Just outside the chaos of the city, 40 kilometers north-east of Rome, caught between Umbria and Lazio, a jewel of greenery and nature, history, ancient monuments, rural and culinary traditions.
It is Sabina, a land that derives its name from the Sabini people, who settled there and founded the city as Reate and Cures Sabini.
To be in Sabina is to be viewing the expanse of silvery olive trees, the soft profile of the hills that go up on the horizon. It is like traveling through time, as if at any moment, among the olive trees were to emerge a Benedictine monk in a straw hat waiting to greet you.
This is the heart of the region, it smells of earth and herbs; arriving at around lunchtime brings a scent of dishes, prepared with wholesome and healthy products, macaroni, cheese soup and vegetables, hit you.
We stopped at the Farfa farm house, where we are greeted by a smiling lady who invites us to take a walk around the house and visit the farm. It is possible to buy the oil, the most famous and prized product of Sabina, fragrant and light, but also with a long history (Sabina’s olive trees were well known to the ancient Romans). You can taste and buy delicious cheese, fresh eggs and vegetables.
In addition to tastings this is an opportunity for children to experience the nature that, in our towns, seems decidedly forgotten.
Thus, taking advantage of an unexpected sun, ahead of spring time, we follow the lady suggestion to go for a stroll in order to “…promote the appetite”. After seeing sheep, lambs, pigs and hens we return to the farm house and we are ravenous.
The pleasant atmosphere of the hall with its large fireplace and wooden beams of the ceiling, surrounds and takes us for lunch. All dishes are simple and tasty, like the appetizers with cheese, meats and vegetables of the farm. The home made “tagliatelle al ragu’” (pasta with meat and tomato sauce), chicken, rabbit and “abbacchio” (lamb) were unforgettable. But the peak was the sweet, delicious, ricotta cake which is special and, just out of shyness, do not ask for that third slice!
To complete your day, take advantage of the afternoon sun, to reach Farfa Abbey, a rare example of Carolingian architecture in the context of the charming old town. The shiny cobblestones echoed with our footsteps, but we respect the silence that brings us closer to the spirituality of the place.
Just a look to the herbalist shop before the guided visit to the abbey, cloisters and its small museum. Beautiful, unique, evocative. Modern, overwhelming, drag in an age that is no longer there, and while a voice explains the various steps, the Turks, the arrival of Charlemagne, the Abbot Ugo and his monks, I think that each of the characters in the windows look at you with fixed magnetic glances (from which it is difficult to look away elsewhere), sending the enchantment of a wonderful story, and far out of stones and towers remain, mosaics and glass pieces to confirm their existence.
What more is there to say? I suggest you to visit this land in order to appreciate the charm and bring home the emotions that I hope to have passed to you.