An Insider’s guide to Tuscia

8 March 2024
Written by The Italy Insider
Insider's Guide


Nestled between Tuscany, Umbria, and Lazio, La Tuscia boasts a diverse landscape characterised by rolling hills, verdant valleys, and picturesque towns. This region is dotted with ancient Etruscan ruins, medieval villages, and Renaissance palaces, each telling a story of centuries past. From the mystical Etruscan metropolis of Tarquinia and Cerveteri to the medieval architecture of Viterbo’s historic centre and the beauty of Italy’s – dying town – Civita di Bagnoregio: here is everything you need to know about the region.

Civita di Bagnoregio
Civita di Bagnoregio

Where to sleep

Tenuta Bertarello, Vetralla

Tenuta Bertarello, encircled by 40 hectares of organic farm, is located just outside the city gates and nestled in a small paradise in the Tuscia countryside. The property, which dates back to the 18th century, tells the story of a loved and lived home, purchased by the Peruzzi family twenty years ago – and today, dearly managed by Beatrice. Heritage transcends throughout the original terracotta floors, antique furniture and walls, papered with sheets of satirical magazines from the 1800s. But then there’s warm touch in which the family invites guests into their country home where nature is at heart: chickens, cats, dogs and horses run wild around the meadows, an abundance of bees from which the family makes its honey and a vegetable garden where fresh produce is picked and prepared for guests. WEBSITE

Tenuta Bertarello

Relais Villa Lina, Ronciglione

Relais Villa Lina is a historical property immersed in 40 hectares of organic estate and situated in La Tuscia, a region characterised by small mediaeval villages that preserve their Etruscan heritage. Located just under one hours away from Rome, the Relais was acquired by the Igliori family in the 13th century, and today Paola Igliori, writer and Film Maker, welcomes you into her home, curating wonderful experiences that span across the power of plants and nature to the world of herbs and flowers with herbalist Emilia Rosa Scarpone. You can rent one of the five historical homes inside the estate or book one of the 31 rooms and suites. WEBSITE

Villa Lina. Courtesy Veronica Pugliese
Villa Lina. Courtesy Veronica Pugliese

VILLA LAIS, sipicciano

Villa Lais lies in the village of Sipicciano, between Lazio and Umbria. Since its opening in the 18th century, the property passed through numerous noble families until falling in the hands of Carlo Lais, to whom the residence is named after. Inside, there are four bedrooms, bathroom, a grand living room and a historic wine cellar whereas next door stands the small church of San Vincenzo, which still hosts celebrations and weddings.

Villa Lais. Courtesy Veronica Pugliese

Corte della Maestà, Civita di Bagnoregio

Corte della Maestà

You’ll find a bit of your home at Corte della Maestà a Civita di Bagnoregio. A family run hotel known for its welcoming and tranquil atmosphere. More like a retreat with curious rooms furnished with objects and paintings belonging to the Crepet family. WEBSITE

Palazzo Petrvs, Orvieto

One of the newest openings in Italy, Palazzo Petrvs is a historic noble residence located in Orvieto. Well designed spaces with minimal, contemporary furnishings that seamlessly blend with its ancient allure; within the property there’s rooms as well as self-catered apartments to rent as well as a restaurant, bar and intimate inner courtyard for a fresh drink or aperitif. WEBSITE

WHERE TO EAT

Courtesy Il Languorino

IL LANGUORINO, Montefiascone

Born in 2020 from an idea of Marta and Stefano, Il Languorino is set in the alleys of Montefiascone’s historic centre. This restaurant offers a dynamic menu that changes with the seasons, paying special attention to small, local producers and wineries. WEBSITE

La Parolina, Trevinano

If you want to have some typical – but refined – dishes, you should reserve a table at La Parolina a Trevinano restaurant. It is a Michelin starred restaurant, headed by Iside de Cesare. The cuisine is a combination of local ingredients, making the most of what the region provides: from the Amiata mushrooms to the truffles of the Crete Senesi, from the asparagus of Canino to the hazelnuts of the Cimini Mountains, without forgetting the many fish products from the nearby lake of Bolsena and the Tyrrhenian Sea. WEBSITE

IL GARGOLO, viterbo

Located in one of Viterbo’s most picturesque neighbourhoods, this iconic little restaurant specialises in bringing to life traditional dishes that tell typical stories of this area. What makes everything more magical is the hospitality of Sara, Alberto and Emiliano, who manage to make the piazza irresistible all year round, hosting tables for everyone in summer and on fine winter days.

