Anguillara Sabazia guide: what to do, eat, and see on your trip
Anguillara Sabazia is the nearest to Rome of the three main cities on Lake Bracciano. You can reach it by a 40-minute train ride from the Valle Aurelia subway station, and then a ride on the Schiaffini public bus to the old town. The old town of Anguillara Sabazia is perched on a tuff cliff, and is filled with cute alleys and small squares, more than Bracciano and Trevignano. The urban structure of the old town is medieval. The town takes its name from the shape of the coast, which forms a 90° angle (angulo in latin), and also from the name of the family that ruled the area and built a fortress there around the 11th century (the Anguillara family). Visiting Anguillara Sabazia is a simple day-trip from Rome to a town which is chosen as a holiday destination by both local and European travelers. The best time to visit Anguillara is from June to November.
How to get from Rome center to Anguillara Sabazia
Get on a subway and get off at either the Piramide or Valle Aurelia station. From there, take a city train heading for Bracciano or Viterbo, and get off at Anguillara Sabazia (make sure the train stops at Anguillara Sabazia before boarding).
How to get from Anguillara Sabazia train station to the beach.
Take the “Schiaffini” public bus (you can buy the ticket when you board the bus) and get off at Lungolago when you see the beach. The trip takes about 10 minutes.
SELF-GUIDED SCENIC WALK IN ANGUILLARA SABAZIA
Stroll on the lake’s boardwalk along the Viale Reginaldo Belloni. You’ll find coffee shops, beach facilities, benches, and the shade of tall trees. If you have your bathing suit and a beach towel with you, you can also have a refreshing swim in the lake, like the locals and people from nearby Rome love to do during the summers. Have a look inside the tiny “Chiesa della Madonna delle Grazie” church. Then keep walking on the lakeshore along Via del Molo and Via delle Rupi, until you reach a small square that looks like an amphitheater. Take a look at the houses that shape the image of the old town of Anguillara Sabazia from the shores of Lake Bracciano. Have a coffee, frozen yogurt or gelato in the Piazza del Molo, and get ready to reach the top of the cliff – it’s just a short climb. From the Piazza del Molo you can reach the Piazza del Lavatoio and walk up the stairs on the left side of “Lo Sfizio del Molo” eatery to the Piazza del Comune. From there, keep going up to the lookout point at the medieval tower, and afterwards go back to the Piazza del Comune and walk to the church of Santa Maria Assunta, also known as the Collegiata Church, from where you’ll have stunning views of the blue water of Lake Bracciano.
POINTS OF INTEREST IN ANGUILLARA SABAZIA
Fountain of the Eels.
“Eel” is translated “anguilla” in Italian. The eel is commonly identified as the archaic symbol of the town of Anguillara Sabazia and of the House of Anguillara, that used to rule in the region. Other researchers argue that the name of the city derives from the Latin word “angularia” (translated “which forms an angle”), and must relate to the shape of the promontory on which the town lies. The fountain of the eels is located next to the massive old gate of the town and in front of the town hall (Baronial Palace).
Fountain of the Eels in Anguillara Sabazia
The Baronial Palace
This was erected in the 16th century, and today hosts the municipal headquarters or town hall. It preserves some frescoes which were recently restored.
The Medieval Tower
It is now the home of the Farmer’s Museum. From the garden surrounding the tower, there is another sweet view of the lake.
The Collegiata Church
This late-medieval church was only renovated once. Some of the frescoes date back to the 14th century. The church is the highest point in the old town, and marks one of the most spectacular views of Lake Bracciano.
Church of San Francesco
This church dates back to the XV century and hosts what was once a monastery of Franciscan Monks. It needed several renovations, but still presents the original structure and materials. It hides remarkable frescoes, especially in the apsis.
Church of San Francesco
HIKE FROM ANGUILLARA TO LAKE MARTIGNANO
This is an easy 2-hour hike in the countryside from the town of Anguillara Sabazia to Lake Martignano. The lake lies hidden from sight among the green valleys of a nature reserve. You need to bring a bit of food and water with you, since the area is completely isolated, but you can find plenty of shade under the trees. This is a fine place to relax and contemplate nature. To reach the lake, start walking at the intersection of the Via Anguillarese and the Via della Mola Vecchia (you can get here with a bus ride from the lake or from the train station), then follow the instructions on your Google Maps until you get to the lake. This is one of the best hikes near a major city, and you will enjoy it even if you have kids with you, but remember to wear hiking shoes, and avoid to go in case of bad weather.
WHERE TO EAT IN ANGUILLARA SABAZIA
Pescheria Toto fish-shop and restaurant
A fish-shop facing the lake with tables, menus, and a kitchen. Have your fish straight-away. Specialties are the variety of fried saltwater and freshwater fish, fish salad, and supplì with fish. You can have them together with a glass of wine or a beer. If you get there at the aperitivo hour, you’ll have a glass of your favorite drink
Fried fish at Pescheria Toto
This restaurant makes pizza and a lot of traditional Italian dishes. A simple, classic restaurant with big rooms, so that you’re sure to find a seat.
Pizzeria da Brontolo
This place specializes in pizza, and it’s got more than 100 varieties! The cook likes to offer customers a challenge: if they can eat a huge pizza in less than 20 minutes, that pizza is for free… For a new twist in the way of pizzas, try the pizza with honey and walnuts.
A place where you can get your meal at pretty much any time of the day. Start with a classic breakfast with cappuccino and cornetto, then come back at lunch when you can choose from the showcase which dishes of the day you want to try. They have all kinds of baked goods, including sliced pizza, and many desserts. Probably the nicest aperitivo in Anguillara – when you order a drink, you get a tray of sliced pizza, home-made chips, and other snacks.
Caffè-gelato shop “il Principe”
Because of its location and the number of outside tables facing the lake, in a privileged position next to an ancient church, this deserves the top spot in terms of coffee shops in Anguillara. This is also the place for gelato in Anguillara, they make the best one.
Roughly one km from the historical center, this pizzeria makes amazing pizza of any kind. They work mostly with take-out, but they do have a dining room on the first floor and an outside garden, if you want to eat there. Because of the convenient prices and the exceptional quality, this place is popular among families with kids. Their supplì (typical balls of rice with ragu or vegetarian filling, covered in breadcrumbs and fried) are undoubtedly the best in town.
Il Gabbiano Cafeteria
The interior looks like a tiny, traditional Italian coffee-shop, but the porch overlooking the pier has comfy seats and room for everyone. Besides coffee, drinks, and gelato, they prepare abundant, economic panini, cold-cut platters and salads with fresh local ingredients. Recommended particularly for vegan and vegetarian travelers.
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Hope you liked this guide to the town of Anguillara Sabazia… let me know in the comments if it was helpful on your trip!