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Discover the amazing Roman Castles!

Do you like history? Then you will LOVE this post! Let's talk about amazing places! Castelli Romani, in English “Roman Castles”, are not a set of castles lol, but they leave nothing to be desired! Shall we? Today we are going to give you a list of must-see places in Rome.

Ariccia, Lazio (Flick)
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Discover the amazing Roman Castles!

When talking about the Castelli Romani, we are talking about an area that comprises some villages situated in the Albani Hills, near Rome. This part of the territory of the province of Rome is very pleasant to visit and has numerous religious buildings, including beautiful churches and large monasteries, as well as historic buildings, civil buildings, archaeological remains and beautiful villages. Now, Discover the amazing Roman Castles! Here at Your Travel to Italy with Ana Patricia you make the trip of your dreams !!! ALSO: see our “Accommodation in Italy – Tips for your holidays!”

Our Introduction

Each location refers to a castle inhabited by a Roman baronial family who had left the capital because of Avignon’s captivity. There are 14 officially recognized municipalities, in addition to two others that are located in the territory, but have a very different culture and traditions from those of the Castles. Among the main places you have to remember Rocca di Papa, Rocca Priora, Grottaferrata, Frascati, Marino, Ariccia, Nemi, Castel Gandolfo, Velletri and Lariano. Read also What to do in Rome in 3 Days? and Gastronomic Experiences in Rome?

These cities located to the south of Rome, in Lazio, are famous for having been chosen from ancient times as a summer residence by the Romans and then by the distinguished noble families who built the castles in the Middle Ages, from which the area received its name.

The beauty of the landscapes and the quality of the wine, famous throughout the world, as well as other gourmet delights, have made it one of the most enchanting places to spend your vacation in Italy. Furthermore, it is a different way to spend days immersed in the history of the ancient fortified city, former residences of the rich bourgeoisie and beautiful volcanic lakes. Also read What to visit near Rome? The best round trips from Rome.

1) Discover the amazing Roman Castles! LANUVIO, FRASCATI, GROTTAFERRATA and ARICCIA

Once, in fact, the Albani Hills area was full of lava flows, where we now have lakes, such as Albano, always full of people looking for a little peace away from the hustle and bustle of the city. From a naturalistic point of view, the graceful lakes of volcanic origins and the regional park, the olive groves, the vineyards and the historic gardens of the palaces, offer the visitor a spectacular setting for a unique and exciting stay.

Lanuvio

You won’t have the opportunity to visit all of them, but you can visit the best known ones from Lanuvio, a medieval village that is close to Velletri. Lanuvio owes its name to the wool in which Juno Sospita was dressed and is the oldest center of the Albani Hills, which flourished throughout the Roman period until it was ravaged by barbarian invasions.

Lanuvio stands out, above all, for the beauty of the historic center and the wonderful panorama that gives visitors a unique feeling. Also in this center are preserved the remarkable remains of ancient monuments, such as the ruins of the Temple of Hercules and the Temple of Juno Sospita, dominating Lanuvio from the top of the St. Lawrence Hill. Dominating Lanuvio’s central square there is a powerful tower used first for military purposes and later as a prison. Today the tower houses the Municipal Wine Bar with the permanent exhibition of D.O.C. of ‘Colli Lanuvini’.

Genzano

From Lanuvio, along a panoramic road, you reach Genzano of Roma, a characteristic city located along Appia Street, which covers an outer lane of the crater of Lake Nemi. The historic center is rich in historical and artistic heritage, including the Sforza Cesarini Palace, surrounded by a centuries-old park; then there is the 17th century Church of the Capuchins and the Church of the Holy Trinity.

Genzano is also the ‘Flowery City’, a religious and popular event that has lived for over two centuries. It is held in the city, every June, and the city is covered with carpets of flowers that represent different scenes, especially religious ones.

Genzano, Lazio (Flick)

Ariccia

Along Appia Street until reaching Ariccia, another municipality that is an artistic treasure of the Castelli Romani. Here you can visit one of the best architectural examples of European Baroque, which was completed, in large part, by Gian Lorenzo Bernini and Carlo Fontana, such as the monumental complex of the Court Square, including the Chigi Palace, with its rooms rich with stucco decorations and precious antique furniture.

For food lovers, remember that this village is famous for its ‘fraschette’ where you can taste the delicious pork of Ariccia.

