Just a couple of kilometers from the Mediterranean Sea, sits the walled hill town of Montalto di Castro. This lovely Italian town is part of the Viterbo province, just beside Tuscany. Montalto di Castro exudes the classical hill town look well complemented by the gorgeous Maremma landscape. By staying at Montalto di Castro, you have everything on your fingertips – authentic cultural settings, archaeological sites, historical landmarks and the beautiful Mediterranean coast.
A visit to this town means basking on sandy wide beaches, which are oftentimes uncrowded. Usually surrounded by greenery, these sandy stretches on the coast have kept their natural beauty and charm. Several of them are free of charge, and offer beach chair and umbrella rentals. Montalto also enjoys a mild climate, which makes it easy for people to stay outdoors for a longer period of time.
With only approximately 8,000 permanent residents, it is quite small and features an old and new section. Since it is small and compact, it is quite easy to explore the town on foot. If you are coming into the town, you can use the thoroughfare called Via Aurelia. This road, which has ancient Roman origins, passes right by the town.
Montalto di Castro’s walled old center represents the town’s long history, and is an epitome of a medieval European town. This section is occupied by grand castles and mansions that are centuries old. Alleyways with arches and small squares will greet you along the way. At the heart of this medieval quarters lies the Orsini Castle also known as the Castello Guglielmi.
This exquisite structure is owned by the influential and powerful Orsini family. Although it has undergone several reconstructions, it is believed that the castle was originally built during the 15th century. One of the striking features of Castello Guglielmi is its square tower. The more modern area of Montalto di Castro is home to a wide range of commercial establishments like cafes, shops and restaurants.
As you take a leisurely walk around town, be sure to explore some of its most notable attractions. One particularly special site is the Chiesa di Santa Croce, a church situated in Piazza Felice Guglielmi. Aside from being an old church, it also houses the relics of Quirino and Candido, which are the town’s patron saints.
The Palazzo del Comune is another iconic landmark you will want stop by and visit. Once a Franciscan convent on Piazza Giacomo Matteotti, this building was transformed into a fortress by the Farnese family. Other attractions in town that may interest you include the 18th century church of Santa Maria Assunta as well as the Fontana delle Tre Cannelle and the Fontana del Mascherone, which are both 18th century fountains located just outside the center.
If you are a nature and/or history lover, you will be thrilled to know that Parco Naturalistico Archeologico di Vulci is conveniently located near Montalto di Castro. This nature park is also an important archeological site, which highlights Etruscan ruins and artifacts. Montalto’s location also makes it accessible to other key places like Sovana, Saturnia, Tarquinia and even Rome, which is only 110 kilometers away. This makes it an ideal home base if you plan to travel around Tuscany, Lazio and the Italy’s wonderful and charming sandy coastline.