Charm and Olive Oil in the Hills of Sabina
When you think of hill towns, olive groves and fields full of grape vines, you probably automatically envision a scene somewhere in Tuscany. The region of Lazio holds some interesting secrets though and one of these is the area known as Sabina: a hilly, forested section to the northeast of Rome that’s full of picture-perfect towns perched on hillsides, medieval castles, and a lot of olive trees.
Although all of this is just an hour’s drive from Rome, the area hasn’t yet made its way into the mass-tourism circuit. While you won’t find souvenir shops and racks of postcards, you will find shops selling fantastic local olive oil and wine – and there’s certainly no shortage of postcard-worthy views.
While all of Sabina merits a thorough exploration, you probably have limited time on your hands. Head for the town of Casperia, which has sweeping views of the surrounding hills from every side, and spend a relaxing afternoon getting lost in the pedestrian streets that wind and climb their way up from the main piazza. If you visit in August, you may get a chance to experience the Sagra degli Stringozzi – a festival dedicated entirely to a local form of pasta – but you can also get your fill of this specialty (along with a glass of local wine) during a leisurely lunch or dinner at one of the few restaurants in the town.
Address: Piazza Umberto I
Telephone: 0765 189 3267
If you’re arriving by car, take the A1 towards Florence. Exit at the E45, then follow the signs for Casperia. You can also take a regional train from the Tiburtina station to Poggio Mirteto Scalo, then a bus into Casperia.