We took a short drive to the borgo of Barbarano Romano – a small village in the hills to the southeast of our home base near Tarquinia. The village was occupied as early as the late bronze age (17th-18th centuries BCE), during the Etruscan era and again in the middle ages. The city walls and a few buildings date to the middle ages, and outside the old city walls are a few modern structures. An Etruscan necropolis is nearby. It’s also near the entrance to a large Regional Nature Park.
Our strategy when visiting a new borgo is to randomly wander around the side streets in the oldest part of the village and see what turns up. In this village we noticed that a fair number of the older buildings/apartments are unoccupied or for sale, but also some that were recently refurbished.
Apartment 8 was a bit rough looking.
One of the old entrances to the village is via a steep path through a straight-walled canyon. Carved into the sides of the canyon, outside the wall were a series of caves. We had some information indicating that caves were used by the Etruscans as shelter – perhaps during conflicts – and that there were inhabitants during the early bronze age. But we’re unable to figure out if the caves we saw were bronze age, Etruscan, middle-age or (?).
They are caves though. We’re sure of that. 🙂
It’s sometimes difficult to sort out information on a relatively obscure location such as Barbarano Romano – the village has some tourist-oriented signage, a bit of information exists on various web sites, and in a local museum – which happened to be closed.
A nice side trip.
We try to visit Italy every other year, with 2019 being the ‘on’ year. We retired that spring, and figured it would be okay to defer that trip until we were settled into our retirement. April 2020 the target for the deferred visit. That obviously didn’t work out. We also have always visited in May or early June – when we both could take off work and the tourist season was not yet in full swing. This is our first visit in five years and our first off-season visit. For that reason we decided to play it by ear and only reserve the first part of our stay – assuming that there would be plenty of places open.
Turns out that next week there are two Italian holidays , the weather is perfect, and everything around here is booked. Including our agrturismo. Our hosts at our agriturismo found us a spot for tonight and have room for us again starting tomorrow, so we’re staying in a different agriturismo owned by the same family for one night.
We weren’t expecting crowds in November.
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