Lazio is a beautiful region with a lot to offer, but very often tourists tend to stop only in Rome, overlooking the rest of this splendid area with unspoilt countryside and lots of history and art to offer.
One of the best way to explore the region is certainly by bike as there are plenty of interesting routes.
A good one is the route following the abandoned railway that used to connect the small town of Capranica with Civitavecchia, mainly famous to be one of the most important ports for cruise ships.
The railway was open in 1929, mainly to be used for goods transport, but didn’t have long life; it was damaged during Second World War and then in the 50’s, with the advent of cars, it started to be neglected. It ceased to work in the 70’s and was never brought back to life, not even after a plan for restoration started in the 90’s.
So it is now mainly used by cyclists and hikers that want to explore the beautiful landscapes.
The route starts at the Capranica-Sutri station (just out of the station, turn on the right, the beginning of the path is marked by two concrete blocks). It is long 51 Km, with a very light ascent of 210 metres, reaching a maximum height of 390 metres. Most of the path is unpaved and normally it takes around 3 hours to complete it.
It is not a very difficult route, although there are some points where you may need to get off your bike.
Also water and mud may be a problem at times if it has rained in the previous days.
Along the way you will find various galleries (now often used as stables by the locals) and the charming rests of the old stations.Other than that it is just intact and relaxing, beautiful nature.
You will find some more info on the following links:
http://www.paolaegino.it/MTB/descrizioni/036des.htm – only for Italian speakers, but there is a map of the path
http://viaggiandovaldi.wordpress.com/2013/04/27/lungo-la-ex-ferrovia-da-capranica-a-civitavecchia-con-viaggiandovaldi/ – with an English translation
Pictures are courtesy of Alessio Gandolfo.