Just south of Rome, in the Alban Hills, lies a string of hilltowns, villages, and vineyards called the Castelli Romani. One of my favorites is Frascati the largest and best known for it’s wines and beautiful villas. Amazingly many of these towns survived the heavy bombing of World War ll. More than 50% of Frascati was destroyed in the war.
Located a short 12 miles (20km) southeast of Rome, Frascati is easily reached by train, car, or taxi. I recommend taking the train from Roma Termini station. Depending on the specific train It takes between 30 and 40 minutes. The regional trains cost about 2 euros one way and it is best to buy a round trip ticket at Termini as sometimes the ticket counter in Frascati is closed for lunch or coffee breaks and you don’t want to miss a train or get on a train without a ticket.
Home to many well preserved villas including Villa Aldobrandini, Villa Falconieri, Villa Parisi, Villa Grazioli, Villa Lancellotti, Villa Muti built by Popes, cardinals, and roman nobles, Frascati is easy on the eyes. Not all the villas are open to the public but many allow access to the gardens.
We were fortunate to visit in the Fall and the weather was beautiful. The day was as crisp as a bottle of the well known wine. I will tell you that you do a lot of walking and stair climbing in this town. I am not telling you this to discourage you but to ensure that you are mentally prepared. The effort is worth the amazing views of Rome and surrounding area which you will have many opportunities to photograph. The city center is easily walked and there are many good restaurants to choose from.
If you have unlimited energy I would recommend a walk up past Villa Aldobrandini along Via Cardinale Guglielmo Massaia to the church of San Francesco d’Assisi part of the Monastery of the Cappuccini. It is a beautiful walk and the monastery and church at the summit are charming.
After exerting yourself enjoy lunch and of course some Frascati wine at one of the many cantinas, osterias, and trattorias in the town. Make sure you bring your camera and your appetite. Buon Viaggio!!
- The Perfect Lunchtime Trip from Rome to Frascati (missexpatria.com)
- Visit a Frascati Vinyard (Tastingrome.blogspot.com)
- History of the Castelli Romani (wikitravel.com)