Agosto in Etruria…con Mary Jane Cryan

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Prosegue la serie dei guest post. Oggi Mary Jane Cryan, storica ed autrice di libri sulle bellezze d’Italia, ci guida alla scoperta della sua terra di adozione…e di elezione: l’Etruria, presentandoci anche il suo libro  Etruria travel, history and itineraries in central Italy”.

When vacationing in Italy in August you can expect to find crowded beaches, traffic , inflated prices, high temperatures, noisy, sleepless nights or you can ignore the usual tourist destinations and take the road less traveled to Etruria , also known as Tuscia, an hour north of Rome in Northern Lazio .

Never heard of Etruria ? That’s exactly why the area is still uncrowded, inexpensive and inhabited by local and international expats who genuinely welcome visitors. Not everyone knows English, but that does not stop Finnish, Dutch, Norwegian, English and other nationalities from buying up old farmhouses and restoring village homes and coming to stay- for good.

 The area was the watering place for Renaissance princes and cardinals who built their family castles (Caprarola, Vignanello) and gardens ( Villa Lante ) and wiled away the hot summer days imbibing in the pleasures of the dolce far niente and the area’s fine white wines . During the Grand Tour artists immortalized its landscapes and pilgrims still walk the Via Francigena on their way to Rome.

Nowadays, the international set who have rediscovered the charms of the simpler lifestyle include ambassadors and other professionals who happily trade a stressful lifestyle for the laid back atmosphere where people call you by your first name .

What better antidote for globalization than to substitute fancy sushi restaurants with family-run trattorie where home made, seasonal food is enjoyed with local house wine from the vineyards on neighboring hills.

 As a journalist and guidebook writer living and working in Italy since 1965, I knew that the Viterbo area just north of Rome had an abundance of interesting places which beckoned temptingly to be explored and enjoyed . During my 15 years here in Etruria, I gathered information and insight and discovered fascinating stories that I share with my readers in the several books I have written about the area.

 Among the many treasures, historical connections , international influences and people you will discover in Etruria travel, history and itineraries in central Italy are the numerous castles and historic gardens , unusual museums and nature reserves that dot the province with the lowest % of inhabitants per square mile .

Mysterious sites tempt the Indiana Jones in all of us: where else can you visit a newly discovered Etruscan sanctuary, a 14th century monastery where lavender is the main crop and take a dip in a thermal bath built by the Romans –all in the same morning.

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