|Hard work to get here, but great views. Tivoli at left. Colli Albani in the background.|
In the morning, trains for Tivoli leave from the station at Tiburtina every 20 minutes or so. You can purchase round-trip tickets at the station, at kiosks, and in some stations, like Trastevere, at the newsstand. The train we caught was a milk run--it stopped everywhere--and even then only took an hour and ten minutes to reach the famous hill town. About 3 Euro each way per person. Hard to beat that price.
At Tivoli we exited south from track 1 (past the cool eagle fountain), turned right on the street, had a coffee a couple of blocks down at a bar (where we also bought a sandwich for lunch), kept going down to the traffic circle, turned 90 degrees right with Villa Gregoriana on the left (the road to Marcellina), and followed the road--the most dangerous part of the whole exercise (no shoulders)--about 3/4 of a mile, past the bridge and around two other curves to the other side of the gorge. The road then curves sharply right, goes around still another left curve, and there, on the right side of the road, you'll find the trailhead. It looks like a small stone driveway that ascends in the direction you're traveling. There should be a sign put up by CAI (Club Alpino Italiano) naming the trail for "Paolo Fantini." Have a drink of water and begin the climb, following the new, and very frequent, red and white marks on trees and rocks. This may be the best-marked trail we've ever been on.
|After a brief standoff with us, this long-horned bull|
bailed out and took off down the hill.
|Wind chimes, upper left/center.|
|This map contains the entire course of the trek (C to F to E to A)|
From here you'll take a DIFFERENT trail, just to the north of the one you came up. Follow it for a minute or two, where it forks. Take the LEFT fork ("F" on the map), to and through the nondescript actual top of Monte Sterparo (you won't know you've been there, although there's a good pile of stones at one point - not the highest point), and beyond for about 20/30 minutes to Colle Lecinone, where you'll find an abandoned building on your right and a barbed-wire boundary fence for the
|Easy walking through nice forest. Here, the trail markers are all on trees.|
|The center portion of hike, including Monte Sterpara (middle left), up to Colle Lecinone (top left) on the F trail, and across on the E trail to lower right, until it meets up with trail A, which you follow.|
|Through the cork oak forest.|
|Near the end. Tivoli center left, Monte Catillo, with|
cross, in distance at right
Should you want to ascend Monte Catillo on the way down, you'll find a path on the southeast side of the mountain that will take you to the top, about 10 minutes away.
°, with tables inside and outside. The kind and informed waiter explained the name to us (that little 3-wheel truck one sees rarely now, and usually only in the countryside, is called "l'ape" (the bee), and he revealed that travel guru Rick Steves had eaten there and lists the restaurant in one of his travel guides. We're not Steves fans, but in this case he offers good advice. We especially enjoyed the weekly off-menu artichoke lasagna and the artisanal beers, a specialty of the house. Keep in mind that L'Ape 50° keeps typical restaurant hours; so it's unlikely to be open between 3 p.m. and 7.30 p.m.
We are fans of the two great gardens of Tivoli - the 16th century Villa d'Este and the 19th century Villa Gregoriana (#6 on RST's Top 40). You might want to take in one or both of these as well. They are not open on Mondays.
Total ascent, a modest (for true hikers) 1650 feet. Time: about 4 1/2 hours from and to the Tivoli station. Hiking boots a must, and at least one hiking pole is highly recommended. Bring one large bottle of water for each hiker and (assuming there are two of you) a knife to divide the sandwich or cut the cheese. Sometimes we buy a bottle of wine (at a bar, where they'll open it for you and provide plastic cups) to drink on the train, but the ride's a short one, and on this occasion we did not. Trains back to Rome in the late afternoon and evening run about every hour, and the last one is about 10 p.m.
Bill, with Dianne's help.
Rome the Second Time features a Tivoli hike and the marvelous duo: villa/gardens of Tivoli - Villa d'Este and Villa Gregoriana. The hike we did this day incorporates part of RST's hike, which goes up the more famous Monte Catillo with its cross. The hike described in this post is much more interesting in its terrain and flora, and also more difficult.
|At right and beyond the buildings, that's Monte Sterpara, as seen from Villa D'Este, looking rather ordinary from this distance and angle.|