Bike Tour from Capranica to…

November 28, 2011 / Places
Capranica, Lazio

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.

Abandoned train stations dot the trail. Many of them are choked by overgrown vines and are thus inaccessible. Except for one, Civitella Cesi. The stairs that lead to the upper floor, although missing a few steps here and there, are passable. Once up on the second floor, one is rewarded by the green vista of farmland and rolling hills. With a little imagination, one can almost hear the whistle of the approaching train in the wind and the golden waves it set off in the alfalfa fields.

(…second part!)

– 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.

3 Responses to “Bike Tour from Capranica to…”

  1. Thanks for the journey, looking forward to part two. That’s why I love Italian Notebook, all the hidden and secret things that Italy has to offer.

  2. Giovanni Santiago


    I really like when you go on your walk-abouts. I am eager to read about them when you e-mail them or post them online.

    The manner in which you describe what you are seeing is very detailed and often superbly put, I could almost smell the food and taste the coffee, it’s almost as if I there too.

    I can’t wait to read Part due, I will have to find out where my step mothers relatives live in Italy, you might run into some of them on one of your outings.

    P.S. more words and more pictures, pleeease

    more below:


    Mi piace molto quando vai sul tuo Walkabouts, sono ansioso di leggere i vostri viaggi quando le e-mail o pubblicarle online.

    Il modo in cui si descrive ciò che state vedendo è molto dettagliata e spesso superbamente messo, ho potuto quasi sentire l’odore del cibo e del gusto del caffè, ed è quasi come se fossi lì.

    Non vedo l’ora di leggere parte dovuto, dovrò scoprire dove mia madre passo parenti vivono in Italia, si potrebbe incorrere in alcuni di loro in una delle vostre uscite.


    Post scriptum più parole e più immagini, pleeease


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