Looking for a quick getaway from Rome? Here is the closest destination that we could find which doesn’t involve getting on high speed trains/airplanes or driving.
The Castelli Romani are collection of towns that have grown up around noble villas from the 1600’s (or castles) who had the foresight to build summer retreats UP IN THE HILLS NEAR ROME. These small villages have now become busy towns but have retained their traditions. A particular custom which is popular in the early evening, after the heat of the day has passed is to order a 1/4 litre of chilled white wine at a local osteria. My favourite is Osteria del Olmo in the town of Frascati, famous for its white wine of international standards. Although they don’t serve food its suggested to bring your own to their tables, set outside in the square where the old oak (hence the name Olmo) used to be…
Another great suggestion for those looking to escape and taste something authentic would be to visit Ariccia. This small town is built on the side of a cliff connected by a wide bridge and although this brings you in the main square, its much more fun to visit the local taverns in Via Borgo San Rocco. Here you find a classic example of “La Fraschetta” with bustling tables, local wine and food and folklore songs.
Finally for those who are interested in more outdoors/active side, there is Castle Gandolfo which was the popes summer retreat. Here you can visit the exclusive gardens of the ex-vatican summer villa, swim in the Alban Lake or walk through the woods that surround the lake. Its an ideal location as its only a 30 minute train ride from Rome and is considered one of Italy’s most scenic towns according to wikipedia with villas available for rent during the summer.
There are many more towns that make up the Castelli Romani, including the Regional Park of the Castelli Romani. So its definitely worth considering for a day trip from Rome or perhaps as part of a cycling vacation.