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  • Immagine del redattoreVanessa Valenti

One day trip in Viterbo: Bomarzo's Park of the Monsters and Civita di Bagnoregio

After two days spent in Rome, we decided to dedicate the third and last day of our long weekend in Lazio to two destinations we had been aiming for for a long time: Bomarzo's Park of the Monsters and Civita di Bagnoregio.

READ ALSO: 3 days in Rome, the Eternal City - itinerary, museums, and everything you have to see Taking advantage of the fact that they are both located in the province of Viterbo, about 30 minutes drive from each other, and perfectly on our way back home, we changed our plans. Enri has always wanted to visit the Parco dei Mostri, while I had been wanting to visit Civita di Bagnoregio for a long time, whose visit takes on average from 2 to 4 hours, thus fitting perfectly into a one-day itinerary.

We left around 9 from Rome and headed to Monsters Park, then, before lunch, we moved to Civita di Bagnoregio, where we ate and then took a nice walk in the splendid village.

Civita di Bagnoregio, la città che muore - Viterbo, Italia

Bomarzo's Park of the Monsters

Il Parco dei Mostri di Bomarzo, Viterbo, Italia

Bomarzo's Park of the Monsters, also called Villa delle Meraviglie di Bomarzo or Sacro Bosco di Bomarzo, is located in the province of Viterbo, and it's a natural park that houses a monumental complex of basalt sculptures dating back to the sixteenth century and portraying mythological animals, divinities and show in grotesque genre. The Park of the Monsters was designed by the architect Pirro Ligorio on commission from Prince Pier Francesco Orsini, known as Vicino, probably for the purpose of "sol to vent the heart" broken "by the death of his wife Giulia Farnese, as also appears in the ruins of the Park. The park is difficult to reach by public transport, it's best to reach it by car and leave it in the large parking area in front of the entrance.

Il Parco dei Mostri di Bomarzo, Viterbo, Italia

The visit to the Park takes about one or two hours, it depends on your pace and how interested you are; it takes place entirely outdoors in the woods, on well-marked and beaten paths. Inside the park, you will find many services including a bar and a souvenir and book shop, just past the entrance, a restaurant in the park itself, a picnic area, a playground and toilets. The Park is very special, certainly a magical place, if you have never been there it is a must to visit it, especially with children, but honestly I have not been able to fully enjoy it ... now I'll tell you why. No animals are allowed in the park, with the exception of guide dogs for the blind. We were traveling with King and frankly, we hadn't even thought it could be a problem at all, being a wood. But when we got there we saw the ban, which I honestly don't understand in 2022. In any case, since it's evidently a problem that often arises, the park offers free individual boxes in the open air in which you can leave your dog during the visit, to be closed with a key and padlock provided by the park, to be returned to the end of the tour. We were already there when we realized it and, knowing that we would not return so easily, we decided to enter anyway, doing a fairly fast lap, leaving King in the garage. Arranging the dog as best we could, with water and blankets, we stayed in the park for an hour and then went back to pick him up as soon as we could. I was very sorry for Enri who couldn't wait to go and was very enthusiastic, but I just couldn't stay calm and enjoy the visit. If you are planning your visit to the park, then come without dogs, so that you can do everything calmly and not have to leave them alone outside.

The Parco dei Mostri di Bomarzo is generally open all year round continuously: In the months of November, December, January, February: 09.00 - 17.00 From March (with daylight saving time) to September: 09.00 - 19.00 October: 09.00 - 18.00 Rates: Adult> 13 years: € 13 children 4 - 13 years 8 € Children <4 years: free

Mappa del Sacro Bosco di Bomarzo, Il Parco dei Mostri, Viterbo, Italia

Civita di Bagnoregio

Civita di Bagnoregio, Viterbo, Italia

Civita di Bagnoregio is an ancient village located in the heart of Tuscia Laziale, in the province of Viterbo, and it's part of the municipality of Bagnoregio in the Valle dei Calanchi. Civita is a magical and surreal place, located on the top of a tough hill and reachable only through a narrow pedestrian bridge from which you can enjoy a spectacular view. Civita di Bagnoregio has been named one of the most beautiful villages in Italy and it's famous for being named "The dying city" by the writer Bonaventura Tecchi, who spent his youth there, due to the constant erosion of the tuff rocks on which is situated. Bagnoregio was originally founded by the Etruscans 2500 years ago and, suspended in time and space, it's a suggestive village that offers a surreal and unforgettable atmosphere. The only way to reach the village is through the bridge that connects it to Bagnoregio. If you go there by car, you can park in the Belvedere square (before Civita, there are only a few parking spaces available and it is not easy to get there) or as we did, at the Bagnoregio entrance in Piazza Battaglini (both for a fee): we spent € 11 for about 4 hours. From the parking lot, you have two options: walk up to the bridge or take a shuttle that will take you to the entrance to the bridge. We have tested both options: the shuttle costs € 1 each way, but honestly, we do not recommend it: the walk takes less than 10 minutes and is not demanding at all. The cost to enter Civita di Bagnoregio is € 5 each, from 8 to 20: if you arrive before 8 you will enter for free and you can enjoy the village in almost total solitude. Another way to avoid paying the entrance is to stay in one of the B & Bs in the village. The entrance ticket can be purchased either in the parking lot in the town, where there is also the shuttle stop, or directly before the bridge that will take you to Civita.

Il Borgo di Civita di Bagnoregio, la Città che muore, Viterbo, Italia

But now let's see what to do once we reach Civita di Bagnoregio. Inside the village, there are many restaurants, taverns and bars but also some bed & breakfasts and local craft shops. There are also museums (it's very interesting to see the engineering works used for the conservation of the village to counteract the natural erosion of the rock). It's impossible not to get lost in the alleys of Civita and in the medieval atmosphere that hovers in the air: it really seems to go back in time. We had lunch at Al Forno di Agnese, a tavern hidden in an alley just behind the main square: we queued a little but it was definitely worth it, it was all exceptional. We tried a mixed platter of cold cuts and typical local products, and two first courses based on truffles, spending € 45 in two.

If like us, you want to stop in this area on the way back (or outward) from a Roman weekend and are looking for some ideas for your itinerary in the capital READ ALSO: 3 days in Rome, the Eternal City - itinerary, museums, and everything you have to see

If you need any other information please let me know, and once you are gone tell me everything!

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