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Tour from Segni to Sermoneta and Valvisciolo Abbey

Sermoneta      
       
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: Sermoneta, Valvisciolo Abbey. Segni - Rocca Massima 12.5 km (8 Miles) 15 min.
Total range: 100 kilometers (65 miles). Rocca Massima - Cori  6 km (4 Miles) 10 min.

Total time: 8 hours.

Cori - Sermoneta 15 km (16 Miles) 20 min.
  Sermoneta - Valvisciolo 3.5 km (2 Miles) 5 min.
Map Valvisciolo - Bassiano 6 km (3.5 Miles) 10 min.
  Bassiano - Maenza 21 km (13 Miles) 35 min.
  Maenza - Segni 32 km (18 Miles) 40 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, but earlier would be better, heading for Rocca Massima. We will ride on a lovely winding road through chestnut woods. Rocca Massima is a very little town right on top of the last hill before the Pontine Plain which extends all the way to the Mediterranean Sea and, on a clear day you can see as far as the Mount Circeo and the Pontine Archipelago. From Rocca Massima the winding road continues to Cori through olive groves that grow on the rocky mountain side offering a wonderful view on the right hand side. Cori is a another lovely hilltop town which will be unusually approached for above since we'll be driving to it from Rocca Massima, which is higher up, and so the first things you'll see of Cori will be its red tile roofs! We can stop and wander through the streets of Cori a little and then we'll head for Sermoneta. This is one of my favored places in the area and in all of Italy. Perched on top of a hill dominating the valley which extends all the way to the sea, it is dominated by the fortress built originally by the Annibaldi family in the 11th century, You walk into the city though one of the gates in the medieval walls and walk its cobble stone paved streets to reach the fortress that in the 16th century was also inhabited by the famous Lucrezia Borgia. Cori
View of Sermoneta

We will visit the castle with the help of the local guide who unfortunately doesn't speak English, but don't worry, I'll translate for you. After visiting the castle, we will leave Sermoneta for the nearby Valvisciolo Abbey.

This abbey, which was founded in the 8th century, was taken over by the Knights Templar in the 13th is a beautiful sample of medieval art which guards one of the mysterious palindromes which people have been engraving or painting on walls, but no one

Sator Arepo Tenet Opera Rotas
could ever translate, the so called "sator square" which in this unique case has a round shape! Leaving Valvisciolo we'll head for Bassiano which is a lovely little town known especially for its production of Prosciutto! Hopefully we'll have lunch there and try it. I'm saying "hopefully" because the restaurants in Bassiano are only open for lunch during the high season. As an alternative we can have lunch in the next town, Maenza. We might also visit the factory where the make the famous Bassiano's Prosciutto. If you should happen to do this tour in the month of July, then you'll enjoy the prosciutto festival in Bassiano! Leaving Bassiano we'll reach Maenza via Roccagorga and we can stop there for a look around. From Maenza  we continue to Carpineto Romano on a very pleasant winding road sided by beautiful green fields and mountains. Valvisciolo Abbey - The Cloister
Bassiano - City Walls

Carpineto Romano is another nice little town on the Lepini Mountains famous for being the birthplace of Pope Leo XIII famous for the encyclical Rerum Novarum which is practically a letter that the Pope wrote to all the bishops to encourage them to support the workers in their struggle to obtain better working conditions and to keep them away from communism. We can stop and look around Carpineto before returning to Segni. Between Carpineto and Segni is the town of Montelanico, another lovely little place where you might want to stop and look around, but what I suggest is to go back there to dine at the  "Vecchio Frantoio", one of my favored restaurants in the area housed in and old oil mill (frantoio in Italian) run by young but dedicated people who serve fantastic local specialties and wines for a very moderate price. Dinner normally costs 20.00 Euros per person including wines.

Not too far from Sermoneta is one of the racetracks where my son and I to practice with pocket bikes. In case you should be curious about them we might also go there and if you want to experience what its like to ride a motorcycle that can fit in a suitcase than you can rent one for a few Euros and experience it! You don't need to be young to ride a pocket bike (in Italy we call them "minimoto"), but you need to be... flexible! The posture, when you sit on one of these bikes is such that you really wonder how you're going to keep your balance after you start to move, but then you start and, if you have enough experience with normal bikes, you realize it's not too difficult and it's fun! After a few laps you already fell confident enough to want to challenge the other guys on the track... at this point I suggest you you stop and think about about you're doing! J When you ride these bikes you're so close to the ground that, even if you fall, it's really difficult to be hurt badly, but you never know... Practicing  "minimotos" at S.A.F.E. racetrack near Sermoneta.
   
Here below is a map with the itinerary. 5TOP 5
   
Itinerary from Segni to Sermoneta
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Restaurant "Vecchio Frantoio"  in Montelanico

The "Vecchio Frantoio" (old mill) restaurant

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