[ blog » 2021 » 07_Tour_Italy ]d19: Lazio ( by Philipp Gesang, location: The Shores of Lago Bolsena)


The goal of the morning consisted in one of the "anchors" of my itinerary, the mythical Monte Soratte -- or Soracte, its name as of two millenia ago. Not really the season for snow this time of the year but still enough of an impression to reflect on what made Horace choose this one out of all the mountains of Latium. A solitary mountain range in a hilly corner of the land, the Soratte does stand out and is visible from far away and uniquely recognizable by virtue of its craggy outline. Viewed from the southeast near Sant'Oreste it folds into a slim, triangular shape. No doubt one of the more remarkable geological formations in the region.

The road I took to reach it almost served as a prelude of tomorrow. At some point I just ran out of paved road and had a five kilometer stretch of rough sterrato to overcome that ended in an ultra steep 200 m climb. It took my legs until the late afternoon to recover from that effort, so I took it easy on the rest of the climbs.

Latium agreste

The rolling terrain continued until Viterbo. A long succession of short, steep uphills followed by equally short, steep downhills that had quite a demotivational effect. The rural roads were much less busy compared with the last two days but what was missing in traffic they made up for with potholes and a generally awful surface. On the northeastern slopes of the Monte Cimino I discovered Soriano, a hidden gem of a town.

I skipped most of the sightseeing in Viterbo as I was already running late and frankly after Rome I wasn't in the mood for another detour through a busy city in the afternoon heat. With a final climb to the infinitely scenic Montefiasco I made it to the Lago di Bolsena where I had my choice of three campsites. Amazing, and all three of them actually exist!

On the road I met maybe a dozen bike tourers today despite the hilly terrain. I surmise that's due to the proximity of the Eurovelo 5 and 7 cycle routes. Also a surprising density of Dutch and Austrian license plates, haven't seen many foreign cars during my time in the south.


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