Autumn in Vallerano, in the Lazio region in the province of Viterbo, offers flavors and colors of the past, it is the season of chestnuts, the excellence product of the place. Vallerano is located a few kilometers from Rome, easy to reach by car along the Via Cassia.
This season the colors and shades of nature ranging from green to yellow, from red to different shades of chestnut leaves that color the streets and nature tones and reddish brown.
Once in Vallerano in a Sunday in October, within the walls of the village, you can smell the braziers where cooked chestnuts. The chestnuts are eaten strictly in foil and enjoy in the narrow streets and the square, surrounded by children in the festival.
Vallerano is a small chest of culture that opens, like the hedgehog Chestnut, leaving savor the taste of autumn.
Vallerano, country of the D.O.P. chestnuts
Each year the chestnut festival takes visitors about the history of the country and its many and considerable artistic and cultural.
This year has just ended the 14th edition of the Chestnut Festival of Vallerano with a full program of events and tastings.
The village is also historically affiliated with the Salento (Puglia), and there has been linked to the pizzica dance, and historical Salento folk dance.
The festival, organized and chaired by “the Friends of the Chestnut”(gliaamici della castagna), benefited from the production of this year, particularly conspicuous, who met the organizers and visitors.
For 2015, the production and the quality is excellent, as well as the selling prices of the chestnuts that are around this year about 5-4 Euro per kilo while the “marroni” cost 6-7 euro per kilo. For those interested visit the chestnuts factory (castanificio) the country, we can see live the moderne techniques of chestnuts and marroni.
The party atmosphere is enriched by folk groups, historical parades and bands who perform in the square and in the old town.
The “Friends of the Chestnut” organize guided tours in the country and together with the Archaeological Group of Vallerano also organize a walk among the chestnut trees and places of historical interest.
In the old town you can visit the old cellars where they were processed chestnuts and at some local displays works of local artists and presentations of works of art and books.
Standing on the eastern slopes of Monte Cimino in the province of Viterbo, quiet and good titan, Vallerano was inhabited since the Bronze Age, from Falisci, Etruscans and Romans still; certainly the “castrum” real existed before the year 1000. It has always belonged to the Church of Rome, it follows the historical events going from a lordship to another depending on the winds that were blowing: the powerful family of the prefects Vico, passes to the Orsini in 1278, but in 1280 the Viterbesi breaking a pact of peace than a century earlier, move at a time of Vallerano led by Pietro della Valle. Bertoldo Orsini and its allied militias of Todi can defend the country and to scare the people of Viterbo, but two years later Vallerano must serve the resounding success. It is 1282 and allied with Viterbesi Pietro di Vico manage to occupy the castle, plunder the treasures of the Orsini, break down and destroy houses and the walls of the baronial palace. Returned to the Orsini thanks to the intervention of the Pope, in 1351 it will be in the hands of Giovanni di Vico and his family until the Pope Eugene IV give order to the captain Nicholas Fortinbras to storm the castles of the Prefects. But Vallerano resists, and the pope to Viterbo irate order the destruction of the foundation. It is 25 October 1432. The country is rebuilt incorporated in goods of the Apostolic Chamber, which then sells it to the Hospital of Santo Spirito in Sassia, then tornarne in possession until 1536 when it is given to the Farnese family. Under the emblem of the lily the country knows the maximum economic and cultural splendor and will remain there until 1649 year that is recovered from the Apostolic Chamber, to finally get to be a part of the Kingdom of Italy in 1870, following the fate. (Official website: www.castagnavallerano.it)
Typical Products of Vallerano
The chestnut is the typical product of the main Vallerano and it’s only one to have received the DOP
Another important local product is the hazelnut, of great quality and with which the “villagers” prepare the tozzetti, typical sweet biscuits.
Another quality of Vallerano is the production of pork, whose festival usually held in the summer and that honors the country even outside its region.
Typical on board valleranese are “fricciolose” (thin crepes with cheese), the “ggulitonni” (homemade pasta with flour and water) and “bbangarucci” (typical bread with pork cracklings).
Other product tipoco the country but much rarioda find nowadays are the “hen pilaccia” and “dòrtolo”, it is very old recipe of pizza with anise.
Not to be missed in Vallerano
The surroundings of Vallerano are full of Etruscan and Roman and medieval. Hermitages monastic cave of San Leonardo, San Lorenzo and San Salvatore, the last two with the eleventh century frescoes are of great historical and religious.
