Ronciglione, Cimini Park, Vico Lake

Located on the south of the Cimini Mountains, the medieval part of Ronciglione stands on a large tufaceous ridge where two rivers join -: Rio Vicano, which is an emissary of Lake Vico, and Fosso Chianello which currently flows underground due to it being filled in by the Farnese Family in the 16thcentury. Originally Ronciglione had three entrances: Porta Castello, in Piazza dell’Olmo, Ponte delle Tavole and Porta Pèntoma under the Provvidenza bell-tower. The oldest document mentioning the name of Ronciglione dates back to 1103.

Ronciglione was an economically advanced center for its vast manufacturing apparatus including ironworks, ramblers, paper mills, ceramics, armouries, printing works… It was actively linked to various Academies and print works where the first Italian edition of “Secchia Rapita” by Tassoni (1642) and “Aminta” by Tasso were printed.

Located in the north of Ronciglione is the highest lake above sea level in the country- Lake Vico, probably one of the best preserved Italian, volcanic lakes. It is listed as an area of outstanding natural value in Lazio and the habitat of rare plant species. It is also part of the Vico Nature Reserve allowing the preservation of many rare animal species.Tito Livio mentioned the park of the Cimini Mountains for its impenetrability. In fact the geological events that took place around the Cimino-Vicano volcanic complex had an impact on the vegetation of the Cimini Mountains: the lava of the two areas was very rich in potassium therefore it provided an exceptional foundation for plant growth. The lava, together with the particular fresh, humid micro-climate due to the proximity to Lake Vico as well as the altitude, contributed to thick vegetation flourishing. On the slopes and the summit of Mount Cimino at a height of 1053 meters, there is an ancient, thick, beech forest (Fagus sylvatica) with trees dating back hundreds of years.

Descending to a lower altitude you can also find chestnut trees (Castanea sativa), black and white hornbeams (Ostrya carpinifolia, Carpinus betulus) and Turkey oaks (Quercus cerris) covering Mount Palanzana (802 meters), Mount Fogliano (965 meters) and the other elevations.