Calcata, Italy: Everything Old Is New Again

On a delightfully sunny Sunday a few weeks ago, we all piled in the car and headed north on via Cassia to Viterbo. It’s not that far out of Rome, and features a bucolic setting worthy of the best Impressionists.

Our first stop was to Civita Castellana, to check out a house Vince and Leo want to buy:

It’s on six acres and you can’t actually drive up to it. We learned later it hasn’t been sold because no one from the actual town further up the hill will buy it – they call it “The House of Doom” due to its close proximity to a large cliff that has a tendency to shed a few tons of itself every once in a while.

We followed the old path that used to be the way into Rome years ago. As in many hundreds of years ago. Now, the path looks like this:

I know. And we were the only ones on it all day. We ate wild asparagus, mint, fennel and onion from the areas next to the path, and Pepino played with lizards and chased rabbits. I found a porcupine’s quill and thought it was a broken paintbrush (I’m not normally exposed to actual nature).

We then piled back in the car and set off for civilization, so to say – Calcata. (Check out that link for a view of the entire town – it’ll give context to the following.) The town was forcibly abandoned in the 1930s for fear of falling down. It remained empty for decades, until it became populated again by souls braver than I. I didn’t realize until I looked at my pictures from Calcata that apparently I was obsessed with the doors in the town:

Every street ended in a sheer drop of about 500 feet. At the end of this one, there was a one-table outdoor bar:

We arrived back in Rome with fresh air in our lungs, flowers in our hair and a good night’s sleep ahead for all of us. 

5 thoughts on “Calcata, Italy: Everything Old Is New Again

  1. ::: stunned :::

    Those pictures are incredible and I think I can skip breakfast this morning because I’m totally eating my heart out. Those views!

  2. It was so wild – a town perched at the edge of a cliff! I’ve never seen anything like it. Great story-telling and pics Ms. Expatria!

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