This is a charmingly eccentric place. I've visited other hill towns where the flow of tourists has led to rows of souvenir shops, upmarket galleriess and facilities for coach tours. Calcata is still endearingly ramshackle. What it lacks in careful restoration it makes up for in atmosphere.
In the afternoon, waiting for the bus, I enjoyed a delicious and refreshing iced tea and a cake on a gorgeous roof terrace up steep steps from a tea room, La Sala, where two ladies played cards. I could have sat there for hours in the sunshine looking out over the green wooded valley and hills, but the bus was due. Another eccentric bathroom filled with decorations, another interruption to the card game as I paid, and then it was time to leave.
|Lemon and strawberry cake with iced tea at La Sala|
On my return journey I had to board the bus without a ticket (I literally had to sprint for the bus at Saxa Rubra that morning and didn't have time to purchase a spare). I ended up travelling back to Rome for free, as the friendly driver refused to sell me a double-price on-board ticket on ethical grounds despite my willingness to pay ("They're too expensive," he said "It's excessive") .
My article about Calcata is here: www.italyheaven.co.uk/lazio/calcata.html
|Stone thrones, Calcata|