Built around Baglioni Castle, in a unified body with the houses, the village of Graffignano, known as ‘Di Dentro’, stands on top of a cliff in the Valle del Tevere surrounded by pristine woods.
It has had many owners in its history, ownership disputed even within the same family, with Viterbo and the pope, until it was inherited by Domitilla Cesi Baglioni. She brought in the worship and relics of Saint Philip Neri, a friend of hers, and there was such devotion that it was to him that people resorted to protect the harvests or pray for better harvests. Even today, the expression in dialect, “tocca espone san Filippo (we need St. Philip)” is used when the season is unfavourable.
A must-see is the Archaeological Museum with remains of the recently uncovered Roman villa of Poggio la Guardia, hosted in the Castle of Sipicciano, a beautiful residence whose rooms have frescoed friezes and wooden ceilings, and two monumental octagonal towers at the entrance.
The Sanctuary of the Madonna del Castellonchio, with a fascinating history, is a beloved place of worship: Our Lady appeared in a dream to a sick woman and expressed the wish that a church be built in the place where the snow would fall on August 8th. Construction began after the miraculous snowfall and an oak tree was knocked down: a trickle of water began to flow from the trunk.
The excellent DOC Colli Etruschi and Orvieto wines are produced in this area, and Graffignano boasts of a little-known but very high quality extra virgin olive oil, produced by a family business, available in the numerous mills only in the harvest months. And to really experience the village atmosphere, don’t miss the August snail festival, Sagra della lumaca.