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Frascati

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Frascati is one of the Castelli Romani, historic hill towns founded by the Latins before Rome existed, 21 km to the South East of Rome. Originally called Tusculum and situated slightly further up the 'hill'. Here history meets legend. Many historical references tell the story that during the Odyssee, Ulysses met Cyrce on the Tirrenian coast and was seduced by her. Their son Telegonus is said to have founded the city of Tusculum, today's Frascati.

Understand[edit]

Frascati is a small relaxed town perfect for a getaway from the metropolis of Rome. World famous for its white wine, Frascati has a slower pace of life, cleaner air, and a far more casual feel than the nearby capital. It was considered an ideal summer retreat by the Ancient Romans, later by the nobility of the Renaissance and Baroque periods, when Popes and Pope's nephews and the aristocracy built many fabulous villas in the city, employing the same artists and architects to design them that were being commissioned on not just palaces in Rome, but also in the Basilica of St. Peter's, and even later visited by those who came to Italy on the Grand Tour. From about the beginning of 1700, rich families in England, Germany and France, used to send their sons to a tour in Italy and normally visited Venice, Florence, Rome and the area around, Naples with Pompei and Ercolano, and sometime going as further down as Sicily. This was called the "Grand Tour" in England, the "Voyage d'Italie" in France and the "Italienische Reise" in Germany. Non only young students, but also experienced artists, painters, writers, sculptors, decided to take a tour over Italy, given the many artistic beauties that this country built over many centuries of history. One of the tour stops was Rome and the Alban Hills (Castelli Romani), Frascati being the most notorious. And here they celebrated the place. For example the german poet Wolfgang Goethe writes about Frascati: "The place is delicious, the town lies on one hill, or better on a mountain, and to the drawer, at each step a new wonderful landscape appear. You can see Rome down, and further away the sea, on the right the Tivoli mountains, and so on. Since already two days we walk around these places, and we find always something new and enchanting. As soon as the waitress has left on our table the oil lamp and said good night, we all together examine our daily drawings". They also experienced the genuine Mediterranean food and the delicacy of the Frascati wine. These tours contributed to spread the fame of Frascati Wine across Europe.

Villa Aldobrandini, overlooking Frascati

In 1943, Frascati, the seat of the German Fieldmarshall Kesselring, was heavily bombed by American B17s. Around half of its buildings were destroyed by a total of 1300 bombs. Many people died in that air strike and in a second air strike on January 22, 1944, the day of the battle of Anzio. The city was liberated from German occupation on June 4, 1944.

Although you probably won't notice it from a casual visit, Frascati is an important scientific center. It hosts Italy's National Institute for Nuclear Physics, as well facilities of the European Space Agency, and The Spaceguard Foundation, which aims to protect the world from collision with objects in space.

Get in[edit]

Just 21km from Rome, Frascati is easily accessible by public transport or in your own car. It is also very convenient to the Ciampino airport now used by a number of the budget airlines like Ryanair [1] and EasyJet [2].

  • Trains run from Roma Termini approximately every hour. They take about 30 minutes and cost around € 2. Check the Trenitalia website [3] for further details. This was one of the first railway lines built in Italy.
  • Buses run daily from Rome [4]
  • If Driving from Rome, take Via Tuscolana from just South East of the centre of Rome and follow it all the way to Frascati. Couldn't be easier.

Get around[edit]

See[edit][add listing]

Frascati is famous for its villas, in particular Villa Aldobrandini, which dominates the town. These villas were built in the 16th Century by the Roman aristocracy as status symbols and for social activities. Most have been restored since being damaged in World War II but the cost of maintaining such buildings these days is horrendous.

  • Villa Aldobrandini, (Unmissable when you enter Frascati, whether by road or rail). Also known as the Belvedere because of its dominant position, with a view all the way to Rome. The inside of the villa cannot be visited but the gardens are accessible on weekdays with a pass obtained from the IAT tourist office in Piazza Roma.  edit
  • Scuderie Aldobrandini, Piazza Marconi 6 (At the bottom of and outside the Villa Aldobrandini gardens and on your left as you look at the villa.), [5]. 10-18 closed on Mondays. This building was the former stables of the Villa. It houses an archaeological museum with pieces collected from the ancient Roman town of Tusculum, about 5km from Frascati. There are also scale models of the villas of Frascati.  edit

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Take part in the passeggiata in the evening: wandering up and down the main street, preferably with a gelato, checking out everyone else doing the same.

Do[edit][add listing]

  • The Old Minardi Farmhouse Wine Tour, Via San Marco 2A, +39 328 389 8372, [6]. Tour one of the region’s most unique vineyard Farmhouses and spend an amazing afternoon in the breath taking wine country overlooking Rome. The Old Minardi Farmhouse Wine Tour is located just 12 miles south of Rome in Frascati. 55 Euros.  edit

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • Porchetta is a speciality of the region ( mainly coming from a nearby town called Ariccia): whole spit roast pork. Many places around the town will have most of a pig sitting in a cabinet, usually served by carving a few slices and placing them between pieces of rustic white bread. Perhaps nothing could be a better match for a glass of Frascati.

However the whole area is a wealth of D.O.P. food produce.

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Frascati is famous for its excellent white wine, which tastes even better in its home town. Here the only vineyards that overlook the city of Rome can be found. A tradition of over 2,500 years. A list of producers can be found on the Frascati Wine Consortium website
  • A feature of Frascati is its 'Cantine or as they are known locally 'fraschette', essentially places where you can buy and drink wine, and can bring your own food. During summer nights the fraschette put their tables outside on the paved roads and it seems like the whole town sits on these benches drinking, talking and laughing beneath the stars. On such nights it's easy to see why they choose to live in this small but vibrant town.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Grand Hotel Villa Fiorio Rome – Viale Dusmet, 25 - 00046 Grottaferrata, Rome, Italy [7] Telephone +39 06 94548007 • Fax +39 06 94548009. Four star hotel with 21 bedrooms divided in single, double, triple, quadruple and 3 suites. Private bath, shower, satellite TV, Wi-Fi internet and swimming pool. Double classic: 84 euros with breakfast included.
  • Hotel Pinocchio, Piazza del Mercato 21, +39 06 941 7883 (fax +39 06 941 7884). Located above the Pinocchio restaurant, this small hotel has just seven rooms, all with bath, phone, tv, and minibar. Centrally located, friendly, and good value. No air-conditioning can make the rooms less comfortable on a warm night (although you can always just leave the windows open). €45/70/90 (single/double/triple). [8]
  • Villa Tuscolana, Via del Tuscolo, +39 06 942 900. A fabulous old villa recently refurbished, Villa Tuscolana is well worth the 10min walk up the hill from Frascati. Take a room with views out over the town and Rome if possible. The walk up the hill can be dark and scary at night, take a taxi if you've had a little too much wine. € 95/140/180 (single/single superior/double). [9]
  • Villa Baiera,+39 06 9464261-3475322318. The apartments are situated in a quiet place surrounded by vineyards. Outside the house there is a big garden with many trees and some garden-seats. Near the garden there is a private parking-area . 60 euro/night for 1 apartment for 2 persons; €80/night for 1 apartment for 4 persons; Discounts for stays of at least 3 nights. [10]
  • Hotel Panorama, it is the one with the best view on Rome.

Get out[edit]

Frascati lies on the eastern edge of the Castelli Romani, a generic name for the area to the south of Rome, Notable cities in the area are Castel Gandolfo where the Pope has his summer residence and Marino.

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