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On the Tiber dancing

On the Tiber dancing

per person

The green heart of Rome’s river beats in a magical place, 40 km from the center of the Eternal City. It is the natural oasis “Nazzano Tevere-Farfa”. Seven hundred hectares where the Tiber dances sinuously between Lake Nazzano and the confluence of the Farfa stream. The spectacle to be admired, thanks to special observation points, is simply that of nature without schedules or scripts: life in a microcosm of water with all its protagonists. This is where the tour begins, a little by train and a little by foot, which will continue in one of the scenic villages in the area (Nazzano, Ponzano Romano, Filacciano) to wake up the next morning with an aerial view of a magical landscape.

Continue towards Monterotondo to discover the history of lost cities thanks to the archaeological and multimedia museum. Then we move to Mentana, the site of a historic battle of Garibaldi (there is also a Garibaldi museum) and of great memories contained in a historic center that tells both the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Not only that: it is also immersed in a naturalistic and archaeological park. The historic center of Mentana is, in the end, the right way to end a seductive experience for a dinner or a drink in one of the many open-air places between alleys, squares, arches and portals. The tour runs over 24 kilometers.

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  • Departure/Return Location
    "Nazzano Tevere Farfa" Nature Reserve - The villages on the river (Nazzano, Filacciano, Ponzano Romano) - Monterotondo - Mentana
  • Departure Time
    1 night
  • Dress Code
    casual, trekking outfit, birdwatching telescope

