Travel Guide Information of: Castel Gandolfo & Surroundings of Rome
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We suggest a picturesque itinerary through locations rich in history and artistic value in the splendid area of Colli Albani.
Bordered by the two volcanic lakes of Albano and Nemi, the area is best known as “Castelli Romani”, a series of villages well know for the characteristic eating places or inns, also called “Fraschette”. Specialties of the area are tasty “porchetta” (roasted pig), fragrant bread, delicious biscuits and above all, the white wine of Castelli appreciated all over the world. The Castelli Romani, therefore, offer not only good food but also beautiful panoramic views.
The above itinerary may be covered in just one day, which will be memorable for the discovery of artistic Roman ruins, renaissance and medieval fortifications, beautiful places, fountains and gardens and lots of churches full of statues, pictures and sacred art works.
The ancient Castrum Albani, Seat of the mythical Albalonga, offers many monuments, including the Costantine Basilica (III century a.C.), the Orazi and Curiazi Tomb and the St. Maria della Rotonda Church.
According to tradition it was founded by lppolito, son of the Greek hero Teseo. To be visited are the majestic Chigi Palace and the St. Maria Assunta Church both designed by J.L Bernini in the XVll century.
Castel Gandolfo is 25km south of Rome, overlooking the volcanic Lake of Albano. Since 1597, it is the Pope’s summer residence, and the gardens of the Pope’s palace contain the ruins of the Roman villa of Emperor Domitian.
Above the portal of the Pope’s palace, an inscription says: “Pope Alexander the 7th has enlarged, rebuilt and completed the house of Urban the 8th in 1660, a small retreat for the soul and body, built in front of the sky and sunlight, and located in the salubriousness and amenity of the palace.”
The Pope ‘s summer residence was designed by Carlo Moderno (XVII century). The façade of the Popes’s palace is simple and sober, facing directly the square decorated by a masterwork by G. L. Bernini in 1661: the fountain inspired by the layout of St. Peter’s Basilica, similar to the fountain of St. Andrea della Valle in Rome.
The audience rooms, Pope’s apartment, service rooms and three chapels are in the upper floor of the palace, which is full of artworks.
The first drawing of the entrance gate to the palace garden, surrounded by walls, was made by Gian Lorenzo Bernini.
Perhaps the best known of Castelli Romani because of its excellent wine and its typical cellars of “fraschette”. Here we find the Roman aristocracy’s must beautiful villas, among which Aldobrandini Villa and Confalonieri villa.
The tradition of adorning inn’s doors with small branches (from which the name Fraschetta is derived) goes back to the Middle Ages.
Despite of the passage of the time and the popularity of fast food, the relaxing Roman tradition of outdoor eating, in summer time, at the “fraschette” stilI continues.
The meal must he brought from home, since the innkeeper provides only paper to cover the tables, drinking glasses and plenty of wine.
If too lazy or unwilling to bring the meal, food can be purchased at kiosks or food-carts offering bread, roasted pork, olives, cheese and course white wine of the Castelli…
Its name comes from the ancient Gentia family, although another tradition attributes it to the goddess Cynthia. Rich with beautiful balconies overlooking Lake Nemi, the palace is a tourist destination especially during the Corpus Domini flower show.
Dating back to ancient times as testified by a IX century b.C. necropolis, the town is specially known for the wonderful St. Nilo Abbey founded in 1004 by St. Nilo and St. Bartolomeo over an old Roman Villa which probably had belonged to the famous orator M.T. Cicero.
Still today it is possible to admire the ruin of ancient Castrimoenium , among which is a wonderful Mithreum.
Also notable arc the Colonna Palace, the basilica of St. Barnaba and the Madonna of Rosary church.
The Castelli Romani also include several other towns, beautiful jewels of the Colli Albani, among which Lanuvio, Nemi, Rocca di Papa, Rocca Priora, Monte Porzio Catone, Monte compatri and Velletri.
Castel Gandolfo guided tour information and Tourist information for Castel Gandolfo in Lazio, near Rome. A village which is the Pope’s summer residence. Castel Gandolfo is a small Italian village in Lazio, Italy that occupies a height overlooking Lake Albano on the Alban Hills
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B&B near the Coliseum
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Special apartment in the city centre of Rome – in the Jewish Ghetto and Trastevere