Town: ROCCA DI PAPA
The climb till the peak of Monte Cavo can be very interesting as it can be
done crossing the via Sacra, an ancient road built by the Romans
and consisting of paving stones and flanked by peperino stones.
Crossing this path on foot can offer the possibility to observe
numerous very suggestive panoramas: the lakes Albano and Nemi,
the surrounding woods, and the Thyrrhenian flat land. This hill
was characterized by the presence of numerous beeches, of which
there are only a few ancient and mighty trees left. This place
probably was splendid during the Feriae Latinae, during the
celebrations of the battles' conquerors, which were borne
in triumph along the via Sacra, in a long procession till the
temple consecrated to Juppiter Latialis, situated on the peak
of the hill.
Area's Natural Characteristics
The few beeches on the peak of Monte Cavo (949 m above the sea
level) are very ancient and of large size. They reach an height
of 20 metres, and represent a sort of patriarch trees of the
Monti Albani and have to be protected. There is also the holly,
which very often blows near the beeches, and notwithstanding
the Law 61 of the 19-09-1974, during Christmas period its branches
are broken off, as their red berries are used as decoration.
Near the parking area on the peak there is a plant of holly
with leaves characteristics both of young and old plants of
this kind. The oval nesting cavity along the oldest trunks mark
the presence of the dendrocopus major; there is also the tree-creeper,
a little bird with a curved beak, that seeks its food by climbing
the tree's trunk following a spiral movement. Among the
passerines: the tit, the wren, and the regulus ignicapillis,
three kinds very little, weighing 10 grams each. In the thick
wood there are owls and jays.
To reach Monte Cavo cross via dei laghi (S.S. 217) till the
crossroads at the 12 kilometres, turn to the left towards Rocca
di Papa. After one kilometre turn to the right on the private
street leading to Monte Cavo. At the entrance you have to pay
a toll (1000 Lire per person). After 1.2 kilometres there is
the crossroads with the Via Sacra. On foot you can reach a viewpoint
(45 minutes) where you can observe the lakes Albano and Nemi,
the surrounding woods and the Thyrrhenian flat land. On the
summit there are antennas for the radio and television broadcasting.
Roads and Public Transports
By Car: From Rome cross the S.S. 7 Via Appia Nuova (slip-road
23 of the G.R.A.) following the road signs to Via dei Laghi
S.S. 217, till the crossroads (12 kilometres) with Rocca di
Papa (on the left). It is possible to park along the private
street leading to the peak.
By Bus: Rome-Rocca di Papa-Via dei Laghi. (Cotral bus
service phone number 800431784, phone number 06722215.) from
the underground station ‘Anagnina' of the Linea
A. You will reach the entrance to the private street after about
Landscape, botany, fauna, geology.
Visits: For information phone to the seat of the Parco Regionale
dei Castelli Romani, at villa Villa Barattolo, via C. Battisti
n.5, phone 069495253/5,fax 069495254.
There are tourist signs to reach the via Sacra. There are not
explanatory boards along the path.
Web sites: www.parks.it/parco.castelli.romani/index.html,
Books: Bassani P., Cantiani G.P., 1997. L’ambiente
naturale del Vulcano Laziale. Ed. XI Townstà Montana
del Lazio “Castelli Romani e Prenestini”, Rocca
Priora (RM); Bassani P., Lotti L., 1992. Alberi e arbusti.
Casa editrice del Parco dei Castelli Romani, Rocca di Papa (RM);
Marciano M., 1991. Guida archeologica del Parco Regionale
dei Castelli Romani. Edizioni del Parco, Rocca di Papa (RM);
AA.VV., 1993. 14 Routes - Lazio. Guide geologiche regionali,
vol. 5. Società Geologica Italiana, Roma; AA.VV., 1996.
Quattordici sentieri tra natura e archeologia dei Castelli
Romani e Prenestini. Editore XI Townstà Montana del
Lazio Castelli Romani e Prenestini, via della Pineta 69, Rocca