Ariccia, Lazio (Flick)

Frascati

Among the other cities in the Castelli Romani, Frascati is definitely a must-see. The name has an important history indeed; it was born after the destruction of Tusculum, which forced the inhabitants to take refuge in ‘houses of branches’, from which the city takes its name. In the old part of the city, overlooking the Cathedral of St. Peter, which dates back to the 16th century, works of art worthy of being noted are preserved. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT FRASCATI!

Its Villages and Local Products

Frascati was the city chosen by many noble Romans; inside it is possible to visit the famous villas, such as Villa Aldobrandini, whose splendid façade, with its Italian-style gardens, stands out over the entire city, and is one of the most pompous villas in the Castelli Romani. Among other Villas, you can remember Villa Falconieri and Villa Mondragone. In this place, you can’t miss a tasting of local products, especially the wines that inspired the famous folk song, about wine, which is sung in the Castles. The ‘fraschette’ are typical local taverns where visitors can taste good wine at a good price, olives, cheese, pork and typical Roman dishes.

Villa Tuscolana, Frascati, Lazio (Flick)

Grottaferrata

At this moment, there is another beautiful city of castles, in medieval style. It is Grottaferrata, which became famous for its Abbey of St Nilus, founded in 1004 by Byzantine monks from Calabria, and identified by scholars as the Cicero’s Tusculanum, from which very little was left standing.

The city is a large garden of natural and archaeological routes that are dominated by the Romans and, especially on feast days and on its most important event, the patron festival, held on March 26th, with such devotion in its traditional costumes. Unlike other more rustic regions, Grottaferrata is famous for its quality restaurants that make up the most important business activities in the city.

Grotaferrata, Lazio (Flick)

2) Discover the amazing Roman Castles! CASTEL GANDOLFO

The Castelli Romani, in any case, are famous for towns that tower over volcanic lakes, such as Castel Gandolfo, the Pope’s summer residence, which overlooks Lake Albano. The city is famous all over the world for the presence of the Pope’s summer palace, around which there are many other summer residences, villas and houses, which make Castel Gandolfo one of the most famous holiday resorts in Lazio. There are also several archaeological sites of interest, such as Diocletian’s Palace, the late-medieval walls, with stunning views of the lake and its historic center with the Praça da Liberdade, decorated with a small fountain by Bernini. The same sculptor from the church of St Thomas.

Castel Gandolfo (Italia.it)

3) Discover the amazing Roman Castles! NEMI

For a spectacular view of the surrounding green and blue panorama, but also for a essay of Roman history, delightful Nemi is well worth a visit. This small town looks like a charm hidden in the woods. The medieval village, the towers, the belvedere, the lake surrounded by cane fields and the strawberry greenhouses, in the area of ​​the Castelli Romani, are just some of the exhibitions in Nemi.

Roman Museum of Ships

Many painters and designers, as well as inspired poets and writers, have portrayed Nemi’s beauty. This city overlooks the lake of the same name, on the banks of which is the Roman Museum of Ships, built by Mussolini to house two ancient Roman ships discovered at the bottom of the lake, when it was partially drained between 1927 and 1932.

The Fraschette White Wine

Castelli Romani, as already mentioned, is known for its cuisine and for the white wine, which is produced in these areas. The peculiarities of these places are the ‘fraschette’, a characteristic place derived, more often, from the old canteens, where you can enjoy good wine and typical Roman dishes.

Nemi, Lazio (Flick)

How to get to the Castelli Romani?

You can reach the Castelli Romani region with the following means of transport:

1) How to Get to the Castelli Romani? BY AIRPLANE

The main airport is Leonardo Da Vinci – Fiumicino (How to get from Fiumicino Airport to Central Rome?) and Ciampino (How to get from Ciampino Airport to Central Rome?).

Also read our Special Posts about Airports in Italy:

2) How to get to the Castelli Romani? BY TRAIN

The main stations in Rome are Termini (Piazza dei Cinquecento) and Tiburtina Station (Piazza Tiburtina Station). From Rome, from Termini Station, several trains reach these places: the Rome-Albano Laziale line, Marino Station, Castel Gandolfo and Albano Laziale, or the Rome-Frascati line, Frascati Station, in addition to the Rome line. Roma-Velletri, Lanuvio Station and Velletri. Read our Special Post How to get around Rome using public transportation?

