Saturday, May 10, 2014

Rome to Tuscany : rediscovering the Via Clodia

Sandro Vanucci leads the group past the Colosseum-

-and the Roman Forum 

Today hundreds of  horsemen, bikers and trekkers  left Rome  for a 230 km. voyage  of rediscovery: they  are traveling  along  the  ancient Roman road, Via Clodia, north from Rome, through the Lazio countryside. 
Via Clodia route  from Rome to Grosseto 

traffic under my windows on May 8th 

Cavalieri  del 8 Maggio celebrate Vetralla's  Wedding of the Trees   

lunch stop  at Lake Martignano 

Arrival in the Tuscan provincial town of  Grosseto  is expected on Sunday, May 18th, as the climax of   “Passione Maremma-Food and Wine Shire”  festival   where over 100 producers will celebrate the area’s fine food products, wine and handicrafts.  
Maremma cowboys, butteri,  herd wild horses 

For 2,000 years the Via Clodia  was a major road connecting  the towns of Etruria. Then,with the defeat of the Etruscans by the Romans it was abandoned in favor of the Via  Cassia and Via Aurelia.

1581 map of ancient Etruria 
Since  the Middle Ages  Lazio and Tuscan coastal areas were considered  uninhabitable , a land of punishment and exile. 

 Until  about  60 years ago the area between Montalto  di Castro and  Grosseto  were  under the shadow of  malaria  and the area was known  as  “Maremma Amara”.
wild boar thrive in Maremma

Things have certainly changed in the past half century, for now  the coast  and hinterland are sought after holiday destinations, blessed with  pristine beaches, nature reserves, hill towns and genuine food and wine. 

 bruschette  to  begin a feast in Maremma

Maremma wines 
Along their route the horsemen  will visit archeological  sites such as Norchia in  the town of Vetralla, Tuscania, Vulci  and  Pitigliano  and live as travelers did in the past centuries. 
Etruscan necropolis of Norchia, in Vetralla 

For a full schedule see the event's website   Passione Maremma.
For  expert  information  on  Maremma  in English,  I can highly  recommend  my colleagues  Elisa and Donna  who live there:
-guest blog  by Elisa Scarton Detti 
-  Donna Stiles  website
See also  this story about  the Wedding of the Trees. 


  1. Thanks again for another interesting article on Italy I didn't know about 40 years ago when living there. Another reason to get busy on next years visit.

    I'll be contacting the two sites you mentioned for tour guidance and planning to combine this trip with cycling, watching the grand tour (Giro d'Italia - in May also) and visiting my niece and her husband in Florence.

    Thanks again for the great insight - Paul.

  2. Thanks for your comment Paul, Share with friends. You will love Maremma, its like Rome was 40 years ago. On your way there, why not stop in Vetralla for a visit.