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From Segni to Palestrina and Mentorella monastery.

San Vito      
       
This itinerary is about 100 kilometers (65 miles) and takes about 8 hours. I understand perfectly that, though the scooters are very comfortable, for someone who's not used to spending a lot of time on a motorbike this could be too much. Or simply one could just want to indulge longer in one place and skip something. If I had to take two places out of this itinerary, I guess they would be... I'll let you decide, I like them all! J
   
 
 

Leg

Distance Time
Highlights of the day: Mentorella and Palestrina. Segni - Cave 25 km (15 Miles) 30 min.
Total range: 100 km (65 miles). Cave - San Vito 12 km (7.5 Miles) 20 min.

Total time: 8 hours.

San Vito - Guadagnolo 17 km (10.5 Miles) 25 min.
  Guadagnolo - Mentorella 1.5 km (1 Mile) 5 min.
  Mentorella - San Pietro 16 km (10 Miles) 15 min.
Map San Pietro - Palestrina 1.5 km (1 Mile) 5 min.
  Palestrina - Valmontone 10 km (6.5 Miles) 20 min.
  Valmontone - Segni 16 km (10 Miles) 15 min.
         
In case it should rain, or if anyone should feel comfortable riding a scooter, we will tour by car or minivan.
 
Tour description
We leave Segni around 9:00 am, or earlier, heading for Cave. Another little town founded around the year 1,000 B.C.. We will just pass through Cave and start the climb to Rocca di Cave. You'll really enjoy this ride. One hairpin after the other, the view will be getting more and more spectacular. We'll climb from the elevation of 400 meters (1,200 ft) in Cave to the 1,200 meters (3,600 ft) in Monte Guadagnolo. Once we arrive in Capranica, we can stop briefly for some refreshments before heading for San Vito Romano. The most important building in San Vito is the Theodoli Castle, it dominates the town and the surroundings standing standing against the skyline in an almost intimidating way. View from the road on the way to Mentorella
The arched walkway in San Vito. The castle, I far as I know, cannot be visited at the moment, but what really is incredible in San Vito is the steps! An unbelievable number of steps!  You arrive in town, one of the most evocative in the area, park the scooter near the castle take some pictures. Then you are attracted by the gate that introduces you into the town proper and...  you see the steps! Just as you pass the gate, you are attracted by this arched walkway, dark even when the sun shines bright. You walk to it, look down from one the arches and you see them: the steps! You have the impression you popped into one the Dutch artist M. C. Escher's works: Relativity. The place is so attractive that you immediately want to start walking down, but remember, you'll have to climb back up!
From San Vito, we retrace our steps to Capranica and climb to Monte Guadagnolo and, at a certain point you'll have the amazing view of the sanctuary "La Mentorella". Perched on a prominent rock dominating the valley, the legend says the monastery was built on the spot where the Roman soldier Placido (who later he became St. Eustace) saw the deer with the cross and Christ between his horns and converted to Christianity. This is also where St. Benedict spent two years as a hermit, living in a cave (which we'll visit). Leaving the Mentorella, we'll move to the nearby town of Guadagnolo, the highest town in Lazio, 1,200 meters (3,600 ft), where we could eventually have lunch in one of the two trattorias in town.

 

View of the Mentorella monastery from Guadagnolo.
The view from one of the arches in San Vito We will then go back down from Monte Guadagnolo heading for Castel San Pietro, a very picturesque little town where several famous Italian movies where shot in the 60's starring Gina Lollobrigida. After looking around Castel San Pietro we'll move to the very near Palestrina. This is an pretty important little town, it was anciently called Praeneste. Founded around the 8th century B.C., it was in the ancient day famous for the temple of the Fortuna Primigenia, its remains were revealed as a result of American bombing of German positions in World War II, connected with an oracle. In the 16h century it became property of the famous Barberini family which had in Pope Urban VIII its most famous member.
Palestrina is also the birthplace of the archeologist Andrea Fulvio and of the prince of sacred music, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina. From Palestrina we will head back to Segni, eventually stopping in Valmontone to break the trip. Or, in case someone in the group feels like shopping, we could also stop at the "Fashion District Outlet" in Valmontone. The road to Mentorella
 
   
Here below is a map with the itinerary. 5TOP 5
   
From Segni to Palestrina and Mentorella
 
5TOP 5
 
Escher's_Relativity
 
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