Ask around Soriano about ‘Fosso Mulino’ (River Mill) and you will get mostly blank stares. So it is no surprise that after all of these years I had no idea that it existed. Very few people do.
One day I was out with my friend (and our contractor) Andrea D’Alessio. He asked me if I had ever been to the waterfalls. My immediate answer was YES! There is a place in Soriano with some beautiful waterfalls that few know about, and I had been there. In fact, years ago I was telling Paola about them, and she didn’t believe me until I showed her.
Anyhow, Andrea didn’t believe that I had been to ‘The waterfalls’, so he asked me to describe them. As I did, he laughed and simply explained that there were other, more breathtaking, waterfalls in Soriano. So he took me. He explained that not only was this a beautiful fork of the Tiber with awesome waterfalls, but there were the ruins of a 13th century Olive Mill. Cool!
We drove just past the Viterbo-Orte Superstrada, right at the Soriano-Bomarzo exit, and hung a left. We drove down a road which is well known as a hangout for some extremely vile looking prostitutes (another story there) and parked along a little dirt road. After exiting the car, we went down a small trail into what appeared to be complete nothingness.
At one point, I noticed beneath my feet there was some ancient concrete road, which was ribbed. Andrea explained that this was the path the mules used to cart the olives down, and the oil up.
Next I found myself in a tunnel of sorts, created by massive rocks around me, and extending about 200 feet down the hill. All the while, this ancient road ran beneath my feet.
After exiting the tunnel, immediately to my right was the river. As I walked toward it, I was struck by an absolutely beautiful set of waterfalls as I saw the water that had literally carved its passage through this ancient volcanic rock over millions of years. To say it was stunning would be an understatement.
We walked around as I cursed my lack of a spare battery for my camera. It had a little juice left in it, so I took what video I could. How could I never have known about this place?
As we crossed back to our entry point, there was an old structure in ruin. Andrea told me to look to my feet. There, sitting in the middle of this little forest was an ancient olive mill wheel. We then entered the structure, and a few more wheels were just lying there haphazardly. Wow! What a great experience to see all of this in such an untouched state.
Such was my morning visit to what I now know of as ‘Fosso Mulino’. You won’t find it in any tour books, and you won’t find any ‘professional’ guides that can show it to you. It is just one of those hidden treasures, like Corviano, that you just have to be with the right person to see.
I’m pretty sure I will make this a tour stop with my groups that are into nature and hiking.