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Sabina is an area situated in central Italy. It was originally conquered by an ancient tribe, the Sabines, who were founders of the cities of Cures Sabini and Reate. Nowadays the Sabina area covers the Rieti district between the Tiber valley to the west, the Apennine mountains to the east, Umbria to the north and part of the Rome district called Sabina Romana to the south.
A beautiful lake Sabino
Sabina is an ancient borderland, shaped by time and full of ancient memories, monuments and fascinating traditions.
Travelling through Sabina, following its rivers and old roads, becomes a journey in time where one discovers the gifts of this unspoilt land, its forests, lakes, festivals and unequalled culinary specialities.
This is the Centre of Italy and Rieti is considered to be the Umbilicus Italiae.
This is the land of fortified villages called Castrum which stand high on green hills and are surrounded by olive groves, vineyards and centuries-old oak trees.
Discovering Sabina, you will come across interesting combinations of history and nature as in Farfa Abbeyz, Greccio following the tracks of St. Francis, the Lake Salto and Lake Turano Nature Reserves, Europe’s oldest olive tree in Canneto, and the Upper Velino valley.
"Sabina" means "time of leisure" and most of all a sense of well-being coming from the contact with nature, eating excellent local food and excursions in the nature reserves. You can go hiking, mountain biking, fishing, hang gliding, skiing, you can play golf and basketball, or do athletics.
Because of its natural configuration, the high plateau of Rieti has always attracted lovers of extreme sports.
The therapeutic properties of the hot thermal springs in Sabina were already much appreciated by the Romans, the sulphur baths in Cotilia and Antrodoco and the mineral baths in Cottorella.
Green hills and unspoilt
Over time the waterways shaped the landscape, creating a series of uncontaminated environments of great naturalistic interest which have been turned into protected areas:
The Tiber Valley, where the Farfa river flows into the Tiber. This is the protected area of Nazzano, a beautiful landscape which attracts many visitors who love bird watching, unspoilt nature and bike riding;
The Duchessa Mountains Nature Reserve, an example of rich biodiversity, an area covered with centuries-old beech and yew trees. It can be easily reached taking the A24 motorway;
The Mount Navegna and Mount Cervia Nature Reserve between Lazio and Abruzzo with its ancient forests where falcons, eagles, wolves and wild cats live undisturbed;
The Lucretili Mountains Park, the southern part of the Sabini Mountains close to Rome, an uncontaminated paradise with lush spontaneous vegetation where many different types of animals find shelter;
The Mount Terminillo
The Lakes Lungo and Ripasottile Nature Reserve, two lakes connected by a water-pump system that regulates the water level. Following the trails suggested by the Reserve’s Visitors Centre you can admire scenes of great natural beauty, for example the spectacular beauty of the water lilies blooming in June.
Salto, Turano, Ripasottile and Scandarello are the four major lakes in the area. In Lake Salto the top of a submerged bell tower rises above the surface.
Sabina, a territory with ancient traditions, offers healthy, genuine food, organically grown with traditional methods. Black truffles, red chestnuts from the Cicolano area, beans from Borbona and Colle di Tora, "marroni" chestnuts from Antrodoco, lentils from the Rascino area and many other products.
There is a great variety of local dishes prepared with excellent ingredients such as extra virgin olive oil DOP (certificate of protected origin): pasta all’amatriciana, one of the world’s most famous dishes and a speciality from Amatrice; pasta alla Griscia, Maccheroni a fezze o Jaccoli, Stracci di Antrodoco, Fregnacce alla sabinese, Strengozzi alla reatina and Sagne scandrigliesi.
Don’t forget to try "Acqua Cotta" a vegetable soup with bread, grated cheese and olive oil, or other traditional soups with vegetables and legumes like "Panonta" and Minestra di Farro (Spelt soup). In Poggio Bustone and Selci you can find excellent Porchetta (roast pork flavoured with herbs) and in Accumoli and Leonessa wonderful pecorino cheese. You will be able to taste many more excellent products in the local restaurants or at the village festivals (sagre) which are held all year round.
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