Day trip drive: Calcata, Italy

When I browse the photos in Gadling’s photo pool to look for a “Photo of the Day” post, inspirational, lush, funky and interesting shots are aplenty. It’s hard to choose between them. Yesterday’s choice, David Farley’s shot of the restaurant, La Grotta dei Germogli gives a hint of the pleasure of being there which is one reason it caught my attention. It left me intrigued, prompting me to find out more about it. Oh, my goodness! This is a reason to head to Italy.

Calcata, where the restaurant is located, is a medieval village in the hills, 30 miles from Rome, thus a day trip suggestion. The town, over the years, has been taken over by the artsy crowd. When the government condemned it back in the 1930 because officials worried that the volcanic rock cliffs that it sits on would crumble, people moved out. But, the 1960s happened and hippies and artists moved in turning the town into a happening place.

I came across this New York Times article that details Calcata’s path from ghost town to groovy. It has something to do with the positive energy the village exudes. If you’re going to be in Rome, this looks like a terrific gallery and eatery filled spot to mellow out. There’s the blue chair folding chair on the balcony overlooking the hills with your name on it. It’s at the La Grotta dei Germogli. If you go, the gnocchi with almond pesto sounds delicious.