Thirty miles from the hustle and bustle of Rome, perched on a rocky cliff, lies a tiny quiet village of Calcata, an interesting stop on individual tours of Italy.
Calcata was abandoned due to land erosion and left to decay. However, in the 1960s it was re-discovered by Italian and international artists who started moving and settling down in the deserted village. They have restored many old buildings, opened shops, studios and restaurants bringing Calcata back to life.
The village is small and easy to explore on foot. Walk under the stone arches, along narrow streets filled up with bright flower pots and you will discover Calcata’s off-beat charm. The town’s main square is dominated by the pretty Palazzo Baronale. The small church nearby is famous for its unusual relic: Jesus’ foreskin. According to a local legend, the relic was brought from Rome in the 16th century and hidden in Calcata. A local priest found it and transferred the only part of Jesus’ body remaining on earth to the church. However, in the 1970s the relic disappeared and has not been found since. There is also a small rural life museum in the village that is open on request. If you are wearing comfortable shoes, make sure to check out beautiful nature trails and archaeological sites in the area.
On weekends, artists and artisans living in Calcata open their galleries and workshops for visitors; enjoy the opportunity to visit them with one of our individual tours of Italy. There are also some good cafes and restaurants serving an impressive range of food, from traditional Roman and to North African couscous and vegetarian dishes. Tearoom La Sala dei 201 Thè has an impressive tea menu with over 200 varieties, delicious cakes and a terrace with a spectacular view over the wooded valley below. Regulars from Rome, who come to Calcata on Sundays head to Il Graal for its famous wild boar stew (spezzatino di cinghiale). La Taverna di Bacco is located in a characteristic medieval building and offers mouth-watering traditional pasta dishes.
Photos by: Simonetta Viterbi, Alessandro Bonvini.