This morning we went to Commune di Calcata, which is located about five minutes (6,5km) from Mazzano Romano. The village of Calcata resembles Mazzano Castellano, but over time it has attracted a lot more tourists than Castellano. In both Castellano and Calcata lives around 1000 people. For this reason it was interesting to go and check the village to see the potential differences. It was both a good thing and a bad thing that the village was peaceful, since the tourists mostly arrive on the weekends. So during the weekdays the village is quite peaceful, but during the weekends it’s full of tourists. I twisted my ankle a few days ago, so my point of view was also from a disabled perspective.
The first impression of Calcata vecchia was more inviting than that of Mazzano. The road that led to the Calcata Vecchia was pretty peaceful, probably because of the weekday and also from the fact that Calcata is located at “the end” of a road (unlike Mazzano). In Calcata there were some limitations for driving during weekdays and holidays. There were a lot of parked cars on the sides of the road, because it isn’t possible to go to the “Calcata vecchia” by car. The route from the car (bus stop) went downhill and you could see the only entrance to the “fortress”. The pavers were a bit slippery, when walking down the slope, but it looked better than the asphalt that was used for example at the Mazzano “entrance”.
The courtyard of the Calcata Vecchia was filled with cobblestones from the Treja-river, which made the walks look jewel-like, but also made it almost impossible to walk with crutches :D. The light paving made the atmosphere feel more bright and soft. From Castellano I haven’t been able to find jewel-like paving stones, instead the small streets are dark gray stone pavers. It makes the streets feel gloomy, dark, and with an echo. The most notable similarities were the conduit solutions and covered streets. When walking down the streets, it felt like the sizes of the houses were more “humane” and not so massive as in some of the houses in Castellano. The streets were more verdant. The avenues were spacious and bright (at the day time) which gave the illusion, that they were easier to walk on. You could see that it was a tourist place, due to the fact that the streets had some decorations and a few souvenir shops. There were also tables and benches, which were probably private property but also tourist could use them.
One interesting difference with the Castellano was the hidden “terraces” which opened up to a wide view of the landscape. They created desirable spots around the town. E.g in Castellano there are two long bridge-like streets for pedestrians (and cars), from where one can look at the beautiful view, but the atmosphere was not the same as in Calcata Vecchia. Some of these semi-hidden places even had “straight drops” without any good railings. In the midst of the narrow streets were small Piazzas with restaurants. In Mazzano the locals said that they don’t use bicycles because the terrain is so bumpy, but at least in Calcata children were taught how to ride bikes (as seen in the picture) 😀
Calcata felt more inviting and cozy and not as stony as Castellano. They both had small avenues which provided a nice shade from the Sun, but in Calcata there were also small piazzas, verdant areas and “secret” views. It’s not very common to think about what it would be like to live in a place like this if you were disabled or an elderly person. What kind of challenges would it bring? After using crutches to get around here, I can understand that while I am capable of doing it, I wouldn’t try to get to places that were hard to go to. This same comment was heard yesterday from the Mazzano locals at a meeting we had with them. Many of the roads are curvy, bumpy and inclined. They have lots of holes and obstacles, and most places are inaccessible by car. Despite all this, both villages are special and give their own unique experience. I highly recommend you to visit both of them, without the crutches if at all possible. 😉
Ciao tutti! belli e brutti!