to Rome. VETRALLA. *2. Route. 115
is a mediaeyal-looking town of 4839 inhab., with walls and towers. Out¬
side the Viterbo gate is a picturesque ravine, with several Etruscan
tombs. Amidst the ruins of the ancient Arx, on the height to the right,
is the Romanesque church of San Pietro (3/4 M. to the E. of the town),
dating from the 9th cent, and restored in 1039, though part of the florid
facade is later. In the interior are a tabernacle of 1093, choir-screens
from the originai church, and (to the right of the choir) frescoes of the
llth century. The crypt is ancient. The custodian lives adjacent, in the
dilapidated bishop's palace. The fine church of Santa Maria Maggiore,
dose by, in the valley, was built in 1050-1206 and has a picturesque
fagade. The pulpit has been put together out of ancient and modern
fragments. On the choir-wall is an interesting fresco of the Last Judg¬
ment (14th cent.). Custodian at the Palazzo Comunale. Both churches
are now disused. The old Romanesque churches of the Gonfalone della
Rosa and San Silvestro are interesting also. — From Toscanella to
Corneto, see p. 8.
The Old Road to Rome leaves Viterbo by the Porta Romana and
gradually ascends the slopes of the Monte Ciminio, the highest point
(3454 ft.) of which, a half disintegrated volcano (trachyte), remains to
the left. The Ciminian Forest (Mons Ciminius) was looked upon as an
impregnable bulwark of Central Etruria until the daring Consul A. Fabius
Rullianus successfully traversed it in 310 B.C., and completely routed
the Etruscans. The head of the pass (2822 ft. ; 7 M. from Viterbo) com-
mands an extensive view. Below, on the right, lies the Lago di Vico
(1663 ft.), the ancient Lacus Ciminius, a wood-girt crater-basin 4i/2 sq. M.
in area, 11 M. in circumference, and 165 ft. deep ; on its N. side rises a
lava cone (Monte Venere; 2736 ft.) of more recent formation. The margin
of the crater attains, in Monte Fogliano (on the W.), a height of 3159 ft.
— About 10 M. from Viterbo the road to Caprarola (p. 116) diverges to
the left. About 3 M. farther on is Ronciglione (p. 116).
The Railway from Viterbo to Rome (p. 109) has brought
within the reach of modern trafile the interesting sites of Southern
Etruria, which have almost been forgotten since the shortest high¬
road to Rome, which led through them, has been deserted by tour-
ists. — From the station outside the Porta Romana (1151 ft. ; PI. C, 5)
the railway gradually ascends, crossing several deep ravines. —
2V2M. San Martino al Cimino (1270 ft.). The village (1840 ft.),
with a Gothic abbey-church of the 12th cent., lies l1^^- to tne
left of the station. To the right we have a view across the plain as
far as Monte Argentario (p. 5); to the left are the wooded heights
of Monte Fogliano (see above).
8 M. Vetralla (1300 ft.). The little town (Alb. Lupi, Borgo
Roma), with 8020 inhab. and the 12th. cent, basilica of San Fran¬
cesco, lies 2 M. to the right ; 1 M. to the N.E. is the Roman Forum
From Vetralla a visit may be paid (with guide) to the Necropolis of
Norchia. We follow the road to Corneto for about 2V4 M., and then a
rough track to the N. over a bleak moor for 3 M. more. The valley of
graves here is similar to that of Castel d'Asso (p. 114), but more imposing.
Two of the tombs are Greek in style. On the other side of the valley a
town named Orde stood in the 9th cent., of which only the ruins of the
castle and church now remain. — Bieda, the ancient Blera, now a poor
village, 5V2 M. to the S.W. of Vetralla rail. station (seat in a carr. 1/2 fr.),
possesses similar rtìck-tombs and two ancient bridges.