The portal of the Rome Chamber of Commerce for agritourism and the local area
Luxuriant vegetation, ancient burial niches cut into tuff and wild forests are all typical of the Treja valley, which is so unusual that it has been used as the setting for several films with Red Indians, cow-boys, ancient Romans, and even Zorro!
The forests still preserve the sacred atmosphere that Etruscans and Falisci alike conferred by the tombs of these ancient inhabitants. The suggested itinerary, which lasts for three and a half hours, is among the easiest and touches on the most beautiful parts of the park on its Roman side. From the historic centre of Mazzano Romano, close to the park office, the well-marked path n. 001 is visible as soon as you pass the portal marking the entrance to the ancient part of the town; from here, follow the path towards the south in the direction of the Monte Gelato waterfall (the entrance is on the right of Via della Mola).
The path, which closely follows the river’s course, crosses a small tributary, and then reaches La Fornace (the brick-kiln), which is one of the few remaining ones, testifying a Mazzano tradition dating back to the 16th century and owing its origin to the large clay quarries. Bricks and roofing-tiles are to this day baked here according to traditional methods. The path then crosses a hill with stone terracing, where, at certain points, it is marked in the tuff. After a few gentle ups and downs in the forest, the path crosses a second tributary with an easy ford. Leave the beginning of path n. 004 to your right, which leads to the Fontana Salsa, and continue straight on through an area full of water rivulets, which can become very muddy during the rainy season. Here you will ford the river via a crossing made of rocks and logs. On the opposite side of the Treja river you will cross yet another tributary before reaching, finally, the Monte Gelato waterfall, which offers a splendid view overlooking the water falling steeply onto the rocks below, a small lake and a windmill.
For those who wish to continue, the path unwinds along another two stretches, nos. 021 and 022, which lead respectively to the Ruderi di Castellaccio (Castellaccio Ruins) and to the remaing of an ancient Roman road.
Parco Suburbano Valle del Treja, Mazzano Romano, phone 06/9049295. www.parks.it; www.parchilazio.it
Muddy itinerary during the rain season