LAB, viterbo

The Lab Restaurant&Drink in the heart of Viterbo embodies the perfect combination of elegance and tradition. Located in Piazza Verdi, one of the city’s most iconic squares, it is the ideal venue for aperitifs and dinners. The Lab welcomes lovers of fine cuisine by offering a wide and varied à la carte menu, with dishes made using local products, guaranteeing an authentic gastronomic experience. WEBSITE

CONVIVIAL, tuscania

We are in Tuscania, where the passion for culinary tradition is intertwined with the continuous search for the essence of taste, well-being and harmony. Meticulous care goes into the selection of products, fresh and seasonal. Each month, nature becomes the muse for creating unique dishes, capturing the authentic flavours of the land and beyond. The Convivial is more than just a restaurant: it is a journey through authentic flavours, an ode to the beauty of the land and a tribute to traditional cuisine enriched with innovative touches. WEBSITE

Courtesy Antonio Cavalieri

ALMA CIVITA

In the heart of Civita di Bagnoregio, Alma Civita awaits, where culinary artistry intertwines with historical heritage. Maestro Maurizio Rocchi entices with an array of gourmet creations, including the delectable “Uovo di Alma” adorned with truffle and dill. WEBSITE

What to see

PALAZZO FARNESE

Palazzo Farnese

Located in Caprarola, it is one of the most beautiful Renaissance palaces in Italy. Between the 15th and 16th century, its initial construction project aimed to make this residence a real fortress for the Farnese family. Vignola was one of the main artists who oversaw the project. By distorting what were the initial intentions, he had the ability to clearly transform this palace into something extraordinary, where art and light play a leading role. The interior of the residence was designed by the best architects of the time, the frescoes were created by Taddeo and Federico Zuccari, Onofrio Panvito and Fulvio Orsini.The exterior of the church is defined as a true late Renaissance garden, based on a technique in which terraces were created behind the villa. The building inside the gardens was chosen by Luigi Einaudi as his summer residence during the seven years of his Presidency of the Republic. WEBSITE

VESCONTE, PALAZZO COZZA CAPOSAVI

Historic residence of the Counts-Caposavi family located in the heart of Bolsena.A palace that throughout history has hosted several personalities from the world of art and science, such as Guglielmo Marconi, Federico Fellini, Giovanni Verga and many others, who in some way left their ‘signature’.Today, the same family still maintains the tradition of 500, characterised by hospitality and uniqueness.

Palazzo Cozza. Courtesy Veronica Pugliese

CIVITA DI BAGNOREGGIO

Considered one of the most beautiful villages in Italy, it is located in the province of Viterbo and has been described by the writer Bonaventura Tecchi as ‘The Dying City’. It was born in 1695 from a violent earthquake that struck Civita di Bagnoregio, then called Bagnorea. The cliff separated it forever from the two neighbouring districts, Mercatello and Rota.

CELLENO

Known as the Village of Cherries, Celleno, with its 1305 inhabitants, is referred to as ‘the ghost village’ due to natural phenomena in the 1930s, which goes to represent that abandoned but authentic part of the village that tells us an almost forgotten history through unique objects and glimpses.

SANT’ANGELO

Just a step away from Civita Bagnoregio, one can catapult oneself into another dimension, far from our worlds but close to childhood tales. Sant’Angelo is in fact called the Land of Fairy Tales, a place where one can admire a veritable open-air museum coloured by folk art. The first and iconic mural is precisely Alice in Wonderland, symbolising the idea of giving new life to a place that was totally depopulated.

What to do

hike through the MONTI CIMINI

Impeccable for walking while breathing fresh, clean air, Monte Cimino is in fact the highest peak of the Antiappennino laziale, with its authentic beech forest, and is the ideal destination for hikers and nature lovers. Here, each time of year reserves different colours and blooms, which make this place magical.

take a trip to vico lake

Surrounded by centuries-old woods, a few minutes from Viterbo we find Lake Vico, one of the largest lakes in Lazio that offers the possibility of enjoying a breathtaking panorama, an ideal destination for those who want to practice water sports or characteristic picnics in the impeccably equipped surrounding areas. The fauna, characterised by a strong biodiversity, includes numerous species of fish, small and large mammals, nocturnal and diurnal birds of prey, but above all water birds such as the Great Crested Grebe, which has always been the symbol of the Reserve.

*Our guide was written in collaboration with our insider Veronica Pugliese



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