The origins of the village of Vallerano are already to be found before 1000, but the destruction that took place in 1282 and in 1432 changed the medieval nature of the settlement.
Ancient medieval settlement remains today the tower, the walls and the arms of the Prefects of Vico and the parallel lanes, the tall buildings, squares and plazas are typical of Renaissance architecture.
The historic cellars. Across the country, both inside and outside of the historic center, in the rock and subsoil are numerous wine cellars dug into the tuff by hand, by different uses depending on the historical period: the tombs, stables, canned food, shelter, processing laboratories wine and chestnuts.
The Church of Mary SS.ma della Pieve (sec. XII) far from the village a few hundred meters, the structure is housed within the parish of San Vittore Martire, a hundred meters from the main road Vallerano – Canepina – Viterbo. It ignores the time of its construction, the style does not believe that its origin dates back to the tenth century. Today it retains some of its original Romanesque architecture, while inside are very interesting frescoes and decorations in the apse dedicated to Mary SS.ma, St. Bonaventure and St. Francis of Assisi. E ‘with two aisles, the largest measuring 19 meters in length including the back of the high altar, and 6 meters wide. The small nave is 12.50 meters long and 6 meters wide. In the great nave, no time is the altar dedicated to St. Anthony of Padua.
Two old churches. The Church of Our Lady of the Rosary and the old Church of St. Andrew the piazza of the Oratory, the ancient church of Sant’Andrea cathedral until 1750 matrix and has subsequently become the hospital and is now a music school and frescoes sixteenth of exquisite workmanship.
The new Church of St. Andrew the Apostle was instead built in 1751 on the ruins of the ancient castle of Vallerano. A small door opens Burials of the Church of St. Andrew where currently the cribs are set up static.
The Church of San Vittore Martire, patron of Vallerano, stands at the highest point of the country. Inside we find a baptismal font in 1450 of granite, while we could just admire the beauty of the coffered ceiling dated 1762 and the organ Alari 1750.
Outside the town is the Sanctuary of Mary SS.ma the Stream of Blood Donors, a real treat for art connoisseurs. THE church was built according to the designs of Vignola as a result of the miracle that took place July 5, 1604, it houses works of art of extraordinary importance and beauty as: the annunciation of Vandi, the ecstasy of St. Charles Borromeo Pomarancio, and a painting by Lanfranco. The exceptional masterpiece kept in the sanctuary is the monumental Baroque organ Burzi–Alari–Ercoli–Priori played in 1707 by George Frideric Handel.
Festivals and fairs
For the occasion held: procession in honor of the saint with the shipping mini car, mini music concert and fireworks display.
Running between the chestnuts of Vallerano.
Athletes are taking part in national and international level.
It celebrates the anniversary of the Miracle of Our Lady of the Brook.
The avenue in front of the sanctuary is decorated with themes dedicated to the Virgin Mary. It follows the “luminata” night.
Patron. For the occasion held: procession in honor of the saint, pageants, concerts and fireworks.
Musical event valleranese now among the most followed by fans all over the Viterbo area and outside the province.
In the picturesque Piazzetta Oratory, natural amphitheater from the excellent acoustics and the most picturesque corners of the historical center, floodlit by more than 40,000 candles, held simultaneously musical entertainment of different kind.
It is one of the main events of Vallerano, which celebrates the famous product: the chestnut. During the festivities are distributed chestnuts, dinner takes place in the cellars dug into the tuff. They are proposed performances, guided tours in the old town, food stands.
Nativity cribs and static
Living Nativity: every 4-5 years during the Christmas season
Cribs static: each year
An opportunity to find themselves immersed in forgotten atmospheres, starring the children of the elementary schools and middle schools.
EAT IN HISTORIC CELLARS
– Tel.: +39 0761.751327 (LA BETTALA)
– Cel.:+39 338.1121310 (Luca)
– Cel.: +39 348.2946348 (Francesco)
– Cel.: +39 349.1841884 (Angelo)
– Cel.: +39 366.5028317 (Gianpaolo)
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Igor W. Schiaroli is specialized in new media and technology. He has expertise in publishing and media sector. He is an independent journalist and a writer but primary a technologist and an economist too. He has passion and curiousity about science and travel.
He had major roles for Italian and International Media and Telecommunications companies.