The spring has been so strange, with thunderstorms and freezing winds marking the first day of June. So you’ll just have to trust me when I say that sometimes when the weather is hot you get a nagging urge to leave Rome for the day.
One such place to skip off to is the ancient volcanic rock town of Calcata.
When Calcata’s cliffs began crumbling in the 1930s, the village was condemned and abandoned. Slowly but surely, in the 1960s and 70s, hippies and artists began to reclaim the hilltop town. The squatters revitalized the village and the city eventually reversed the condemnation order.
Today, the quiet piazze are the perfect place to lunch outside of the city.
And the best lunch to be had is at La Piazzetta (in other words, aptly named: The Little Piazza).
Lunch at La Piazzetta was the most delicious food I have had in quite some time. We were spoiled by Gianluca, his wife and daughter (caught in the picture above). At the popular family-run restaurant we feasted on a Roman speciality- cacio e pepe (cheese and pepper). The dish was made of strangozzi fatto a mano (hade made pasta), a dish made senza uova (without eggs- just flour and water).
As a secondo, we dined on sausages made by the restaurant owners themselves, served grilled to perfection and topped with fennel.
The zero KM restaurant (meaning it serves hyper-local foods), was constantly turning guests away. Best to call ahead for a reservation and request a table outside if the weather is nice.
After lunch, we happily continued exploring the narrow streets of the small town. In addition to artists, Calcata is famous for it’s cats.
You arrive in Calcata after exiting the autostrada and continuing on for 20 minutes of winding roads through a lush green valley. It’s about 40 km north of Rome and accessible by car. Calcata is an easy day trip from Rome, and well worth the short drive to have lunch in this ancient town of artists.
I wouldn’t have discovered Calcata without the lovely Laura who organized a tour Scoprire La Tuscia– a trip designed to discover the ancient land of the Etruscans. I’ll have more on the trip soon!
For lunch in Calcata:
Via San Giovanni, 47
0761.588078 or 335.6682776
Closed Wednesday and Thursday
13 thoughts on “Day Trip from Rome: Calcata, Italy”
Great post! I really like Calcata. It’s so relaxed and laid-back, especially when you consider how close it is to Rome!
Thanks! And thank you for the twitter share as well. It’s a town of characters (and great food). I secretly found a bakery that does American-style chocolate chip cookies as well 🙂
Good Greg Peck, this place looks magical!! And the fooooood… oh gosh, I miss Italy! I love reading about your daytrips from Rome. Giving me so many ideas! 😀 xxx
La Tuscia di cose inesplorate ne ha veramente tate..
E ora un’amica ha visitato! http://rinaz.net/2013/07/calcata/
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We visited this town whilst holidaying in trevignano Romano which is a lakeside town also worth a visit from Rome. You can get a train to bracciano where there is a castle where tom cruise got married and there is a ferry across to trevignano which is something of a playground for Romans but not terribly commercialised. Calcata is pretty awesome and I had a simple pasta dish which tasted divine and a carafe of delicious house wine for something like 18 Euros. Can’t remember the cafes name but it was over a cave disco and had chairs and tables balancing on a minute patio with a 300 ft drop just over a low wall! We are lucky to only have a 2hr flight from the UK to get there and I think we’ll do Florence next time! Any tips welcomed!
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I would like to know how to get to bargo di calcata by train from rome
Hi Richard- unfortunately, Calcata is not super easy to reach by public transport. From Rome, you can take the regional train from Roma Nord (Piazzale Flaminio) to Rignano Flaminio. From there, you can take the COTRAL bus to Calcata. More info (in Italian), here: http://www.calcata.info/ISDT/arrivare.html#pubblici
How do I book a private tour of Calcata, Italy from Rome? Date, Monday, August 12 for two people