The territory

The territory

Where is the Agro Falisco

The territory known as Agro Falisco is situated within the province of Viterbo, south of the Tuscia district, and along the borders with Southern Etruria. The historical implications and environmental features make of this a unique area of the Lazio region.

In ancient times the Romans referred to this territory as Ager Faliscus, an area defined by natural boundaries and shared geomorphologic properties. The Faliscans, a population which distinguished itself from both the Etruscans and the Latins, inhabited these lands up until the third century B.C.

The boundaries of the territory are marked eastwards by the river Tiber, and heading north-west by the Cimini Mounts. Then moving downwards towards the south, the border lies where it meets the Soratte Mount and the Baccano Valley, and westward in the thereabouts of Monterosi and the Lake of Bracciano.

Mappa Agro Falisco e via Amerina
Mappa Agro Falisco e via Amerina

The District of the Via Amerina and of the Ravines

The District of the Via Amerina and of the Ravines (Comprensorio della Via Amerina e delle Forre) encloses a territory where ten different municipalities of the Agro Falisco lie. These towns all present similar historical and social features as they belong to a shared natural scenery.

The district is crossed by the famous and ancient road Via Amerina, also known as the “Byzantine Corridor”. This road was built by the Romans in the year 241 B.C, and it crosses vertically the entire geographical area. As it proceeds, the road passes in the proximity of all ten municipalities: Calcata, Faleria, Nepi, Castel Sant’Elia, Civita Castellana, Fabrica di Roma, Corchiano, Gallese, Vasanello and Orte.

Most of these towns rest on the summit of tuff rock cliffs, as they were built here in times past, when the guarantee of self-defence was needed.

From each one of these towns, each time with a slightly different perspective, looking towards south one can see the solitary silhouette of Mount Soratte standing out against the horizon. A typical and picturesque image of the Agro Falisco.

 

The ravines and the environment

The territory of the Agro Falisco presents very peculiar environmental features: a seemingly hilly land which only at a closer look reveals the depth of the ravines hidden within the uplands. The ravines are deep gorges carved into red tuff, a volcanic rock, and covered in thick vegetation.

The geomorphology of such an environment can be explained by the sedimentation of components provoked by volcanic explosions, from both the Cimino Mount and the Lake of Vico, which progressively layered upon the sandy seabed and resulted in the present red coloured tuff rock. Among the main features of this stone, is its particular suitability for carving as it weathers easily. In time, the river waters have dug into the earth creating valleys and carving the ravines. If one were to penetrate the gorges, reaching the very depths where the watercourses flow, they would encounter four species of vegetation, varying depending on the depth reached.

The most representative samples of such a suggestive ecosystem can be found in the Treja Valley Park, in the WWF Oasis of the Sant’Angelo Plain, and in the Natural Monument of the Ravines. Most of the towns in the area, rest upon tuff rock cliffs, and were built here in past times to guarantee a position of greater defence.

A tour across the Agro Falisco offers the magnificent sight of untamed nature, with its evocative features unfolding throughout the many itineraries and nature trails. A truly unique scenery, for both its history and the towns, as well as the monuments they treasure.

 

How to find the Agro Falisco

On the road: The Agro Falisco is reachable in many ways.

  • The via Flaminia;
  • The Cassia Vejentana;
  • The motorway A1, exit for "Orte";
  • The motorway A1 exit for "Magliano Sabina" - for reach Civita Castellana and Gallese;
  • The SP Cimina from Viterbo.

On the train: There are two railway lines with which to reach the Agro Falisco.

  • Ferrovie dello Stato, railway station of Orte
  • Ferrovie dello Stato, railway station of Civita Castellana.
  • The line Roma Nord, wich connects Viterbo to Rome, crosses much of the Agro Falisco.

 

This part of Italy, in the Lazio region, is waiting to be discovered, offering its beauties before your eyes: come and visit the Agro Falisco!

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