Rome A Day Trip to Castelli Romani
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Rome A Day Trip to Castelli Romani

An escape from the city to small villages and noble residences to eat good food and try Castelli Romani wines.

Fresh air from the hills, volcanic lakes, noble residences, green trails and lots of fine products: Castelli Romani, a series of wine-producing hilltop towns, are a favourite weekend destination for many Romans, who often choose this location instead of the seaside. A quick drive from the capital, this constellation of small villages is an easy escape from the city, and offers insight into the region’s ancient history and great culinary tradition. Here you can taste the famous Frascati Superiore DOCG white wine, the fragrant Genzano IGP homemade bread and the tasty Ariccia IGP porchetta.

Castel Gandolfo is home to the Papal Palace, a former summer retreat for the Pope, now open to the public by Pope Francis who eschewed the luxurious property. The palace was built between 1624 and 1626 by Pope Urban VII Barberini and designed by Carlo Maderno with the collaboration of Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Similar in beauty is the nearby Palazzo Chigi, overlooking Piazza di Corte in Ariccia, and the Scuderie Aldobrandini in Frascati, a 17th century building renovated by architect Massimiliano Fuksas which now houses a permanent archaeological exhibition and numerous cultural fairs.

There’s an array of thematic itineraries to choose from, ranging from the sacred theme, discovering sanctuaries and places of worship, to the natural theme, exploring the forest pathways around Lakes Nemi and Albano in the heart of Castelli Romani’s natural park. For a truly local experience, seek out a “Fraschetta”, a simple and informal tavern with noisy yet fun atmosphere, whose name derives from the ancient practice by farmers and wine producers to place a “frasca”, a bough, above the restaurant entrance to indicate that the wine was ready for consumption. Here, you may feast on cold cuts, cheese and traditional Roman dishes like carbonara, paired with the typical Castelli house wine.

The Grape Festival The Marino Grape Festival has been celebrated on the first Sunday in October since 1925.
Infiorata Festival (floral display) The world's oldest Flower Festival has been held in June in Genzano di Roma since 1778.