If you are watching the TV series “The Borgias” you are taking a virtual tour of some of the hill towns in the area north of Rome.Last night’s episodes featured a bull fight in the amphitheatre of Sutri and a visit to the Odescalchi Castle in Bracciano. See more about this castle on the blog posts of the past couple of weeks.
|Main gateway entering Ronciglione|
|laundry with cupola and bell tower|
|Vignola's fountain of the Unicorns|
|exploring the back streets of Ronciglione|
The film director used some good camera work to make the view from the castle gardens look like the Bay of Naples.
|Ronciglione once had a ghetto|
|garden on the street|
Those of us who live here have our personal favorites: usually they are the towns we know best…where our friends live, or where our favorite restaurants are located.
|castle of Julius II|
Many of the hill towns in the Etruria area coincidentally begin with the letter “V”: Vignanello, Vallerano, Vitorchiano and of course Vetralla. I’d love to hear why from a specialist in linguistics.
|medieval alley way|
It has also been used as a murder weapon in the dark days when families such as the Borgia lived and ruled in this area.
Entering the town through an imposing doorway topped with papal coat of arms, we walked along the main street where colorful Baroque period facades made a sharp contrast with the dark stone of the medieval houses.
The town is dotted with churches, bell towers, palazzi, convents and castles and the medieval quarter is intact and perfect for a stroll , but watch out for falling roof tiles.
|a green corner of the medieval quarter|
The streams which rush through the gorges were used as a primitive source of water power which made Ronciglione an early industrial center with production of metal objects and printing. Playing cards produced here were famous around the world. The tradition is continued by the Spada printing company which produced my book Etruria.