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Rome's Surroundings

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Rome's Surroundings from A to Z

rome's surroundings
back to monuments and museums of Monuments and Museums

ALBANI HILLS: by the Romans commonly called "the Castles", the Albani hills offer an unique view of nature and art where, in the beautiful frame of the lakes (that of Castel Gandolfo and the one of Nemi) and of the chestnuts woodland, it is possible to have a break in the "fraschette" (tipical inn) where you can taste the excellent local wine.

ALBANO: already Roman villa, of which it preserves the Pretoria Door, the ruins of Pompeo's villa, the so-called Orazi and Curiazi sepulchre and the amphitheater, called "Cisternone".

ARICCIA: the center of the city preserves a delicious work by Bernini, who planed Chigi Palace and the church of S. Maria dell'Assunzione with the beautiful frescoes by Borgognone.

BOLSENA: with its magical lake formed by crater of an extinct volcano, is woth a trip. In town, there is a castle right out of a fairy tale, and the church of Santa Cristina which 700 years ago was the scene of the famouse "miracle of blood".
During mass, while the priest was breaking the host, mysterious drops of bllod fell onto his vestments and down to the floor, where they may still be seen. From the port of Bolsena, you can take a boat ride around the lake. The nature is beautiful, and the islands full of surprises. The largest one is called Bisentina, withits many enchanted churches in a natural oasis. The smaller island, Martana, conceals a terrible secret: at night, this unhabited place is haunted by the gost of Queen Amalasuntha, who was murdered here by her husband Theodahad, the cruel king of the Ostrogotos.
Bolsena also hosts a festival that cannot be missed: the "Infiorata" where the town's streets are carpeted with colourful flower petals (in June, on the day of Corpus Domini).

BOMARZO (93 Km from Rome): try and picture a mysterious forest populated by enormous creatures popping up among the plants and trees. Here you are met by mostruos dragons, mytological beasts, frightening fish and birds... And wherever you go, you see paws, beaks, teeth, scales, and tails ...  horrible tangles of bodies... But do not fear! These are the stone monsters at Parco di Bomarzo. It is definitely worth the trip, to discover one of the world's uinque spots, and perhaps to have a spooky picnic in the picnic area. Parco di Mostri (the Park of Monsters) was created about 500 years ago, by the somwhat wild imagination of Prince Orsini, who wanted a garden that was truly special... To amaze his friends, he had the idea of bringing the garden to life with monsters sculpted into the stones, along with bridges, rivers, fountains, and small fairy-tale buildings, like the funny-looking house. You can still find these things today in the wild nature of this park of wonders.

CASTEL GANDOLFO: famous for its excellent mushrooms (that the inhabitants eat raw) and for the medieval district of the Bavaresi.

CASTEL S. PIETRO: a characteristic small town which preserves an ancient atmosphere and fascination: wandering through its lanes, it seems to go back to the Middle Age. Pay particular attention to St. Peter church which was built in Romanic style but remade during the Baroque period, it preserves a painting by Pietro from Cortona and the Fortress of the family Colonna of the XV century.

FRASCATI: or the "the town of the villas" because of the beautiful villas that mark its borders: Villa Torlonia; Villa Aldobrandini; Villa Falconieri are works by Borromini and by Ciro Ferri; Villa Mondragone where pope Greogrio XIII enacted the calendar reform in 1582. In the center of the town we can admire St. Peter' s cathedral, by Ottaviano Mascherino.

GROTTAFERRATA: you have to pass it to visit the beautiful orthodox abbey. This abbey was founded in 1004 and dedicated to S. Nilo. it was first "protected" by the counts of Tuscolo and then by the family Della Rovere. The interior preserves important paintings: the beautiful Byzantine mosaics (maybe XIII century) and the Chapel of S. Nilo, frescoed by Domenichino (beginning of XVII century).

MARINO: one of the most known centers, famous for its wine more than for the works of art which it preserves. You don't have to miss the beautiful Baroque church of the Madonna del Rosario (1713-14), recently attributed to Giuseppe Sardinia and the delicious S. Barnaba, built according to the plan of Antonio del Grande, between 1640 and 1653.

between 118 and 134 it was the summer residence of the empereor Hadrian. Hadrian's villa is one of the most important and pregnant architectonic evidences of the imperial period. In the VII century it was plundered by the barbarians; today most of the statues that decorated the gardens have found their way into the Egyptian Museum of the Vatican.
  If you want to see more photos or to know more about Tivoli, Hadrian's Villa and Villa D'Este click here

OSTIA RUINS: Ostia is the ancient harbour of Rome which, according to the tradition, was founded by the king Anco Marzio who gave it its first rudimental urbanistic structure. It was restored several times but non the less the city has preserved its classical configuration which it owes to important works commessioned by Augustus and which were carried on during the imperial times. Crossing the "decumanus maximus"- almost one chilometer long - you enter a "buried city", where you can see the Neptune baths, the firemen's barraks, the theater, the Square of the Guilds, the synagogue, the Termopholium or the "insulae" (apartment buildings).
If you want to se photos ant to know more abuot Ostia Antica, or to make reservation for our bus tour to this wonderful ancient harbour click here

PRENESTINI MOUNTAINS: chain of calcareous mountains, rich of of olive-trees, beech-trees and oaks. These mountains are animated by several small towns that make this area a particularly charming.

TARQUINIA (96 Km from Rome): the city of the mysterious Etruscans, who lived here about 500 years before the birth of Christ. the Etruscans were a truly extraordinary people: although they were merry, fun and full of life, they had a "cult of the dead" to whom they dedicated splendid tombs painted with scenes and bright colours. You can see these tombs in the Necropolis, which is their ancient cementety. But if you want to experience something different and discover their most hidden secrets, here is a place for you. Called "Etruscopolis", it is a sort of underground park, where you can let your imagination run wild and feel like someone right out of the distant past. You will find a perfect recostrution of the ancient city and of seven mysterious tombs, as well as objects, houses, workshops, people and scenes of daily life... A truly special trip through time!

TIVOLI: 30km from Rome along via Tiburtina, Tivoli has been a popular health resort ever since antiquity. It is famed for its pure air its landscape and its thermal springs. Catullo, Orazio, Brute, Cassio, Trajan and Hadrian had got their villa here and during the Middle Ages it was particularly longed for its strategic position.
If you want to see more photos or to know more about Tivoli, Hadrian's Villa and Villa D'Este click here

VILLA D' ESTE: on the ruins of a former Benedectine convent, the cardinal Ippolito of Este, Lucrezia Borgia's son, built his summer palazzo, relying on the plan of Pirro Ligorio (beginning of the XVI century). Villa d' Este is famous its beautiful gardens and the avenue of the Hundred Fountains. P.zza Trento, Tivoli 39/774/312070 Visiting hours: 9a.m. - 6.45p.m., closed on mon Entry: L. 8000
If you want to see more photos or to know more about Tivoli, Hadrian's Villa and Villa D'Este click here
P.zza Trento, Tivoli
Schedule: 9.00-18.45, closed on mon
Entry: L. 8000