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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Superstrada Extension

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For those of you who don't already know the first house we purchased in Italy was south-west of Vetralla immersed in the countryside. We always knew that it was not going to be that far from the intended extension of the Orte- Viterbo superstrada, read about it here in Italian which will one day go all the way to Civitavecchia and thus join up with the coastal motorway to Roma.

For many years the superstrada just stopped on the junction with the Vetralla to Tuscania road. We hoped that one day the road would be extended thereby giving us easier access to the coast and Roma and take the heavy traffic off the current busy Vetralla to Tarquinia road.

However, what we did not bank on was that the route was changed without our knowledge. As for some reason in Italy it appears it was on our responsibility to view changes in proposals at the commune and notice the superstrada was now to be within half a kilometre of our property and part of it possibly even closer!

We discovered this change in the route only after having already put the house in the market, it always having been our intention to stay there for a maximum of five years before finding another project to keep us busy. Knowing that houses can take much longer to sell in Italy we decided to allow ourselves plenty of time and put it up for sale in the summer of 2008 four years after purchasing.  We had initial interest in the property far quicker than we expected, however the proposed purchaser did not like what he discovered, neither did we. For awhile we were full of doom and gloom as if we did not sell before the roadworks commenced, it was unlikely we would sell until it was all completed. Upheaval like that tends to put buyers off, not surprisingly.

We were extremely fortunate in that it was an attractive and well maintained property with enough land surrounding it, that people looking for easy access to Roma or Viterbo were still interested in viewing the house.  Luckily for us by November 2008 we had found a buyer who was not unduly concerned by the road improvements and in January 2009 we completed on the deal. It was actually a great relief to us to sell and move out as by then work had already started even if only in a minor way.

David was on business in the area recently and took these photos to show me. As you can see the work is now well under way. I think the enormous bridge that was being lowered into place, will be visible from the house, the lights on it most certainly will be!

The stretch of superstrada now under construction is around 9km, starting from the junction of the Tuscania road which has been sitting unfinished for many years while the route was decided and funds found. There are a lot of Etruscan sites in the area and we believe this is one of the reasons the route was altered slightly.

Although not a motorway with a speed limit of 90kph it is still a substantial sized construction of two lanes in each direction with an overall width of just under 19 metres, quite a swathe through the country side. This section to the next intersection at Cinelli is one of the most complex to be built in the whole Orte to Civitavecchia route. In fact it will consist of five bridges, seven overpasses and the junction itself with four entry and exit ramps.

The junction itself would have been quite a structure to live so close too, especially as one was not expecting to do so. We are not against this road and never have been otherwise would not have contemplated buying the house in the first place. It is a necessary evil of twenty first century life and part of the infrastructure urgently required if Viterbo is ever able to support the planned airport.



  1. Absolutely! I've lost my bearings a bit but doesn't this carve up the land very close to your old house? I'm a bit directionally challenged!!! And of course, presumably the value of your old property would be badly affected if you were still there and wanted to sell! xxxMaggie

  2. It sure does Maggie, much closer than the original plans!


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