Valentano, a “terrace” between lake and sea

The English writer George Dennis visited Valentano during his well-known journey in Etruria, in June-July 1843, journey described in Cities and Cemeteries of Etruria (1848). It was certainly a brief visit as the Etruscans left around Valentano few traces , maybe because the soil – mainly volcanic lapillo – it is not good to build and preserve hypogea. On reaching the large square (now a public garden) facing lake Bolsena, outside Saint Martin’s door, and admiring the wonderful view you can enjoy from there, Dennis defined Valentano a wonderful terrace on the lake. Had he had the chance to admire the amazing view you can have from the Rocca Farnese (at the time the Rocca was a cloister), where you can see as far as the Thyrrenian Sea, he would have probably talked about a wonderful terrace between the lake and the sea. In fact, this small town, 538 m. above the sea level, on the Volsini chain, it’s a hilly place whose “sweet, good and healthy air” has always been praised.

Valentano, on the hilltop, 538 m above the sea level
Click on the image to enlarge

In 1630, commissioned by Odoardo Farnese, the historian Benedetto Zucchi in his work: Informazione e cronica describes Valentano in this way: “it is situated up on a hill, close to a higher mountain full of chestnut woods which preserves Valentano from sirocco, the south-west wind, even though it is always struck from the north-east wind of tramontana…”.

Bolsena Lake - The Bisentina Island on the left

From the nearby Mount Starnina you can enjoy an amazing view as, on clear days, the eye can reach the sparkling of the far sea.

Bolsena Lake

On the opposite side, you can see lake Bolsena with its two islands.

Bolsena Lake by night, The moonlight makes Martana island well visible; in the distance the lights of Montefiascone

The lake is navigable and it is also possible to visit the Bisentina island. Further information can be found on the web site of the company Navigazione «La Bussola»