produced handicrafts and food products.
|two black cats beneath the loom|
|Patrizia, artisan in soft wool|
|Patrizia Gaiba's handwoven shawls|
The town is set on tufa spur and surrounded by gorges, the Marturanum park and eco-museum and exudes that other-century feeling that city dwellers crave.
|hand turned wooden candlesticks|
|pottery and ceramics|
A visit at any time of year will restore one’s postcard image of old Italy that enamored D.H. Lawrence and other early English visitors.
The solid character of its intact walls, the fireplace glowing in Trattoria La Pacchiona, (country bumpkin) welcome visitors to explore the town's narrow lanes where cane bottomed chairs are set in each patch of noon day sun by elderly residents.
Unspoilt surroundings hide Etruscan rupestre sites such as San Giuliano where Swedish king Gustaf once played archeologist.
|medieval garage for a 1950s wagon|