The 52-km bike tour starts at Capranica in the hills and ends at Civitavecchia on the coast. The majority of the trail is an abandoned railway with the rails removed. There are eleven tunnels along the way, several of which are completely deprived of light, one of them as long as a mile. Aside from short sections of thick blackberry bush, occasional flooded tunnels, and muddy low crossings, the only real challenge that makes a solo trip difficult is the need to make a few portages over concrete walls. With the vow to make it all the way from the mountain to the sea, romantic scenery, and the rare privacy of total darkness, this is what can be called a honeymoon trip – it all goes downhill from here.
After two pitch dark tunnels, a short detour takes you to the tiny medieval town of Barbarano Romano. Beneath the walled town are more than a hundred chambers of various sizes and functions dug into the hillside during the Middle Ages. Largely covered by vegetation nowadays, only about a dozen of them can be visited. Further hiking (about 2 hours away) leads to caves with carvings of humans and animals.
– Contributed by Eva St. Onge who has traveled 30 countries and now lives in Rome. She spends most of her weekends hiking, cycling, running, rock climbing and kayaking. In her free time, she tries to maintain a full time job teaching biology and environmental science at the American Overseas School of Rome. Some of her adventures can be read on her blog, Backpack Gone Wild. Photos of her travels can be seen online here.