Castelli Romani: let's discover this amazing territory.
Castelli Romani (Roman Castles) have always represented in the imagery of the citizens of Rome and Lazio region, a territory of historical and artistic meaning, characterized by a luxuriant nature, by genuine products, by a welcoming climate, by a warm, but at the same time calm and secure context.
A territory a few steps away from Rome which, for the Romans themselves, represents a holiday oasis since ancient times.
The name Castelli Romani dates back to the fourteenth century, after a massive movement of Roman citizens towards the towns of Colli Albani (Alban Hills).
Although the debate on the exact extension of Castelli Romani is still going on, three sub-areas of the territory are still in progress:
the Tuscolana area, which revolves around Frascati (Frascati, Colonna, Grottaferrata, Monte Porzio Catone, Monte Compatri, Rocca di Papa, Rocca Priora), the Alban area (or Appia, Castel Gandolfo, Albano, Ariccia), and the Lanuvina area (Lanuvio, Nemi, Genzano di Roma).
Overall, considering also Lariano and Velletri, we remember the following main towns of the Roman Castles: Frascati, Albano Laziale, Castel Gandolfo, Colonna, Genzano di Roma, Grottaferrata, Lanuvio, Marino, Monte Compatri, Monte Porzio Catone, Nemi, Rocca di Papa, Rocca Priora, Lariano and Velletri.
Castelli Romani towns and countryside stand on a land of volcanic origin. The gigantic mouth of the Lazio Volcano encircled the whole territory, while the smaller mouths became lake basins, mostly dried up, apart from the splendid lakes of Albano and Nemi.
Castelli Romani are characterized by their natural landscape, with miles and miles of woods, fields, vineyards, gardens, in which hundreds of historical and artistic works are harmoniously intertwined: palaces and historic villas, Renaissance fountains, cathedrals, abbeys.
Among the many, many works, we recall the sixteenth-century villas in the Frascati countryside, especially Villa Aldobrandini, Villa Falconieri, Villa Mondragone; Castel Gandolfo and the beauty of the gardens and papal palace; Grottaferrata and the Abbey of San Nilo; Nemi in its entirety, called the "bomboniera", characterized by its breathtaking views of the lake of the same name.
Each town of Castelli Romani is characterized and is, often well-known at national and international level, for one or more peculiar characteristics: Frascati and its DOCG wine, Monte Porzio Catone and its exhibitions of Nativity scenes and Orchids; Nemi and its Strawberry Festival; Ariccia and its unbeatable pork roast as well as its mysterious "Salita in Discesa" (Ascent downhill), a place where the laws of gravity seem to be lost.
Every year dozens and dozens of festivals and fairs, characterize and make the territory colorful and vital.
Finally, we have to conclude with local products.
Alvaro Amici (an Italian singer well-known for its popular repertoir) used to sing, half a century ago, the famous song from the beginning of the twentieth century "Na gita a li Castelli", that read: "you see, there is Marino, Here it comes the Fair of Grapes..."
The grape is perhaps the most famous protagonist of the Castelli Romani, with dozens of wineries and wines of the highest quality and certification, celebrated in every town in characteristic and picturesque ways (such as the Pupazza Frascatana with three breasts, one of which spreads wine instead of milk); precious wines which meet with local Roman cuisine, that has remained through the century, faithful to its tradition and faithful to the use of genuine products. Food and wine that every summer calls from around the area, hundreds and hundreds of families and young people, making Castelli Romani, one of the most vital places in the Roman countryside, where a healthy social life has been carried out for hundreds of years of folklore and tradition.