Tour Plan

"NazzanoTevere-Farfa" nature reserve
On foot or by bicycle (it can also be rented on site), by boat or on horseback in the green heart of the Tiber River. We are in the “Nazzano Tevere-Farfa” nature reserve. Here you arrive in the morning and leave in the late afternoon, considering there are many experiences to do. A paradise for children but also for lovers of special fauna and ecosystems. The site map, also available on the web, gives an idea. You can get there on foot from the Torrita Tiberina train station and you can already make the choice immediately to start with an ecological boat exploration, powered by solar panels (cost: from 6 and 12 euros, accessible to people with disabilities). Or you can rent a bike and choose one of the proposed routes. Seven birdwatching stations, 17 picnic areas. There is also a River Museum (now temporarily closed) and several archaeological sites. It is the first protected area established by the Lazio Region in 1979. The goal: to protect the wetland of "Lake Nazzano", created in the 1950s by a dam downstream of the town to regulate floods. Here, in almost 30 years, nature has adapted to changing environmental conditions, creating one of the most interesting sites in central Italy for birdwatching and observation of the fascinating ecosystem of the marsh. The time of maximum concentration of the birds is the winter months. At least 1300 populate the reserve. Mainly coots, pochards and teals. In spring it becomes a stop over for the knights of Italy, very elegant in flight between wing beats and short glides, for the small sandpiper, the avocet and many other species. Scientific research published by the Reserve has documented and quantified the regular guests. Here nest couples of black kites and coots. The peregrine falcon also recently return on time, on a cliff, while since 2007 the gray heron has also made it the place of election, the only case in Lazio. There is also a large presence of sparrows; also present moorhen and bittern. Tree frogs and nutria can be seen swimming from one shore to the other. About twenty the species of amphibians and reptiles: from the green toad to the Italic tree frog, from the warty gecko to the saettone. Curiosity1: every autumn the Canoe Roma Group, in collaboration with the management of the Reserve, organizes the "Rally Oasi Tevere-Farfa", a kayak excursion open to all along the waters of the protected area. To participate, you must come with your own equipment. For information www.gruppocanoeroma.it, info@gruppocanoeroma.it. Curiosity2: since 2015 fishing is allowed but only "no kill", that is, with the obligation to release. It can be practiced on the right bank between the Montorso bridge and the Canneta locality, on the left bank between the Enel Farfa 2 power plant and the Fosso dell'ferno. You must have a fishing license and an authorization card. Non-residents can purchase the card valid for one or ten days of fishing at authorized commercial establishments at a cost of 5 and 30 euros respectively. It can therefore be booked from sunrise to sunset on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays and midweek holidays. Duration of visit: free, the electric boat ride varies between one and two hours Tickets: admission to the reserve is free, the ticket for the River Museum 1 euro Info: the multimedia visitor center of the Reserve is located at Km 28.100 of via Tiberina, in the Meana area (Municipality of Nazzano), tel. 0765 332795, www.teverefarfa.it
The village overlooking the "Flask of Tiber"
For the panoramic view of the bends of the river and the famous "Flask of Tiber" it is worth heading to one of the villages overlooking the river from above. Filacciano (4 km on foot) is a 17th-century lounge overlooking the Tiber. In fact, it houses a cameo of Baroque architecture designed in 1650 by Mattia de Rossi, Bernini's favorite pupil, commissioned by the Marquis Muti Papazzurri who required a real urban intervention for their family fiefdom. The work of the great architect makes it a place of great scenografhic impact. The oldest part of the village can be reached through a large portal that opens the view to the Castello del Drago. The Filocastello road crosses the town in length up to the belvedere. Filacciano has historical roots that date back to the Roman era. With a papal bull in 817 the possession of the "Casalis Flaccianus" was attributed to the Monks of Farfa. In the fourteenth century it was the domain of the Orsini, before a long series of noble families who took ownership. Starting from 1544 the Savellis, the Nardi Barons of Bordissiera, the Muti Papazzurri, Monsignor Carlo Mauri and, finally, the Princes Del Drago who are still the owners of the Castle. The first construction in Filacciano was a tower that was incorporated into the Castle, in place of which the Palazzo Del Drago was later erected. Curiosity: Piazza Umberto Primo, with the Palazzo Del Drago in the background, has often been a natural setting for great cinema. Fellini, for example, shot many scenes of the film "8 e ½" right here.
Monterotondo and the museum in the "frescoed rooms"
From the Poggio Mirteto station it takes just a few train stops to get to Monterotondo. The route of the railway largely runs along the river. The station is a three kilometer walk from the city center, but there is a shuttle service. Head towards Palazzo Orsini, the seat of the Municipality and the cultural heart of the city. Here, among the frescoed rooms, is the archaeological museum that tells four thousand years of local history, from Prehistory to the 1600s. A collection of four thousand exhibits. The visit extends to the Angelani library offering a multimedia narrative for an evocative visual and sensorial approach: holograms, videos, models, faithful reconstructions of environments. This is the itinerary: ground floor of the Angelani library (via Serrecchia), frescoed rooms of Palazzo Orsini (piazza Frammartino 4) for the Roman archeology section (foundation, formation and development of the City of Monterotondo) and the pre-Roman one. The origins of Palazzo Orsini date back to the Middle Ages. The tower, which dominates the entire Tiber Valley, was rebuilt following the Avezzano earthquake of 1915. The "frescoed rooms" were built to house Leo X and later became the private rooms of Pope Urban VIII. The frescoes are the work of very important artists. The first, for those who enter, is the so-called “Room of Landscapes”, which preserves a seventeenth-century coffered ceiling made by Sorìa and a cycle of landscapes, the work of Paul Bril's workshop. The next room frescoed by Girolamo Siciolante from Sermoneta around the years 1535-55 is also of considerable importance. The theme is the life of Adonis. This is followed by the Sala delle Cacce, with the frescoes painted in 1581 by Paul Bril, a great Flemish master who settled in Rome together with his brother Matteo. They start from a realistic view of Monterotondo and include numerous scenes of hunting parties in the green hills of the Sabina. From the Halls you pass to a gallery with a barrel ceiling. The decorations in this room have been attributed to the hand of the painters Michelangelo and Niccolò Ricciolini. The frescoes represent Time, Hours and Fame and reflect the use of the Monterotondo Palace as a leisure residence. Info and opening hours: the museum entrance is in via Serrecchia, at the "Angelani" cultural center. Hours: Tuesday to Friday from 10am to 1pm, Saturday from 10am to 7pm. On Sundays (open until 1pm) at 10am a complete free guided tour starts and from 12pm it will be possible to access only the archaeological section in the frescoed rooms. Reservations are required for the multimedia section and for groups. You can book by phone at least one day in advance. Admission is allowed up to 45 minutes before the museum closes. Ticket: admission with accompanied visit € 5. Free every Sunday. Free for the disabled, tourist guides, Icom members and accompanying persons of groups and schools. Info and reservations: tel. 0690964221 - 3515804401 - 3515819662 museo@icmcomune.it From the museum to the archaeological area of Via Nomentum-Eretum The archaeological area of Via Nomentum-Eretum is located in Tor Mancina, just over two kilometers on foot from Palazzo Orsini. You have to take via di Castelchiodato. There is a long stretch of Roman road paved with limestone paving stones. It is the continuation of the Via Nomentana which, after connecting Rome to Nomentum, had to continue northwards until it rejoined the Via Salaria at Eretum. On the sides of the road, between the first century. BC / 1st century A.D. and the II / III century. A.D., several burials have been laid, from the poorest to the most imposing ones, pertinent to people of a certain rank who had to live in the nearby villae rusticae, of which the territory was dotted. The archaeological area is open every second Sunday of the month when free guided tours are organized by the local section of the Archeoclub of Italy. It is also open every day, by reservation (tel. 06.9091245 - archeoclubmm@hotmail.com).
Three kilometers of Nomentana separate Monterotondo from Mentana, which is the fascinating final stage of the tour. Here you can first visit the ancient village and then get to the heart of the Trentani wood. Or do the opposite: get off the bus at the park entrance (kilometer 21,200 of the Nomentana) and get from here to the historic center. The ideal is to let the evening descend on the medieval and Renaissance views of Mentana fused together, to be enjoyed in one of the many outdoor bars. To know more about Mentana: https://rydercupgolf.it/mentana-the-thousand-stories-of-the-garibaldian-village?lang=en/

