Vitorchiano medieval village in Tuscia
Live like a local

Enchanting villages in Tuscia

April 26, 2022

Tuscia is a rural area just north of Rome, which is full of charming medieval villages dotted throughout scenic mountains to lakes. Here we explore some of the region’s finest hidden gems, all an easy road trip from the Eternal City.

Introducing Tuscia

The name ‘Tuscia’ comes from the Etruscan territories that used to comprise of Tuscany, Umbria and northern Lazio, but nowadays refers solely to Lazio’s Viterbo province. Still quite rural, it remained almost untouched over centuries, preserving local traditions, authentic Italian cuisine and produce. A little-known fact is that it’s the largest producer of hazelnuts in Italy, which are almost exclusively used in the production of the most famous chocolatey spread in the world.

Vista del lago di Vico
Civita di Bagnoregio medieval village near Rome

Civita di Bagnoregio

Officially considered one of ‘The Most Beautiful Villages in Italy’, this medieval village is perched on a hill, which can only be reached over a long pedestrian bridge above a lunar-like landscape. Once through the gate, you’ll enter a maze of narrow alleys, courtyards and squares dotted with medieval and Renaissance houses, often home to artisanal shops where you can watch ancient trades at work. After a stroll in the village and a visit to the cathedral, the real must is admiring the splendid panorama of the Valle dei Calanchi, a constantly changing landscape of limestone and sandy clay.


This small medieval village, another of the most picturesque Italian villages, is located 100km/62 miles from Rome and is immersed in lush woodland at the foot of the Cimini mountain range. Similar to Civita di Bagnoregio, it stands on a cliff with wonderful views of the surrounding countryside.

We recommend allowing a couple of hours to explore the little piazzas and alleys, soak up their timeless atmosphere and admire buildings characterised by charming outdoor stairways, balconies and arches. Don’t miss the unexpected Moai – a traditional monolithic sculpture native to Easter Island in Chile.

Vitorchiano medieval village in Tuscia
Sutri medieval village in Tuscia


In 2003 Sutri was awarded the Orange Flag by the Italian Touring Club, a mark of quality tourism services and environmental credentials. It stands on the hillside overlooking Via Cassia, 54km/34 miles from Rome and is other of ‘The Most Beautiful Villages in Italy’. Its origins date back to the Bronze Age, when it was an important Etruscan centre. Signs of this long history can be found in the urban park, a protected natural area, which features an excavated Roman amphitheatre and Etruscan necropolis formed by dozens of excavated tombs. Strolling through the city you’ll spot Etruscan walls in the medieval city fortifications, a Romanic cathedral and a temple dedicated to the god Mitra, converted into a Catholic church (Santa Maria del Pianto).


Dominated by the imposing Palazzo Farnese, this ancient medieval village is crossed by a spectacular straight road that climbs from the foot of the hill over ravines and two bridges before reaching the main square. Via Nicolai, which is lined on both sides by noble palaces of the late 16th or 17th century, divides the village into two districts: the Corsica district on the left and the Sardinia district on the right.

The palace is one of the most significant examples of late Renaissance architecture, framed by lush gardens, tree-lined avenues, ancient fountains and magnificent ornamental water features. The unusual pentagon shape features five floors, each frescoed by notable artists of the era. Look out for the unique architectural touches, including the Scala Regia, a helical staircase supported by 30 Doric columns.

Caprarola village and aerial view of Palazzo Farnese
Ronciglione medieval village in Tuscia


A little more than 50km/31 miles from Rome, near Lake Vico, Ronciglione is a quaint medieval village that’s definitely worth a visit. Now famous for its carnival festivities, Ronciglione was once an Etruscan trade hub, and many artefacts reveal a fascinating insight into the era. Don’t miss the beautiful cathedral, built in 1671 with a design by Rainaldi and marble altar embellished with an altarpiece by Giuseppe Ghezzi. If you have time, stop by Da Vignola’s Fontana dei Liocorni to admire the unicorn sculptures.

Though a lesser-known region of Italy, Tuscia is wholly deserving of a full-day road trip from Rome when you stay with us at Hotel Eden.

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