Recipes and dishes from the Viterbo region

“You who wander the world to see tall and wondrous wonders, come hither, here are terrible faces, elephants, lions, giants, and dragons.”

It is the most iconic and representative expression Bomarzo Monster Parkso called existing in one of the many sculptures carved on it Holy tree a handful of kilometers Viterbo, in upper Lazio. It is a phrase that ideally predicts what we are about to witness and thus welcomes us to one of the most important spaces. mystical and esoteric of Italy. A place full of mystery where allegory is the protagonist. Large statues with a vague meaning, puts up statues large blocks of stone representing half-anthropomorphic and half-animal figures, now in animal form, now in human form.


Deciphering its meaning Bomarzo Monster Park and understanding its meaning has long been the goal of scholars and art history enthusiasts, but it has not been possible to assign a unique and general value to the stone sculptures living in the Sacred Forest. And this mystery contributed virtually irresolvable increase fame Such a remarkable and defined place in the province of Viterbo.


is immersed Heart of Tuscia This place has been full since 1500 mysteries and puzzles it is visited by tens of thousands of visitors every year, eager to immerse themselves in a place that seems to be from a different world. Kind of upside downin which the main characters monsters described and all with them puzzles they take with them.

Out of the park and then one a set of metaphorical tables You can enjoy the flavors of Tuscia in many restaurants and bars in the area. But first a holiday history The Sacred Forest of Bomarzo.

Parco dei Mostri di Bomarzo: a brief history

as there is a close connection between the esoteric, mysterious and mystical place Park of monsters as one who represents the ultimate expression of Christianity Saint Peter. It really was Pirro LigorioThe architect who completed the basilica project after Michelangelo’s death, a To design the Holy Wood, was born in the middle of the greenery, in the immediate vicinity of the ancient village of Bomarzo, more than 10 minutes from Viterbo. Instead, it was the man who financially created the park with its monstrous sculptures Pier Francesco Orsinistarting from is called Vicino 1500.


“… Numerous studies have attempted this solve the puzzle This garden, located in the middle ground between art, magic and literature – we read on the official website – but the garden of Bomarzo will still remain. charming place and the mystery that creates stories and stimulates the imagination of every visitor”.

Here, sculptures with enigmatic meanings are embedded in dozens of different tree species, such as apple trees and wild plums, willows, field elms, willows, poplars and oaks. diversity. Here everything is a part you need to protect the ecosystem and protects. Everything here, even the smallest light bulb or the most hidden bush, is part of an inseparable whole.

What to eat near Parco dei Mostri in Bomarzo

After visiting the Sacred Forest, it was time refresh yourself. After walking the length and breadth of the park, we encountered a scene among the statues of the monsters depicted here. certain hunger, enjoying the typical dishes of the Viterbo tradition. This part of Tuscia is one gastronomy that draws a lot from the ground peasant traditiontherefore, it is made from farm produce and meat, wild herbs, legumes, mushrooms, nuts, soups, but mostly savory dishes. weak substances. So what do you eat here?

1. Aquacotta


A recipe to restore the buttera tradition associated with the shepherds who consumed it in the valleys between Lower Maremma and Upper Tuscia soup is rich weak substances. Weeds, some potatoes, tomatoes, butter soaked in the soup itself, and stale bread. Food that is true to itself but variable in its ingredients: according to the season, in fact, different types from wild herbs.

2. Panzanella


Another poor dish of peasant extraction. Another recovery recipe to revive stale bread instead of being thrown away, it was once made edible let go (i.e. soaked) with oil or tomato liquids, among the ingredients of panzanella. There is no exact recipe for the dish as it is prepared restorative food used by farmers. A more traditional version uses crusty bread, tomatoes, basil, onions and oil. Either way, the use of cheese, olives or perhaps eggs.

3. Pea and chestnut soup


We are approaching the autumn season and we are returning with it chestnut. Especially this product is abundant nearby Monte Cimino, from its slopes come abundant fruits, symbolizing the first cold. Refreshing, invigorating and delicious chestnut and pea soup Viterbo and its surroundings are a must during autumn.

4. Meat, truffles and mushrooms


What is important is the tradition associated with the consumption of these parts meat. Wild boar, hare, rabbit, but also pig, pigeon, chicken or lamb, all species with an important special weight in the gastronomy of the area. Chops and tagliata are often accompanied mushroom local, especially i porcini mushrooms comes mainly from Monte Cimino, but is not uncommon to use truffles.

5. White fish and freshwater fish


Yes, there is a strong tradition about it fish. Specifically, he fresh water. Not far from Bomarzo and Viterbo in fact Volcanic Lake Bolsena (the largest of this species in Europe) with the fish species that inhabit it. The white fish (a non-native variety, but introduced in the first part of 1900) is definitely a king, a single protagonist, or so called in fish soup. it hangsother fish that swim in these waters are also used (including pike, perch and eel), as well as potatoes, tomatoes, wild herbs and stale bread.

6. Legumes

Lake Bolsena

We stay near Lake Bolsena to learn about the varieties legumes grew up here. Although not very large, the plots are still important for the traditions of the area, such as small beans (related to a very sincere anniversary), Onano lentils, as well as peas. All are used as accompaniments to second courses or heroes of autumn and winter soups.

7. Oil and wine


Finally, production oils And wines. Frantoio, leccino, muraiolo and caninese are the most common olive varieties, while the emblematic wine of the area is Est! Est !!! Est !!! Produced around Montefiascone (mainly based on Trebbiano and Malvasia and among the first Italian Docs). A worthy mention for the Grechetto and Aleatico grapes.

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