Day 3 - walking to Cottanello
Day 3 - walking to Cottanello 
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£695.00 (2015)
7 nights
7 B&B, 4 evening meals, 2 picnics
Luggage transfers between hotels
Medium
3½ - 6 hours per day
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Sabine Hills (Italy)
A walking tour of the Sabine Hills
Full Description

A self-guided hike through the Sabine Hills, ending in Rome.  Start in the hilltop medieval town of Contigliano, then explore the hills and villages - Cottanello, Casperia, Mompeo, Farfa Abbey.  Local cuisine and delightful hosts.

 

Medieval villages and Rome, the Eternal City

Only an hour north of Rome rise the Sabine Hills: an ancient landscape, recognizable to the countrymen and women of Roman times.  Around the edge of the hills is an extraordinary richness of medieval building. Four of our overnight stays are in small pensions, where your hosts will cook wonderfully varied meals for you showing off the best of the local produce. The others include a delightful B&B, a beautifully converted palazzetta and – we feel – one of the best-kept secrets in Rome, Roberta de Palma’s wonderfully central yet quietly situated B&B. Walked by On Foot staff:  Simon, Debbie (and Thomas), Emma and Mary

  

Standard option (as per "Itinerary": 7 nights, though you could extend your stay in Rome. Alternative 7-night holiday: Spend an extra night in either Casperia, Misciani or Mompeo - see itinerary for possible activities on your free day - and miss out Rome. Suggested shorter breaks: 6 nights - miss out Rome


Highlights
  • The fortified villages of Sabina
  • Wooded hills and high pastures
  • The palazzetta in Casperia
  • A Roman villa and one of the oldest olive trees in central Italy!
  • The Abbey of Farfa
  • Rome

WE RECOMMEND:  Extra nights in Casperia (see below for cookery course), in Misciani to relax by the pool or go foraging, at Mompeo for Stefano's gorge and Roman villa, and of course in Rome, at Roberta's B&B.

 

EATING AND DRINKING: In the Restaurant Terra di Pa' in Contigliano, on your first night, Giorgio suggests their signature dish - "Terra di Pa" -  fresh vegetables of the season with small pieces of tender lamb, all sautéed with long or short pasta, paired with Montepulciano di Abruzzo - not a local wine but one he thinks works well with this dish, and also with a second course of meat or cheese.  Mauro and Ornella at Il Fienile say "Your guests appreciate a lot our home-made maltagliati (irregular pieces of pasta, made with spelt and wheat flour) with tomato sauce, olives and wild fennel; we propose our organic home-made wine: the white one is Grechetto and Trebbiano; the red one is Montepulciano di Abruzzo and Sangiovese. They like them (particularly the red one)!" Elisabeth at Le Mole sul Farfa says: "A typical 'primo' is stringozzi con pesto di mandorle e pacchino - fresh pasta with a pesto of almonds and garlic, served with cherry tomatoes. A good wine with it is Grechetto di Todi, a white wine from Umbria. A dessert that I often make and has always success: Torta di cioccolato e noci: chocolate cake with almonds and walnuts, served with fresh whipped cream."

 

At La Toretta in Casperia, you can stay an extra day learning to prepare a traditional 4 course meal with an antipasto a primo, secondo with contorno and dolce!  The primo is always pasta made from scratch (no machines) so slow pasta making which is a lot of fun and a workout; with the fresh pasta you would then make stuffed ravioli, or fettucine or pasta alla chitarra, with a light fresh sauce. As members of the slow food movement they try to provide organic products with no food miles (or kilometres), which would therefore vary according to season; a light meat course would be served after the pasta with a local veg, usually daughter Jennifer's award winning tiramisù for desert. They serve good quality wines from Lazio with the meal, always D.O.C.  These cooking lessons are offered with a minimum of 4 participants, but you can often join a group if necessary (supplement €80 per person, including lesson, full 4 course dinner, wines and an after dinner liqueur; courses subject to availability).

Route map
Sabine Hills (Italy) route map
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Elisabeth de Coster & Stefano Fassone

Elisabeth and her partner Stefano (and their daughter Marit) live and work on an organic agriturismo close to the Gorge of Farfa, for which they have recently obtained national protection. Their own house was formerly a shepherd’s cottage built over the remains of a Roman Villa.