The Via Clodia is an ancient Roman consular road. It starts as a side street of the Via Cassia (near the suburb of La Storta) and runs through the northern part of the region of Lazio to end near Grosseto, in Tuscany.
Via Clodia, Rome to Grosseto
A brief history of the Via Clodia
The Via Clodia was considered an important connecting road between the Via Cassia and the Via Aurelia.It was probably constructed by the Romans on an already existing Etruscan road. It was one of the few Roman streets used not for military but for commercial purposes.
The Via Clodia is named for a Roman magistrate of the Republican era. Iit used to also be known under the name Via delle Terme, because of the large number of hot springs that could be found along the road.
During the Middle Ages, the Via Clodia, which was paved as early as 225 B.C., was the main road for pilgrims approaching Rome from the north. The road runs along the lakes of Bracciano and Bolsena (the largest lake of volcanic origin in Europe).
Villages along the Via Clodia
Leaving Rome behind, you can see Bracciano’s Castello Orsini from afar, today as in the past a party resort for the wealthy.
Marta, on the shore of Lago Bolsena, is a picturesque fishing village. Another village is Castro, which no longer appears on any map of the province of Lazio, since it was systematically destroyed, stone by stone, by Pope Innocenzo X Pamphili. At the moment, attempts are underway to restore the overgrown remains.
Other beautiful villages that one passes by are Anguillara Sabazia, Santa Maria di Galeria and Blera.
The Via Clodia runs through the oldest wild forest in central Italy, the natural reserve of Lamone. One can follow on foot or by bicycle several paths through the reserve, including the Sentiero dei Briganti (Path of the Brigands).
On the edge of the Lamone reserve lies the medieval town of Farnese, known in Italy mainly because Pinocchio was filmed here in the seventies.
At Norchia, which is part of the ancient pilgrimage route Via Francigena, the tufo (tuff), which was widely used in Rome, was mined. From the town itself one has a wonderful view of one of the largest Etruscan necropolises.
From Roccarespampani, named after the Rocca Medievale (Medieval Rock), which one can visit only under guidance, one arrives at the Ponte di Fra’ Cirillo (over the river Traponzo). The bridge, which incorporates an altar, according to legend by Fra Cirillo in one night. His spirit is said to still hover around the bridge. People who have been in Italy for some time know that the second claim is more credible than the first one.