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Type of protected area - Where it is located
Typology: Regional Natural Park; established with L.R. September 22, 1982, n. 43.
Provinces: Rome, Viterbo
The Valle del Treja Regional Park covers an area of about 800 hectares, including in the municipalities of Mazzano Romano (province of Rome) and Calcata (province of Viterbo).
Valle del Treja Natural Park (photo www.comunecalcata.it)
The Treja is a torrential waterway that, on the border between the provinces of Rome and Viterbo, makes its way through gorges, ravines and overhanging tuff walls, breaking into waterfalls near the Monte Gelato locality until reaching, a few kilometers further south, the Tiber river. The Treja Valley, together with its slopes, hills and cliffs, is the result of a very long geological history, deeply influenced by the existence of some large volcanoes in the area north of Rome. The various eruptive phases of the Sabatino volcano, ranging between 700,000 and 40,000 years ago, covered the most ancient rocks and soils and it was the strength of the atmospheric agents together with the slow flow of surface waters that dug into the volcanic layers what are the valleys today.
Flora and fauna
As in all similar environments, the vegetation changes between the humid valley floor (rich in poplars, alders, willows, hazelnuts, ferns, horsetail, but also reeds), the shady slopes (hornbeam, maple, elderberry, ivy) and the sunnier ones (holm oaks, ash trees, strawberry trees, capri and bagolari).
Among these, however, the fox, the hedgehog, the marten, the porcupine, the dormouse and the dormouse are frequent; although there are authors who have spoken of the presence of the wolf, there are no recent reports that can confirm it.
Among mammals, badgers, skunks, martens, wild cats, wild boars and nutria are present in the Valle del Treja area. Among the birds of prey are the peregrine falcon, the honey buzzard, the sparrow hawk, the kestrel, the black kite, the buzzard, the eagle owl; in the winter months the gray heron often stops in the area. In the valley and in its woods nest the wren, the robin, the blackbird, the green woodpecker, the jay, the lone sparrow and the nightingale.
The presence of man in the territories of Calcata dates back to prehistoric times. In fact, in the nearby hill of Narce, numerous structures and finds relating to the most ancient phases of the Etruscan-Faliscan civilization have been found; at the end of the VIII-VII BC the peculiar characteristics of the Faliscan culture, hitherto almost exclusively permeated by Etruscan elements, appear more distinct. The town of Narce, perched on a high tuff cliff, follows the fortunes of the Faliscan and Etruscan world, undergoing the Roman conquest since the middle of the fourth century BC. Around Narce there are several nuclei of necropolises whose tombs have returned a large quantity of finds, now kept inside the National Museum of Agro Falisco in Civita Castellana.
In Roman times the fertility of the territories favored the settlement of numerous rustic villas. With the possession of the territories by the noble Anguillara family, a castle was built in Calcata (late 13th century) and the city walls. The medieval village began to be abandoned from before the last war due to the frequent collapses of the tufaceous cliff: the foundations were laid for a new settlement, located on the adjacent plateau, where the Calcateses moved en masse starting from the 1960s. The characteristic village, instead of becoming depopulated, begins a phase of new life: the red tuff houses of old Calcata have gradually been populated by artists and intellectuals who have brought a new light to the village.
Calcata - Treja Valley (photo www.comunecalcata.it)
Information for the visit
How to get there: Management:
- from the Grande Raccordo Anulare of Rome: take the S.S. 2 Cassia up to Km 35 and then continuing to Mazzano Romano; or take the S.S. 3 Flaminia to Rignano Flaminio, from here continue to Faleria and then Calcata.
- from Autosole: from the north, exit at Magliano Sabina, from here continue to Civita Castellana, Faleria and then Calcata or exit at Ponzano Romano; from the south, take the Gra in a northerly direction and exit on the Cassia bis Veientana (exit n.5).
Valle del Treja Park Authority (Consortium between the Municipalities of Mazzano Romano and Calcata)
Via Roma, 1/3
00060 Mazzano Romano (Rome)