Turn the bloody bells off at night! :)
Trip Start Sep 01, 2006
31Trip End Ongoing
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Lake Bolsena is a crater lake of central Italy, of volcanic origin, which was formed following the collapse of a caldera of the Vulsini volcanic complex. Roman historic records indicate activity of the Vulsini volcano occurred as recently as 104 BC, since when it has been dormant. The Romans called it Lacus Volsinii, adapting the Etruscan name, Velzna, of the last Etruscan city to hold out against Rome, which was so thoroughly eradicated after 264 BC, and its inhabitants translocated, that its site has not be securely identified.
We walked around the quaint town of Viterbo as the sun was setting and shared some nice aperitivi. Was nice to see green grass...ah what a luxury grass is!!
Various local finds suggests the site has ancient, though probably humble, origins. This area was the centre of the Etruscan civilisation, whose remains are dotted around the countryside, and a later Roman town was situated nearby at Ferento (Roman Ferentum). It was in the Middle Ages, however, in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, that Viterbo attained real importance. While the city of Rome struggled through chaos and feuding, Viterbo became a favourite refuge for embattled popes. It may seem surprising now, but there was a time when Viterbo was larger and more successful than Rome, and much of its fine architecture, such as the Papal Palace, dates to this era. Later, the town faded in importance (its population today is approximately the same as it was then). Prior to the unification of Italy, Viterbo formed part of the Papal States. Now it sits quietly in an area usually overlooked by foreign tourists.
We went to the local termes out in the middle of no where which was wonderful to see the stars again...but it seemed quite a few other locals had found the place and when there was no lighting and a bit of a smelly sulphur aroma to it...I didn't quite feel like going in. Vale disturbed the peace and tranquility of everyone by falling in...which was amusing to find someone who takes over from me in being calamity jane!
On the way back to Roma we stopped by Tuscania to visit Vale's friend [who had just gone out on a big shooting hunt...grrr :( ]. Sat on the grass overlooking the hills and fortified villages....ahh...grass under my feet! Found a place to eat finally which ended up being quite a rude and rather average establishment. Then travelled to a very hot, smelly terme before we all slept on the grass and did our various lingual studies (me italian and the others english...or gossip mags ;P ) and then went back home, Vale lamenting how lonely it feels to not receive an sms or phone call in the last 30min!! hmm...I must be a hermit then!
Tuscania was founded by Aeneas' son, Ascanius, where he had found twelve dog pups (whence the Etruscan name Tus-Cana, cana begins similar to the language canis for "dog"). Another legend attributes the foundation to one Tusco, son of Hercules and Araxes. Evidence of human presence in the area dates from the Neolithic age, but probably the city proper was built around the 7th century BC when the acropolis on St. Peter Hill was surrounded by a line of walls. Villages existed in the neighbourhood. In the following years the strategical position granted Tuscania a leader role in the Etruscan world. After the defeat of the coastal cities by the Greeks (4th century BC), Tuscania became also a maritime trade center through the port of Regas (next to today's Montalto di Castro). There are no record of Tuscania being involved in the battles that led to the Roman conquest of the Etruscan northern Lazio (280 BC), as the city probably entered into the Roman orbit in a Pacific way. The agricultural development and construction of the Via Clodia, further boosted the economic situation of the city. It became a municipium in 88 BC.