Surroundings of Rome: An experience of food, nature and art at the Castelli Romani
From the town of Ariccia to Frascati, crossing the picturesque lakes of Nemi and Castel Gandolfo, the Castelli Romani offer a unique experience that combines food and wine, nature and art. If you have decided to spend a few days in Rome or its surroundings, you absolutely cannot miss an excursion in this area.
Located on the outskirts of Rome, towards the southeast, this fascinating region will welcome you with its breathtaking architecture, its unique history and its culinary delights, the result of a land capable of conquering any traveller. Get ready to enjoy a tour that involves all five senses, immersing yourself in nature and in the streets of the most evocative villages of Lazio, located a few kilometers from Rome. Are you ready for an adventure that will tickle your senses and take you to discover enchanting and legendary places?
Among the Colli Albani, the most famous town is undoubtedly Frascati, a charming village located at the foot of Mount Tuscolo, rich in monuments and famous for its twelve Tuscolane Villas, built since the sixteenth century. Among these, stands out for its importance and beauty the Villa Aldobrandini, characterized by a classic facade and beautiful Italian gardens. Inside the villa, there are numerous frescoes made by famous personalities of the time, with a Baroque and Mannerist style.
After visiting the wonders of Frascati, you could stop at one of the many typical taverns in the area. You absolutely cannot miss the opportunity to taste delicious local wines and traditional desserts. The "pupazza", a shortbread biscuit in the shape of a woman, made with millefiori honey from Agro Pontino, deserves a special mention. One of the distinctive features of these cookies is the representation of the woman with three breasts, a reference to the Roman deity of abundance. According to local tradition, the third breast symbolizes the most important production of Frascati: wine. You can’t leave Frascati without tasting the pan giallo, a sweet prepared with almonds, pine nuts, cedar peel and spices.
Lariano is located at the foot of the Artemisio mountain range, a few kilometers from Velletri. Today, Lariano is renowned for its baked goods, made with the characteristic dark flour produced locally, but it is also famous for its famous Porcini Mushroom Festival, which attracts thousands of visitors every year. Most of its territory is included in the Regional Park of the Castelli Romani, and the surrounding forests offer the opportunity to participate in interesting excursions. Lariano bread has been recognized as a traditional food product of the Lazio region and is cooked exclusively with chestnut wood.
Ariccia is another essential stop to include in a tour in the Castelli Romani area. The old town of Ariccia is neat and charming, with its beating heart revolving around the central Piazza della Repubblica, designed by Bernini in 1662 and embellished by the sober but magnificent facade of the Church of Santa Maria dell'Assunzione.
After a pleasant walk along the bridge of Ariccia, which offers a beautiful view of the surrounding countryside and the nearby coastline, you could stop in one of the typical "fraschette". This term indicates the traditional locals of the city that for centuries have delighted thousands of tourists. Ariccia has become famous all over the world especially for the porchetta, an aromatic pig and baked in the oven. Its preparation has been handed down from generation to generation for centuries: tradition even attributes the invention of the process to the Latin priests, who used this method to treat meat intended for ritual sacrifices. A part of the meat was offered in homage to Jupiter Laziale, at the temple of Monte Cavo dedicated to the father of the gods. Today, what remains of that building is located nearby, in the territory of Rocca di Papa.
Monte Porzio Catone
A pleasant trip out of town can not miss a visit to Monte Porzio Catone, where you can spend a few hours exploring the historic center, the Church of San Gregorio Magno and the fascinating city museum. The church, designed by Carlo Rainaldi in 1666 and dedicated to Pope Gregory XIII, offers a historical testimony of great importance. In the City Museum, you can admire numerous archaeological finds of great value.
One of the specialties of the area is the production of excellent wines. You cannot leave without stopping at a local tavern to enjoy a good glass of this nectar of the gods. At Monte Porzio Catone there is also the "Museo Diffuso del Vino", located in Via Vittorio Emanuele II. Open only on weekends, the museum offers a fascinating exhibition that will guide you through the history of wine and the different local productions, enriched with interesting information.
Castel Gandolfo, a charming village located on Lake Albano, is considered one of the jewels of the peninsula. The town is famous for being the summer residence of the popes, attracted by the beauty of its surroundings and the fresh and pure air that you breathe. Immersed in the Parco dei Castelli Romani, it offers not only a dream nature, but also many places of historical and artistic interest, including the Villa Albana in Domiziano, which houses the suggestive Ninfeo Bergantino.
Other notable buildings that have been preserved to this day include the church of San Tommaso da Villanova and the Bernini fountain, built from the 17th century, when Castel Gandolfo became the property of the Holy See. However, the history of this charming town is much older, going back even to the ancient Latin city of Albalonga. During your visit, you can delight your palate with a lunch or dinner at one of the suggestive panoramic restaurants that offer a breathtaking view of the lake, created inside an ancient crater. You can not miss a stop at the Papal Palace, also known as "Delizia Carolina", and the Villa Torlonia, famous for its extraordinary collection of neoclassical sculptures. Castel Gandolfo has hosted numerous personalities over the centuries, including the German writer Goethe. In short, if you have chosen the Rome with View Rooms in Rome for your stay, do not forget to explore the enchanting area of the Castelli Romani and discover all the secrets that make it so fascinating!