June 3, 2018
The stark medieval Orsini castle towers over the hill town of Soriano, offering scenic views of the town and the surrounding countryside.
Today the castle houses a modest museum that contains displays of agricultural and domestic implements historically used in the region, as well as a collection of antique music playback devices (mostly early record players).
Some more views of the town prior to proceeding over the rough undulating country road leading to Soriano, following by the long and gradual descent towards the shores of Lago di Bolsena to the north.
Lago di Bolsena is a crater lake in northern Lazio, the largest of the three lakes in the area. The lake is intimately tied to the history of the region, being named after the last Etruscan settlement on the lake that was vanquished by the Romans. The lake is fed by the aquifer, rainfall and runoff, and features several islands as well. The Marta river drains the lake near the town of Marta, passing through the Marta valley, and emptying into the Tyrrhenian Sea.
The town of Marta is a smaller and more modest version of the somewhat more posh towns found elsewhere on Lago di Bolsena. The town hearkens to Etruscan times. In the Middle Ages, possession of the town passed numerous times between feuding families, as was the case in much of the rest of the central Italian region.
Marta is characterized by narrow streets and picturesque corners, dominated by the magnificent clock tower, octagonal in shape, built on the ruins of the fortress built around 1260 by Pope Urban IV. Not far from the town on the lake lies the island of Martana.