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Tolfa is a little village of about  5,000 inhabitants, about 500 metres above sea level, positioned on the Roman hills, about 70 Kms from Rome.

It is surrounded by unspoilt nature, pastures and woodlands. It has  important Etruscan, Roman and mediaeval archeological sites; quality artisanal products of leatherwork, ceramics, and wrought iron.

Only a few kms from Civitavecchia, it is an undiscovered area by foreign tourists, but well visited by Romans and Italians in general.

Last July our 12 year old son took part to a junior archeological camp in this lovely little village.

The base of the camp is in the old Franciscan Friars convent on top of the hill.

Convento ex-cappuccini a Tolfa
Convento ex-cappuccini a Tolfa

The convent was built between 1584 and 1622 and reflects the sobriety of the order. Amongst the friars who lived in the convent, was San Crispino di Viterbo, famous for the way he took care of the locals during an epidemy.

The children slept in the friars cells and had a fantastic time fantasising about ghost and spirits. In the convent’s garden there is an area where the children take part in workshops and lessons on the Romans and the Etruscans.

Convent's back garden tolfa

During the day the children and the archeologists who took care of them spent most of their time digging and cleaning Etrurian and Roman tombs. 

The project is supported by the Sovraittendenza ai Beni Culturali and any findings must be catalogued and sent to Rome.

Ade, king of the Dead tolfa
Ade, king of the Dead

On the last day they even performed a little show for all parents to see. I really believed it was an amazing experience for our son and he is determined to repeat it next year.  For any information for summer archelogical camps in Rome you can contact GAR (Gruppo Archeologico Romano).

We were lucky enough to arrive on the day in which the annual Ham fair – Sagra del Prosciutto takes part and it was amazing to see the all village closed off for the fair.  All shops were opened (even though it was sunday) and the locals set up tables and chairs along the main street and various stalls were offering free tasting of wine, ham and bread.

The village was alive with music, people and lovely food smells.

Ham tree in Tolfa

In the morning we walked up to the Rocca (the little roquefort) on top of the hill, where there are the remains of an old fort and a little church.


About The Author

Pretending to be a food & travel blogger, giving it a go as a cooking instructor and culinary guide. Venice loving daughter and wanna-be guru. #aphotoofveniceaday Offering cooking lessons at As a friend once said: A Fire Cracker full of energy, writing a book on Cicchetti!