Drive one of Italy’s most scenic roads, an ancient Roman route which leads past villages, cities, lakes and ruins, and through the famous Tuscan landscape.
Set off on a journey along the ancient Via Cassia from the northwest of Rome and prepare to take in the stunning scenery of the lush farmland and sun-drenched countryside the road leads through. Along the way, stop at charming hamlets, sparkling lakes and centuries-old ruins. Follow the road as far as you can and you will end in the famously beautiful town of Siena.
Under the reign of the Roman Empire, the Via Cassia was one of Italy’s key roads. It connected Rome with important Roman sites, such as the defensive fortifications at Luna (now Liguria). Imagine the road as it would have looked when it was first constructed, which is believed to be as early as the 2nd century B.C. Look for religious pilgrims traveling on foot along the sections of the road that overlap with the famous Via Francigena pilgrimage route.
Take a break from driving in Viterbo, a picturesque city which still has its medieval walls in good condition. Among the historic sites in the area are two ancient Roman bridges, the Ponte San Lorenzo and the Ponte San Nicolao.
Return to the Via Cassia and continue on your way and you will soon come close to the gorgeous Lake of Bolsena. Nearby you will find the medieval town of Montefiascone, home to historic attractions including a ruined castle with stunning views.
Next, visit the waterside town of Bolsena. Pause to take photos of this beautiful place, which sits on the banks of a volcanic lake.
Other places to visit in this area include the hilltop town of Orvieto, most famous for the Cathedral of Orvieto, the farming hub of Acquapendente and the Monte Rufeno Natural Reserve.
Carry on along the Via Cassia and you will find yourself in the breathtaking Tuscan landscape, scattered with vineyards and tiny villages. Siena is not far away.
The Via Cassia is beautiful at any time of year. Explore it in the warmer months, however, and you will see the countryside at its absolute best.