Located atop a high 150 meter hill of volcanic rock this fortified castle is surrounded by dense forest. What makes Calcata really special are its unique residents, an international community of painters, sculptors, writers, artisans, craftsmen, performers, and artists.
In 1930 the government made a decision to abandon the hilltop settlement after they were warned by experts that the volcanic cliff that the village was built on might collapse. Citizens were moved to Calcata Nuova and the medieval fortress lay deserted save until the 1960s when hippies and artists began to repopulate the area, squatting in the medieval houses. By the 70s the population that remained successfully lobbied the government to reverse its condemnation order for the village and many bought their homes and transformed them into comfortable living quarters and places for artistic creation and successful businesses. Now Calcata boasts a large number of art galleries, restaurants, cafes, B&Bs and little guesthouses for the small steadily growing number of tourists who visit the town.
After 30 years of abandonment the town is now back to life, but when you arrive at the gates of the fortress it is also quite clear that in many ways Calcata is still stuck in the past, albeit in a totally charming way. The first thing you will notice is that the gate was not designed with cars in mind so only pedestrians may pass through. Once you’ve walked inside you will feel lost in space and time, following a narrow winding passageway to the piazza, in the center of the village, where local artist Costantino Morosin known for his sculptures made three Etruscan-style thrones from volcanic rock.
In the city you will find a huge number of art galleries, cafes and restaurants due to Calcata’s creative inhabitants. This is an ideal place for slow-paced and secluded vacation as the town’s special atmosphere of the medieval settlement is unique. Nothing will disturb you during your vacation as there is almost no mobile phone reception and no ATMs as well.
Sights: Valle del Treja, Chiesa del Santissimo Nome di Gesu, Opera Bosco – Museo di Arte nella Natura
Hotels: BEST WESTERN Hotel Viterbo, Relais Sans Soucis & Spa, Alla Corte delle Terme Resort