Living like a local and relaxing near Rome

We couldn’t miss the chance of living like a local and relaxing near Rome.

Our sketchy plan since setting off from Oxford included seeing our two lucky friends who live in Rome, or at least in an ideal location near Lago Bracciano just to the north west of Rome.   This visit was more about catching up with our friends rather than seeing Rome.  Adam and I have visited Rome on other occasions and Gary and Donna have worn out the circuit with various visiting friends and family.  It didn’t take us long (less than half a glass of wonderful, local Lazio red wine) to agree that we should simply do the things we all love doing; eating, drinking and walking.

We had a fabulous walk in the nature reserve at Monterano and around the beautiful countryside there, not seeing another living soul other than rather splendid looking Maremmana cattle grazing on the dry grass on the hillside.

Maremmana Cattle near Antica MonteranoAdam did tell me they were too far away for a great photo but I wasn’t keen on getting much closer.

The walk took us to the fascinating ruins of Antica Monterano.  No time for photos unfortunately we were all rather hot by the time we got there (we’d chosen midday to set off again and the temperature was already showing 32 degrees Celsius when we left the house).

We all love the sun and the heat but used what shade there was and refuelled…

Refuelling in the shade at Anitca Monterano

As we neared the end Gary took us to one of his favourite spots on the walk a welcome fresh water pool where we all took a dip and enjoyed a little wild swimming to cool off.

Cooling off after walk near RomeBy the time we had walked back, past the sulphur springs and up to the car we were completely dry and ready for a cold beer.

A much more sedate day next at Lago Bracciano, a beautiful and rather surreal place. We went straight to a pebbly beach (fairly quiet and equidistant between a bar and a restaurant so easy to see why it is Gary and Donna’s favourite spot there).  The beach was scattered with sunbathers and in calm, clear waters, lazy swimmers floated strangely amongst fully wet-suited divers and between everyone, several swans and their signets glided serenely by.

Surreal beach at Lago Bracciano ItalyAs I say, beautiful and surreal…

serene swans at Lago Bracciano ItalyAfter a lazy lunch, the lake took on a different feel as a storm developed on the far shore, the beach emptied and nature moved in. After enjoying the stirring, dramatic weather for a while, we headed to the hills at Bracciano for very good Artigianale beers…

stormy skies over Lago BraccianoA wonderful few days, providing an insight into a local life, playing and working in the sunshine. As we headed off north again, we were all envious of each other, the extensive diversity of what we (Adam and Helen) had seen on our journey contrasted with Gary and Donna’s deep understanding of and familiarity with the beauty of a single location.  Adam and I had enjoyed living like locals and relaxing into the pace of life in Rome.  We concluded that a balance between the two would probably suit us well.