Frascati is one of the Castelli Romani, historic hill towns southeast of Rome. It is a small relaxed town perfect for a getaway from the metropolis, world famous for its white wine which has won an array of awards. Frascati has a slower pace of life, cleaner air, and a far more casual feel than the nearby capital.
In 1943, Frascati, the seat of the German Field Marshal 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, the European Space Agency's Centre for Earth Observation, and the Spaceguard Foundation, which aims to protect the world from collision with objects in space.
Frascati is 21 km from Rome, easily accessible by public transport or in your own car.
- It is very convenient to the Ciampino airport which is used by a number of the budget airlines like Ryanair and EasyJet.
- Trains run from Roma Termini approximately every hour. They take about 30 minutes and cost around €2. Check the Trenitalia website for further details. This was one of the first railway lines built in Italy.
- Buses run daily from Rome. Check the Cotral website for details.
- 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.
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.
- 1 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.
- [formerly dead link] 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). 10-18 closed on Mondays. This building was the stables of the Villa. It houses an archaeological museum with pieces collected from the ancient Roman town of Tusculum, about 5 km from Frascati. There are also scale models of the villas of Frascati.
- Take part in the passegiata in the evening: wandering up and down the main street, preferably with a gelato, checking out everyone else doing the same, or in the daytime, you can visit a winery.
- City pass, Frascati, ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. City Pass, giving at least 10% discount on wine estate visits, tours, restaurants, hotels, moped hire, courses and includes a free mp3 walking tour download and wine tours free.
Porchetta is a speciality of the region: 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.
Frascati is famous for its white wine, and the best (many have won awards in the past few years) are bottled DOC and DOCG Superior versions. Excellent quality/price ratio There is a big difference in quality between the best producers and some of the others. The largest producer is Fontana Candida and its Superiore Santa Teresa, Castel De Paolis, Casale Mattia, Poggio Le Volpi and San Marco. Antiche Terre Tuscolane cooperative produces relatively small volumes of very good wine. Principe Pallavcini is top notch (Superior DOCG is calle Poggio Verde), but for a complete list check out the consortium's website (they are the oldest consortium in Europe).
A feature of Frascati is its Cantine, essentially places where you can buy and drink wine (slightly inferior on tap), and can bring your own food. During summer nights the Cantine 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.
- Osteria del Principe, Via del Castello 25. An authentic cantina, frequented by locals in the early evening.
- Taglienti white wine.
- [formerly dead link] Hotel Pinocchio, Piazza del Mercato 21, ☏ , fax: . 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).
- Villa Tuscolana, Via del Tuscolo, ☏ . A fabulous old refurbished villa, 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).
- Villa Baiera, Vicolo grotti dama 19, ☏ . The apartments are 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. Discounts for stays of at least 3 nights.
- Hotel Panorama, it is the one with the best view on Rome.
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.
|Routes through Frascati|
|Modern Center, Rome ← South Rome ←||NW SE||→ END|
|Modern Center, Rome ← South Rome ←||NW SE||→ Cassino → END|