Come spostarsi

  • The tour takes about 24 kilometers, from Tevere-Farfa Reserve to Mentana. You can reach the Tevere Farfa Reserve by car (there are 41 kilometers if you leave from the center of Rome via A1 and Salaria, 38 from Guidonia Montecelio and 46 from Tivoli via via Palombarese and via Salaria). By bus via Cotral, with terminus from Saxa Rubra. But it can be easily reached by train. The line is the Fl1, the one that connects Fiumicino airport to Orte. Get off at the Poggio Mirteto station. From Roma Tiburtina there are eight stops (ticket: 3 euros). The intermediate stations in this case are Nomentana, Nuovo Salario, Fidene, Settebagni, Monterotondo-Mentana, Pianabella di Montelibretti and Fara Sabina. From the Poggio Mirteto station to the landing of the electric boats from which the mini-cruises to discover the Tiber Farfa Reserve (which may be the first stop) the distance is just over a kilometer. Then you can follow one of the many proposed routes, by bike or on foot. .
  • How to reach one of the villages overlooking the river, to spend the evening and the night. A walk may be enough: it is about five to six kilometers (depending on where you are in the Reserve) if you aim for Filacciano. Alternatively, one of the Cotral buses can be intercepted. There are also several on holidays at least until around 11pm. The next morning, for those who do not travel by car, the goal, on foot or by bus, is the Poggio Mirteto station from where you can take the Fl1 train to get off at the Monterotondo-Mentana station. From here to the center of Monterotondo (about three kilometers) you can take a local transport shuttle. To go to Mentana then continue on the Nomentana, perhaps using one of the many buses that connect with Rome: the distance between the two centers is three kilometers. Instead, it is 5.5 kilometers if you choose to go down in front of the entrance to Parco Trentani to return to the village via one of the nature trails. If you use the Cotral bus to return to Rome at the end of the tour, you have to keep in mind that the last runs pass via 3 Novembre shortly after 10pm, both on weekdays and holidays.