DISCOVERING THE CIOCIARIA: AMONG VILLAGES, ACROPOLIS AND ABBEYS

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DISCOVERING THE CIOCIARIA: AMONG VILLAGES, ACROPOLIS AND ABBEYS

Discover the territory of Lower Lazio with its hidden villages, abbeys and monasteries and live the Ciociaria experience. From pre-Roman acropolises to typical products of local farms, walking in the footsteps of Saint Benedict you will relish in this land rich in history, traditions and authentic gastronomy.

DAY 1: ARPINO

Arrival in Arpino in the early afternoon and visit with tasting at a local farm producing wine and olive oil. During the visit, we will learn about the oil production techniques and then taste different types of oil, accompanied by typical products of the local farms such as cold cuts, cheeses, jams and local wine. At the end of the visit, check-in at a hotel in Arpino, dinner and overnight stay.

DAY 2: ABBEY OF CASAMARI – CERTOSA DI TRISULTI – ALATRI

Breakfast and meeting with our guide: we start with the visit of the Abbey of Casamari built by some monks of Veroli around 1036. Around the beautiful cloister there are various buildings, the largest of which is the three-nave church. The museum, the refectory and the library with ancient volumes are also magnificent. The visit continues with the Charterhouse of Trisulti, a Cistercian monastic complex immersed in the greenery of the woods at the foot of Mount Rotonaria. The Old Pharmacy of Herbs of 1600, the Palace of Innocent III and the Church of San Bartolomeo are splendid. Free time for lunch and stop at the Sarandrea liqueur factory, producers of herbal liqueurs and phytosanitary products. Continuation to Alatri, ancient town of Hernia, one of the richest in history of the Ciociaria. Of great interest is the Acropolis from the 6th century BC. One of the finest and best-preserved cyclopean wall complexes in Italy. On its summit stands the cathedral with its imposing 17th century façade. Of considerable artistic value are the Church of S. Maria degli Scolopi, the Conti Gentili Palace in medieval style, the Gottifredo Palace, a 13th-century Gothic building which houses the Civic Museum, the Church of S. Francesco with beautiful 15th-century frescoes and, outside the city, the 6th-century Abbey of Saint Sebastian. On the way back, stop to visit the waterfall in the historic centre of Isola del Liri. The castle, now a national monument, is one of the most imposing and best-preserved architectural ensembles in the entire province of Frosinone. It stands on a travertine rock which, by blocking the course of the river Liri, forces it to divide into two branches and form the famous waterfalls, the Vertical Cascade and the Valcatoio Cascade. Both are 27 metres high and are the only ones in the world to fall in the historic centre of a town. At the end of the visit, return to the hotel, dinner and overnight stay.

DAY 3: ARPINO – MONTECASSINO

After breakfast brief visit to the historical centre of Arpino, its medieval tower known as Cicero and the acropolis of Civitavecchia, which was probably the original nucleus of the primitive settlement of Volsco. Free time for lunch and in the afternoon visit to the Abbey of Montecassino, founded by San Benedetto in 529. During the Middle Ages, the Abbey was an important centre for the diffusion of monasticism in Europe and underwent various destructions and reconstructions over the years, until the one during World War II. The reconstruction, which began at the end of the war, was an exact reproduction of the destroyed architecture. The crypt of the church houses the relics of St Benedict.
Return to the hotel, dinner and overnight stay.

DAY 4: VICO NEL LAZIO AND HIKE TO THE MONNA

Breakfast at the hotel and visit to Vico nel Lazio, a small village at the foot of the Ernici Mountains. Walking through the narrow streets of the village, you will come across interesting historical testimonies such as the collegiate church of San Michele Arcangelo, from where the procession starts, which takes place on the last Sunday in July, during which the half-body statue of the saint is carried through the streets of the village. Very impressive are also the walls, buily entirely in local stone, which surround the whole town and are interrupted by three gates: Porta Orticelli, Porta Guarcino, decorated with frescoes, and the Porta a Monte. Lunch at leisure and continuation to Campo Catino, from where a pleasant, long but not very tiring walk begins, entirely at altitude, which will take you to the top of La Monna, which, stretching out towards the valley of the Sacco river, offers an excellent panorama of the whole of Ciociaria. Return to the hotel, dinner and overnight stay.

Level of difficulty: easy / medium – Duration: 4 h – Ascent and descent: 410mt

DAY 5: RETURN JOURNEY

Breakfast in hotel and departure for your return journey.

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