About 45 kms. north of Rome, Monte Soratte looms up like a great fin between the Tiber to the east and Via Flaminia to its west. It has six summits, and does not look overly challenging at only 691 m (2,267 ft). One parks in the village of Sant’Oreste, named after the saint who was martyred here.
The mountain is full of history, old and more recent. It was used by ancient tribes for their worship of the God Soranus; it was mentioned by Horace, Virgil and Ovid in their writings; and it became a WWII hideout.
After entering the Riserva Naturale (protected land), you can set out following one of the 11 trails, with enticing names like Strada Militare (Military Road), Casaccia dei Ladri (Den of Thieves), and Degli Eremi (Monks’ Refuges). These pass by old WWII tunnels and bunkers which Mussolini built in 1936 as a hideout for his troops. German Field Marshall Albert Kesselring then used them for his headquarters for nine months, holding Italian prisoners of war there as well, until he abandoned them after being bombed by the Allies.