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Some of our guests having drinks at a local cafe
Some of our guests having drinks at a local cafe
Some of our guests having drinks at a local cafe

Soriano nel Cimino

A Hidden Jewel by the Borders of Tuscany, Umbria and Lazio

Many of our cooking vacations are based in Soriano nel Cimino, which is right at the border between Lazio, Umbria and Tuscany. While largely unknown internationally, Soriano is just 15 minutes from Italy's major rail lines and the main A1 Autostrada (Expressway). That puts us at an extremely convenient near half-way point between Rome and Florence, right in the heart of Italy and within close proximity to most of Italy's most popular destinations... Rome, Florence, Assisi, Tuscany, Umbria, and much more!

The Italian "Mayberry"

The village of Soriano nel Cimino (often simply called Soriano) is one of those few remaining places in central Italy that is still unspoiled by the ravages of mass tourism.

Over the years, mass tourism has overtaken many of the popular Tuscan and Umbrian villages. Where there were once small village grocers, vegetable stands and butchers, there are now rows of shops selling postcards and snow globes. Where you once saw local villagers shopping and strolling, all you now see is crowds of foreign tourists snapping photos of one another. The charm of many villages in Tuscany is gone, as they feel more like Disney attractions than the real thing.

Soriano is still unspoiled. It has incredible beauty and charm, but the real Italian life is still here. Soriano still has the mom and pop grocer, the butcher that slices your proscuitto by hand, and the vegetable stand that sells produce grown on his own farm. You still see the villagers mingling on a Sunday morning before church, and you still see the women walking around doing their morning shopping every day.

Soriano is a place where children still are allowed to run free at night, and many still leave their doors unlocked. You feel it the moment you get there. Stunning beauty with an innocent feeling of a time long gone for the rest of us.

All of this exists in this amazing place, yet it is still extremely close to all of the destinations so many people dream of visiting. In this way, Soriano offers the perfect balance of actually experiencing Italian life, while still having the opportunity to see the sights you have always looked forward to.

Rich and Ancient History

Looking at Soriano, you can see its history expanding outward from the castle. At the center, the castle's main tower dates back to Roman-Etruscan times. In 1278, Pope Nicolas III built the castle around the tower, where it became a summer papal getaway. It was during this period that St. Francis of Assisi was rcognized by the Catholic church... right here in Soriano.

A small medieval village later sprung up surrounding the castle. As you look beyond the medieval village, you can clearly see something of an outer ring, which was constructed during the renaissance.

Throughout history, Soriano was an important strategic location for its viewds of the Tiber valley all the way toward Rome. The names that are inscibed in Soriano's history say it all, from the Orsinis and the Borgias, to names such as Dante & Plini the Elder.

Today, Soriano is home to roughly 8.000 permanent residents, but swells to roughly 12,000 during weekends and in the summer, as it is an extremely popular summer getaway for Italians, many of whom own weekend getaways and summer residences here.

Getting there...

We offer an included shuttle service for our guests from the Rome Fiumicino (FCO) airport and the Orte Train Station. For those that arrive in Italy the day our vacation begins, our shuttle leaves the Rome airport at 10:30 AM, and it takes about 75 minutes to get to Soriano. The Orte Train station is the first major hub north of Rome on the line between Rome and Florence, and is about 15 minutes from Soriano. There are trains to Orte from almost every major city, including Rome, Florence, Venice, Milan, Bologna, Naples, and many more. The train to Orte from Rome takes about 35 minutes. From Florence it takes about 90 minutes. For those that are already in Italy on the day our vacation begins, or arrive after our 10:30 airport shuttle, we offer an included shuttle service from the Orte Train station at 3:30 PM, giving our guests time to get there from just about anywhere in Italy.

If you will have a rental car, getting to Soriano is extremely easy. We are about 1 hour from Rome and 90 minutes from Florence, just 15 minutes off of Italy's main A1 Autostrada (Expressway).

If you will not have a car, and cannot make one of our shuttles, we are always happy to arrange private transportation for an extra cost.