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Valentano: art, culture, and gastronomy between lake and sea

Defined by many as a terrace between lake and sea, the territory of Valentano has been inhabited since prehistoric times, as evidenced by important findings of pile-dwelling villages located in Lake Mezzano.

Art, culture, and gastronomy between lake and sea

Described by many as a terrace between the lake and the sea, the territory of Valentano has been inhabited since prehistoric times, as evidenced by important findings of pile-dwelling villages located in Lake Mezzano. Like the neighboring towns, in the middle of the 14th century, the town became the possession of the powerful Farnese family. The historic center of the village is a place that is well worth more than one visit. From Piazza Cavour, the main square of the small municipality, you can see the Town Hall and Porta Magenta, built at the end of the 18th century. One of the best-known buildings in the area is the Fortress and Farnese Castle, built in the year one thousand.

In the 1970s, the palace was restored and today it houses the Museum of Prehistory of Tuscia. The museum is divided into two main sections: the prehistoric and the medieval Renaissance and modern sections. In the first section, artifacts from the Upper Lazio (Tuscia) dating from a period between the Lower Paleolithic and the Iron Age are displayed, originating from the most important sites in the area. In the second section, there are exhibits that narrate the development of the territory from the Early Middle Ages, with particular attention to the history of the Farnese Family between 1300 and 1600; of particular interest is the extensive collection of majolica found in the “butti” of the castle, including the wedding dowry of Pier Luigi Farnese and Gerolama Orsini (1519). When in Valentano, one cannot miss visiting the Church of Santa Maria, the Church of Santa Croce, and the Church of Madonna del Monte.

Events in Valentano

In this place, throughout the year, several traditional events take place. It begins with the Befanata on January 5th, followed by Carnival with various events, the Cedro Fair, the Thoroughbred Horse Races, the Lamb Bujone Festival, and the celebration of San Giustino in September. Among the excellent agricultural and food products of the Valentano area, a special mention goes to the “cece del solco dritto,” a legume of great importance known since the time of the Etruscans.