With the solstice of June 21, the Italian summer officially began, bringing with it the inevitable desire to indulge in days of leisure and new experiences.
Outdoor trips, in this period, become a precious and regenerating custom. They allow, in fact, to savour the adventure of the trip, interrupting the tight rhythm of the weekly routine, waiting for the real holidays, but without deviating too much from your daily life and, above all, without having to go to distant places or even to cross the border.
For those in Rome, or the surroundings, in the most uncontaminated Lazio between Formello and Campagnano Romano, there is a park full of lush vegetation to spend a day in nature and try the memorable horseback ride experience.
A trip to the Sorbo Valley between horses and nature
We are talking about the Sorbo Valley, a site of Community Interest and part of the most extensive and historic Veio Park, which has become a regional park since 1997.
The territory, located north of Rome just outside the borders of the capital, was inhabited since prehistoric times by pre-Roman populations.
With the necropolis and archaeological remains, the Etruscan people left more traces before being incorporated by the first offshoots of ancient Rome already expanding.
The natural heritage of the Veio Park and the Sorbo Valley
From a naturalistic point of view, the Veio park is a very important site. Here are preserved ancient species that almost completely disappeared elsewhere.
Among these, we remember the Etruscan ghiozzo, a river fish that is found only in a limited area of the Tyrrhenian coast, the one corresponding precisely to the Etruscan territory, from which in fact it takes its name.
The Veio Park is also home to some wolfs that have been populating this territory for years, which can be seen thanks to night cameras.
Recognized as a regional park, the natural and animal species inhabiting the Veio Park are safeguarded.
The Sorbo Valley is also a territory rich in different aspects of naturalistic interest.
The Valley is crossed by the Cremera River, a tributary of the Tiber, and it still offers today all its splendour of uncontaminated natural beauty.
The name “Sorbo” (rowan tree) actually refers to the ancient plant that abounds in the valley and develops as a tree or shrub, producing fruits slightly larger than berries.
In addition to the rowan tree, the valley is rich in oak and maple forests. The lush vegetation makes it the ideal place for breeding animals, especially horses and cows, which graze here in the wild.
Despite being almost unknown and so close to the city, the Sorbo Valley allows nature lovers to carry out many activities, from horseback riding to mountain biking.
The Valley is one of the many treasures of our territory, pervaded by small chests of beauty that allow you to live valuable experiences.
A horseback ride in Lazio a few kilometres from Rome
Horses are a big attraction in the park. For those who want to take a horseback ride around Rome, the park is the ideal place to enjoy an adventurous and authentic experience.
You can take part in tours, go on trot, cross streams and accompany the horses to the watering hole, guided by the riders of the equestrian centre “Cavalli nel Sorbo”.
Of course, the guides adapt the route to the attitudes and experience of even the most inexperienced rider.
The walk therefore is suitable both for those who want to try for the first time an experience in the saddle, and for those who intend to go further, trying to govern the horse.
During the walk, you also have the opportunity to listen to the stories of the riding guides, who know the secrets of the park well.
Those small details that nature offers us but that, living mostly in large cities, unfortunately, we have lost the habit of recognizing.
The most valuable thing this experience offers nature lovers is the connection it creates with the animal.
Getting in tune with the movements of the animal, knowing its personality, supporting it to reduce its fatigue in the most impervious traits… and in the meantime enjoying the green and uncontaminated views of this historic park. That is the deepest meaning of this experience.
A picnic on the meadows next to the suggestive Mola di Formello
Arriving from the municipal parking, only a few meters ahead, you reach the most picturesque point of the park, the Mola di Formello.
Nowadays, the Mola looks like a waterfall of the Cremera River, which forms a small oasis with a small pond, where it seems to be in a fairy place.
The name Mola suggests that, in the past, the water jet of the waterfall was used to operate a mill or similar machinery, of which there are no traces to date.
Overcoming the pond there is instead an ancient bridge, probably Roman, but today dangerous and therefore no longer walkable.
The meadow just above the Mola is a large green space, where you can find shelter in the shade of large oak trees, cool off with the waters of the Cremera and meet the peaceful wild horses that inhabit the park.
Excursions in the Sorbo Valley on foot or by mountain bike
For the more daring visitors, the Sorbo Valley is also equipped with mountain bike trails of different levels, traced by the group of fans of this sport from the Formello area.
There are also numerous hiking trails that offer ring routes to visit the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Sorbo – an ancient sanctuary dating back to the year 1000, perched on one of the hills of the valley – and the Mola di Formello, also of different length and intensity, to give everyone the opportunity to move within the park without difficulty.
The CAI signposts the trails of the park so, following the usual white and red signs, it will be possible to juggle between the woods and the meadows of the Sorbo Valley.
To organize a trip out of town, around Rome, the ideas certainly do not lack. The territory of Lazio is rich in ideas for all tastes.
For those who want to try a new experience, such as a horseback ride, but also for those looking for a place for a classic relaxing break, enjoying a bit of cool during the summer months.
In short, it is not so difficult to discover all the alternatives that the Lazio territory offers to spend a weekend discovering new places.