May 26, 2018
I travel a short section north of Ladispoli on the Via Aurelia, which runs along the western coast of Italy, then back towards Lago Bracciano in the interior of Lazio.
Manziana lies near the northwestern corner of Lago Bracciano, just north of the town of Bracciano. The area of Manziana was populated already in the Villanovan period, inhabited at first by the Etruscans and then by the Romans. By the eleventh century the territory became part of the possessions of the family of the Prefects of Vico, a small fiefdom called Castrum Sanctae Pupae.
In the mid-sixteenth century an offer of land was made for agricultural yield, which attracted people from Tuscany, Umbria, Marche and in some cases from Northern Italy, giving rise to the town of Manziana. And until 1870 it was under papal rule.
Continuing north through the forested landscape towards Vetralla, I pass through Oriolo Romano, another picturesque medieval town located in the hills of northern Latium, whose history dates back to Etruscan times, and along which the Via Clodia was built in ancient Roman times.
As with many of the towns in this region, it was ruled for a period by the Orsini family. The contemporary layout hearkening back to the late Middle Ages represents an innovative degree of planning for the era.