June 9, 2018
The departure from the mountain city of Orvieto follows by an arduous climb out to the plateau north of Lago di Bolsena, the route offering spectacular views of the rolling countryside.
Grotte di Castro is located just above the town of Bolsena and Lago di Bolsena. The area of the town dates back to ancient Etruscan times. The town on the border between the territories of Vulci and Volsinii dominated the north shore of the lake, and was conquered by the Romans between the 4th and 3rd centuries BC.
In the eighth century A.D. the ancient Etruscan town was destroyed in the most bloody manner by the Longobards. The survivors took refuge in the surrounding areas, thus founding today’s inhabited centers of Gradoli, San Lorenzo and Grotte di Castro.
In 1077, the name of the town appears as Castrum Cripaturm in the donation document of Matilde di Canossa to the Holy See. In 1537, the town was bought by the Farnese family, and became part of the Duchy of Castro. In 1649 the town returned back to the Papal State.
In 1656, Pope Alexander VII donated the relics of Saint Flavio Martire to the town, hence making San Flavio thus became the patron saint of Caves. In 1871 the town – along with the rest of Lazio – became part of the Kingdom of Italy, then in 1877 its name changed to Grotte di Castro.
(narrative excerpted from Wikipedia)