Castelli Romani: what they are, what to visit, where to sleep and how to get there

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Alejandra Rangel
@alejandrarangel
SOURCES CONSULTED:

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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The Castelli Romani area is one tourist area about 20-30 km from Rome, very famous for both suggestive panoramic views especially in the evening, both for renowned trattorias where you can taste typical dishes of the area, but also for the climate cooler on hot summer days which creates avery pleasant atmosphere.

Much of the territory is a volcanic area which include the famous Castelli Romani Park. THE two lakes of the area, that of Albano and Nemi, represent a former volcanic crater. Of the two lakes, Lake Albano is the largest. The highest peaks of the Alban Hills they reach almost 1.000 meters above sea level and are found especially in the area of ‚Äč‚Äčthe municipalities of Rocca di Papa and Rocca Priora, the latter is also the municipality with the highest altitude.



Also Popes they loved the area and for this they had theirs built summer residence in Castel Gandolfo in order to spend a more pleasant and cool summer, and to stay a few kilometers from Rome. Therefore, the Castelli Romani are not only a beautiful area to visit, but they are also one good alternative to sleep near Rome, especially in the summer.

Check the best rates and offers for accommodation and hotels in the Castelli Romani

Which ones are they

I "historic" municipalities of the Castelli Romani are fourteen and they are: Albano Laziale, Ariccia, Castel Gandolfo, Colonna, Frascati, Genzano di Roma, Grottaferrata, Lanuvio, Marino, Monte Compatri, Monte Porzio Catone, Nemi, Rocca di Papa and Rocca Priora.

To these fourteen municipalities are added two other municipalities, which due to their characteristics and position are considered to be part of the Castelli Romani and are: Lariano and Velletri.



To see

Frascati it is among all the municipalities that are part of the Castelli Romani the most interesting city to visit. Frascati is a pretty town full of important monuments and with a large number of villas such as the twelve Tuscolane Villas, including the Villa Aldobrandini absolutely not to be missed.

Castel Gandolfo it is one of the most interesting and beautiful towns to visit. Summer residence of the Popes and overlooking the Albano lake, offers beautiful views and a wonderful city atmosphere. It is one of the most popular summer weekend destinations for the Romans. Among the most important places to visit are the Castelli Romani Regional Park and Domitian's Villa Albana.

Nemi overlooks the lake of the same name, the Lake Nemi, although one of the smaller villages in the area, it is a very nice town. The small Museum of Roman Ships houses the reconstructions of two ships of the Emperor Caligula, discovered on the bottom of the lake in the 30s. Palazzo Ruspoli represents the historic castle of Nemi that overlooked the village in the Middle Ages.

Albano Laziale it has both important monuments and places to visit such as the Church of Santa Maria della Stella, the archaeological circuit of Castra Albana and the famous Tomb of the Horatii and Curiazi, as well as naturalistic beauties such as the Colle dei Cappuccini and the shores of Lake Albano. The historic Via Appia passes nearby.


Rocca Priora with its 768 meters of altitude it is the highest municipality of the Castles. The most famous monument of this historic village is the Baronial Palace or Palazzo Savelli, built on the ancient medieval castle of the century. XI and today the seat of the municipality.

Marine is the city of the Castelli Romani closest to Rome. The city, which was also an important center during the Roman Empire, has several interesting monuments, including the Collegiate Church of San Barnaba. Throughout the year, the city hosts various festivals and fairs, including the grape festival on the first Sunday in October, when some of the town's fountains sprinkle wine instead of water.


A Grottaferrata absolutely not to be missed is a visit to the Abbey of Santa Maria di Grottaferrata. Founded in 1004 by San Nilo da Rossano, the church today represents a wonderful fortification complex of the past and the only Greek-Byzantine rite Abbey existing in Italy.

Rocca di Papa is a picturesque village on the slopes of Monte Cavo and one of the few still today to keep intact the medieval structure. The city preserves important monumental works, such as the Cathedral of the Assumption and the historic Pontifical Fortress of the XNUMXth century.

