There are no enough words to describe the beauty of the picturesque medieval town located 29 miles north of Rome by car, passing by the Treja river’s valley.
As a part of the Province of Viterbo, Calcata is nestled in the Italian region Latium on a volcanic hill. However, the place is nothing like any other volcanic town you’ve seen before.
Maze-like alleys, stone houses, art galleries, mystic forests, cozy restaurants, craft shops, and over hundreds of bohemian artist are part of the city’s magical environment that left breathless many tourists by now.
Some say that visiting the place or moving into one of the medieval houses is like giving the old town a second life.
The reason people think that way is because of Calcata’s sad story before it became a famous attraction among tourists.
Calcata’s government was fearing that the volcanic cliffs that were holding the town’s fortified historic center would collapse and ordered a resettlement of the local residents to nearby Calcata Nuova in 1930’s. Thirty years after, bohemians, hippies, and artist started inhabiting the empty historical center.
Tourists who want to see the Old Calcata must walk trough a stone getaway which provides an unforgettable fairytale experience once you walk into the old part of the city. Except for the beautiful nature around the Old Town, other dazzling sights that mark the city are the church of Santissimo Nome di Gesu, the Suburban Park of Treja valley and remains of the Faliscan temple of Monte Li Santi, outside the village.
Calcata is also in the focus of many local legends. One of them says that a German soldier sacked Rome looted the Sanctum sanctorum in 1527 when he was captured in the village. He hid the Holy Prepuce in his cell which was discovered in 1557. The Catholic church officially venerated the Holy Prepuce since that time and made Calcata a popular site for pilgrimage.
Driving is the best way to get to get to Calcata but tourists can also reach it by bus because buses leave almost every hour. The ride takes about 45 minutes and costs only 1 to 2 euros. Tourists who already visited the picture-perfect town suggest that people take cash when visiting because the city has no banks or ATM for withdrawing money.
Despite the little flaws, Calcata is the perfect place to get rest from the urban fuss and enjoy the city’s artistic spirit that overwhelms. Some say that you can even walk in your pajamas, with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine in your hand and not be judged as a madman.