Tolfa travel guide

Tolfa is a small town of just over five thousand inhabitants in the province of Roma. It is located about 25 kilometers inland from Civitavecchia. Main attractions are the Sant’Egidio Church and the Palazzo Comunale.

Tolfa travel guide

Tourist Information


Region: Lazio. Province: Rome. The zip code is 00059. The area code is 0766. The town does not have a tourist office. There is a Pro Loco in Piazza Vittorio Veneto, 12 (tel. +39 076693624). The town has one suburb, namely Santa Severa Nord.

Tolfa does not have a railway station. From Rome you first take the train to Civitavecchia and then the bus (Cotral) to Tolfa. You can also take a bus to Civitavecchia – Tolfa or to Bracciano – Tolfa. The travel time is between 2 and 3 hours. The starting point is the station Saxa Rubra on the Roma Nord line.

What to see in Tolfa

Sant'Egidio Abate Church Tolfa
Sant’Egidio Abate Church

The historic center of Tolfa sits on a hilltop, from which one overlooks the surrounding countryside. The oldest churches are the Sant’Egidio Abate Church and the Monte della Rocca Church. The Palazzo Comunale is the most interesting building in town. The private palaces in the center were almost all built by families who were involved in the alum trade.

Top 10 tourist attractions Tolfa

The Palazzo Comunale was built around 1860 and was supposed to be the seminary of the diocese of Civitavecchia. Eventually it was used first as a barracks for the French troops and then as a town hall. The botanical garden created by a French army chief is now a public park.

The medieval Monte della Rocca castle, which even managed to resist a siege by Napoleon’s troops.

The Chiesa della Rocca is a small church outside the castle and stands at the very top of the hill.

The Capuchin Monastery was built in the 16th century. It fell into disrepair when the monks left town, but today is used as a kind of school camp for archaeology students.

The Collegiata di Sant’Egidio Church is the most important church in Tolfa. Its year of construction is unknown, although it is known to have existed as early as the 16th century.

The Augustinian Monastery is located next to the cemetery. Today it houses the new Museo Civico.

The Madonna della Sughera Church is next to the Augustinian Monastery. This church is built around a cork oak tree, where two hunters once found an image of the Madonna and Child.

The Palazzaccio (formerly Palazzo dei Priori) stands in the oldest part of town and is the former town hall of Tolfa.

The Chiesa del Crocifisso: Built in 1644, this church is located under the castle. Near the main altar is a crucifix that is considered miraculous by the town’s inhabitants. Every year, the traditional Good Friday procession begins at the church.

The Sant’Antonio da Padova Church was built in 1609 by don Antonio Fratini and stands right in the center of town.

More Tolfa points of interest

The Chiesa dei Cappuccini was built between 1612 and 1623 and stands near the Capuchin Monastery. Its construction was paid for thanks to the discovery of alum, which was mined nearby. Above the altar hangs a Madonna di Cibona from the 15th century.

Palazzo Panetti: Characterized by the tabernacle with effigy of the Madonna on the facade and the courtyard with the octagonal well.

Palazzo Buttaoni: The entrance to this building opens onto a corridor with a playful use of perspective. The corridor ends at a fountain and a three-story loggia.

Palazzo Celli: This palazzo also has a courtyard with a loggia, while the exterior is very simple in architecture.

Excursions outside Tolfa

Sentiero del Biancone

Le Vie dell’Acqua

Sentiero dei Ginepri

The beach and sights in the town of Santa Marinella.

A brief history of Tolfa

The original inhabitants of the territory were the Etruscans. Their main activities were agriculture, craftsmenship and mineral extraction. Later the area was taken over by the Romans.

In the early 13th century, Tolfa was property of the Holy See. In the 14th century it was a feud of the Frangipane family.

The biggest change in the city’s history occurred in the late 15th century, when alum was discovered in the area.

In 1799, the city rebelled against the French. The inhabitants were defeated, however, and many rebels were killed by the French troops.

How to get to Tolfa by car

By car from Rome: Follow the SS1 (Via Aurelia) or the A12 in a northerly direction. Take the Santa Severa exit and then the provincial road to Your destination.

By car from Civitavecchia: Follow the SP Braccianese – Claudia in the direction of Allumiere – Tolfa – Bracciano.

Tolfa, province of Roma

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