Which stages not to be missed during a trip to Tuscia? What to see in Gradoli, a village in Tuscia Viterbese.
History and news about Gradoli
One of the most characteristic villages of upper Lazio is Gradoli, with its tuff walls and the Farnese castle which welcomes tourists.
Gradoli stands on a tuff hill at 475 meters above sea level in the heart of the Volsini Mountains, surrounded for the most part by the Fosso Rigo stream. Gradoli presents itself to the visitor as a suggestive and graceful village, surrounded by woods and ditches, where the mighty Rocca Farnese stands out.
The first written testimonies mentioning “Castrum Gradolorum” date back to 1113 when it was one of the properties of Matilde di Canossa which she subsequently donated to the Papacy. Here, in the area called “Pergola”, a majestic castle was built, which can only be reached by crossing a steep staircase, called “gradus” in Latin, from which the probable origin of the name. Today few traces remain of the castle apart from a round tower, now incorporated in a private house, the entrance arch and part of the walls.
What to see in Gradoli in one day
The beauty of Gradoli also lies in the evocative atmosphere that the ancient historical center offers, typical of the many villages of the Tuscia Viterbese, and which will allow you to spend a pleasant day amidst history, legend and nature.
The pride of Gradoli is the Palazzo (Rocca) Farnese, a majestic sixteenth-century building, which stands guard over the village. It was designed by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger as a summer residence for Pope Paul III and the Farnese family. The rooms of the building where the Farnesian Costume Museum is currently housed are elegantly frescoed, which preserves a fascinating collection of period clothes, weapons and tools.
Outside the ancient walls but incorporated in the inhabited center is the Church of San Pietro in Vinculis, whose interior was remodeled in the 18th century.
Far from the town of Gradoli on the road towards Latera, you come across the Church of San Vittore. Archaeological surveys have shown that it was built on the remains of a pre-existing Roman building, along an ancient road that connected the Etruscan cities of Bisenzio and Sovana.
Walking through Gradoli lets you breathe a medieval air, you feel like an old knight. The tuff and stone houses, the windows with flowers and the Farnese castle have stopped time.
In addition to these things to see in Gradoli in one day, you mustn’t miss a walk to Lake Bolsena or the ghost town of Celleno. The city of Viterbo is also worth a walk.