A piedi nel Lazio. Four hikes around Rome
Social life in Rome used to be very different. We would meet with friends in the early evening somewhere in the centre for 'just one glass of wine', that would probably turn into ordering a few glasses before heading to dinner. Or we would hang out for some afternoon gelato, have a picnic at the park with a bunch of kids running around or improvise dinner parties.
And now, we wake up early on a Sunday morning, we layer up, fill our backpacks with picnic material and meet to go for a hike!
I have to admit that, despite being born in Rome and having lived here for the first 24 years of my life, I really didn't know a lot about the mountains of our region, Lazio. For short trips we would more easily go explore the peaks of nearby Abruzzo, highest and renewed for being more spectacular, or we would venture for longer periods north to the Alps, especially the Dolomites.
So during this year where we have all been forced to travel often just within the walls of our homes or-if we are lucky-within the limits of our regional entities, to feed our wanderlust we explore our 'backyards'. And to be honest I am quite glad about it!
We did 4 hikes in 4 weeks, here they are with a little description and a link to the route we followed.
Lago della duchessa
We did this hike without Tommi: it is not a hard one but it is quite long and with considerable height difference. It was really, really beautiful. After a steep ascent in the forest, you reach beautiful open planes with grazing horses and, in summer, a hut where they make and sell fresh (goat?) mountain cheese. To get to the lake, it's a little further uphill in the meadows. Beautiful spot for the picnic. You can turn back the same road, but it's a little steep, it's easier to return with a less steep loop through the forest.
This was a lovely hike summiting Monte Gennaro. It's a very sweet, easy marked path with a slow ascent through the forest to the big meadows of Campitello. This is a great place for a picnic, to eat, and probably also bivouac. Crossing the meadows there are different paths to the the top of the mountain, quite steep and not extremely easy as you'll be walking on the rocks. Worth the view and the satisfaction to have conquered a summit, whose pointy top can be seen from the eternal city in a clear day.
Monte Livata, monte Autore
We did this hike in the snow, and it was magical. To be really honest, when we woke up and there was a freezing wind blowing and we had to go for the skiing material, I was a bit worried and tempted to call it quits. I am so glad we braved the weather because it was probably the most beautiful hike. It was FULL. OF. SNOW. But no strong wind, a warm sun and incredible views of both Lazio and Abruzzo's high peaks. The hike started with a slow ascent in the forest, which was enchanted under a thick layer of snow. We then reached a beautiful viewpoint and from there hiked further 15-20 mins up to summit monte Autore. After fuelling up with a rich picnic on the top, we looped back to the cars through another path in the forest.
One big thing to remember about venturing for a hike in the mountains is: sometimes things don't go as planned, be prepared and expect the unexpected! We arrived late to the meeting point, and our friends were nice enough to wait for us. We started hiking through the forest and two things were immediately clear: firstly, we were a bit slow, secondly the path was not easily marked. With the end of autumn approaching, days are very short so we have to be a bit fast if we don't want to find ourselves hiking in the dark. We decided to cut the big loop with a 'shortcut', going fast uphill to find again the path to the summit, and then find our way back to the cars. It was a pretty long and steep ascent, where we couldn't really afford to slow down too much as it was getting late. We reached the summit tired but happy, and we could see all the way to the coastline, Circeo and Anzio specifically. From then, we quickly started closing the loop to descent toward the parking lot. Going down wasn't so easy either, quite steep and slippery, but we all made it quite happy and in one piece!
- Starting point: this parking lot
- Length 15.4 km
- Height difference 690
- Wikiloc trail