Also know “What is the difference between trains in Italy?”. Would you like to save? So buy your ticket online in advance and save a lot, read the Post “How to buy a train ticket in Italy?”.

3) How to get to the Castelli Romani? BY CAR

If you have chosen to go by car, the best way to get to Rome, for those arriving from the north, is the A1 Milan – Rome. From there, you will reach several villages in the Castelli Romani.

If you are going to rent a car, be sure to read our posts in the Driving in Italy section of the Traveling to Italy blog. In addition to car itinerary tips, we have everything about signs, tolls, roads and many more tips.

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Important to know

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Plus: read our tips and advices about the Rome neighborhoods and where to stay! Here you will find the perfect hotel for you and for your needs, respecting you budget! Also: booking at booking.com, you will help us to keep our blog and for free! No fees, no click baits, no fake news!

Hotel I suggest near the Historic Center

If you are passionate about art and would like to stay in the center where you can move around walking, as well as having countless possibilities for places to have lunch / dinner or a snack, I advise you to stay in the historic center. Regions near the Trevi Fountain, the Coliseum, the Roman Forum, the Imperial Forum and the Villa Borghese, Piazza Spagna and Piazza Navona can be considered as “historic center”. These are the most expensive areas, but you will be close to everything, literally!

If you want to save a great option is the B&B, click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion make your reservation and guarantee good prices.

If you prefer a good hotel, I have three options that I really like, click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion make your reservation and guarantee good prices;)

Hotels that I suggest near the San Giovanni Region

For those who want to find cheaper alternatives in quiet areas, but at the same time close to the means of transport to the center, I suggest the region of San Giovanni or Monti (near the metro stations San Giovanni, Castro Pretorio and Circus Massimo) – which it is a more residential neighborhood; therefore, more economical and quiet! And with just 15 minutes by subway you will be in the center too!

I have two options for Hotels that I recommend, click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion make your reservation and guarantee good prices;)

I have two options of B&B that I recommend, click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion make your reservation and guarantee good prices;)

Hotels I suggest near Vatican City

An interesting area to stay and a little cheaper than the historic center is the Vatican area (Vatican Museums) which is very well connected with everything.

I have two options of B&B that I recommend, click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion make your reservation and guarantee good prices;)

If you prefer a hotel, I have three options that I recommend, click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion make your reservation and guarantee good prices;)

Hotel I suggest near Termini Station

For those who prefer to stay in neighborhoods that have good access to the rest of the city and at a better price, then you should choose accommodation in the surroundings of Termini Station (from where a dense network of public means of transport starts, serving both: the local people and tourists).

I have 3 good hotel suggestions in Termini, click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion make your reservation and guarantee good prices;)

If you prefer B&B I have 2 good suggestions, click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion make your reservation and guarantee good prices;)

Hotels that I suggest in Trastevere

For those who prefer to “taste” authentic and characteristic Rome, there is nothing better than booking a hotel in Trastevere (on the outskirts of the city’s historic river), full of typical Roman history and traditions, known for the tortuous streets of sampietrini stones and the centers medieval style housing.

The neighborhood is in the historic center and to the right of the Tevere River, in the midst of a spectacular landscape, where each visitor can observe the countless churches and squares (such as Santa Maria in Trastevere). In addition, this neighborhood offers several local restaurants and canteens for those who want to try typical Roman cuisine.

If you want to save a great option is the B&B, click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion make your reservation and guarantee good prices;)

If you prefer a good hotel, I have two options that I really like, click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion make your reservation and guarantee good prices;)


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Conclusion

Discover the amazing Roman Castles! Castelli Romani are a different kind of vacation that involves routes through nature in search of places where time seems to have stood still. They are an attractive idea to spend a pleasant vacation, perhaps along scenic, cultural and good-food trails, without taking away the ability to get to Rome and its attractions quickly. If you’re in Rome, there’s no better place for a day trip.

And if you feel insecure, have no time, and need help to organize your trip, don’t hesitate to contact me! I will love to help you make your dream trip to Italy come true. And how can I do that? Keep reading this post until the end and you will understand how we make your life and your trip much easier 🙂

Did my post help you? If so, be sure to post your comment below, but if you still have questions just send me a message I will answer you as soon as possible!



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