Genzano di Roma it owes its fame above all to its ‚ÄúInfiorata‚ÄĚ which is held every year on the Sunday and the Monday following Corpus Domini. During the event, an entire street is covered with a floral carpet on which the religious procession with participants in historical dress passes on Sundays.


Velletri, even though it is located on the southern edge of the Castles, it is an interesting city to visit. Inhabited by the Romans as early as 500 BC, it is the largest city in the area. Among the most important monuments is the Torre del Trivio, an elegant Gothic bell tower adjacent to the Church of Santa Maria Assunta in Cielo

Every evening the Castelli Romani offer a wonderful view of Rome from above. There are so many scenic spots to see the great expanse of lights of the capital.

To do

The main thing to do when visiting or staying in one of the towns of the Castelli Romani is eat in one of the typical restaurants and trattorias. The area is renowned for its wine, in particular that of Frascati and for the porchetta, the most famous is that of Ariccia.

The area has extensive woods where you can go to collection of mushrooms and berries. It is always advisable to pay due attention when walking in the woods and to have the mushrooms checked by the Mycological Inspectorate of the ASL.


In the lakes of Albano and Nemi you can do various watersports, among them: fishing, canoeing and kayaking. In the area you can participate in various tours, among the most popular are the tour with traditional or electric bicycle, and the wine tours of the vineyards and wines of the Castelli Romani

The last and perhaps the prettiest and most beautiful thing to do in the Castelli area is participate in one of the many events, parties and festivals that the various municipalities organize throughout the year.

Accomodation

The best city to sleep in to visit the Castelli Romani is Frascati. This city, in addition to being one of the most beautiful and interesting, has a good tourist accommodation offer with about twenty hotels where you can stay, various bed and breakfasts and tourist apartments, and some farmhouses in the areas around the city.

Search and book a hotel or accommodation in Frascati

 

Castel Gandolfo, even though it only has five hotels in the city, it still remains an interesting and beautiful area to stay in the Castelli area. Besides the hotels there are various tourist apartments and holiday homes for those who prefer a more intimate and familiar stay.

Search and book a hotel or accommodation in Castel Gandolfo

 

Grottaferrata with about thirty hotels, tourist apartments and bed and breakfasts, it is a good choice to sleep both for its central position that allows you to reach other locations quite easily, and for the pleasant city atmosphere.

Search and book a hotel or accommodation in Grottaferrata

 

Also Velletri, Marine, Genzano di Roma e Albano Laziale they can be a good alternative choice where to stay. Each of these municipalities has only very few hotels, so if you prefer to stay in a hotel, it is better to focus on places such as Frascati, Castel Gandolfo and Grottaferrata.

Search and book a hotel or accommodation in Velletri

 

Search and book a hotel or accommodation in Genzano di Roma

 

Search and book a hotel or accommodation in Albano Laziale

How to reach us

Map of the Castelli Romani Park

By car

The area of ‚Äč‚Äčthe 16 municipalities that make up the Castelli Romani, located a few kilometers from Rome, is easily accessible by car. Our advice is to reach the area south of Rome and then rely on a navigator or smartphone, by entering the destination directly.

By train

Not all municipalities of the Castelli Romani have a train station, however if you want to arrive by train, you must first reach the Roma Termini station. From there you can use three railway lines: the first goes to Frascati, the second connects Rome with Marino, Castel Gandolfo and Albano Laziale, while the third and last line goes to Velletri and stops in Laviano.

By plane

The Castelli Romani area can also be easily reached from Ciampino airport, now used by numerous low-cost airlines such as Ryanair and EasyJet. From the airport you can reach your destination by bus, taxi or a rental car.

Or from the Ciampino railway station you can take one of the trains to Frascati, Marino, Velletri, Laviano, Albano Laziale and Castel Gandolfo.

By bus

If you want to arrive by bus it is advisable to take a bus of the FlixBus line to Rome and then one of the bus connections offered by the Cotral transport company departing from the Anagnina metro station, the terminus of the metro line A.

View of Nemi (Castelli Romani) - Photo from Istock
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