The Castelli Romani are nine communes or townships southeast of the city of Rome. Technically, the Castelli Romani are a part of the Metropolitan City of Rome, despite being tucked away in the beautiful volcanic hills. The fertile soil courtesy of volcanic activity has provided a flourishing agriculture since ancient times. The Castelli Romani has been a reliable source of wine production, and different areas specialize in other agricultural specificities, from frutti di bosco (fruit of the forest) to mushrooms.
Frascati is the crown jewel of the Castelli Romani and most famous for its Frascati Superiore DOCG wine. On our Classic Half-Day Wine Tour we visit both the historic center of Frascati as well as one of the last artisanal family-run wineries in the region.
You may know that the difference in weather, slight but significant from Rome, makes the Castelli Romani a fantastic place for famous regional wines. But did you know that since ancient Roman times, nobleman from Rome frequented the village cities for the summers? Fresher climates have drawn all sorts of well-off old-time Romans to holiday, a tradition that has carried into the Vatican. During the Renaissance, a nephew of Pope Pious IV built villas in Frascati for summer residencies. Other wealthy Roman families followed by example and to this day, Frascati still sports the villas of past Roman elite. And popes still take summer residencies at Castel Gandolfo situated on the Lake Albano. Today, the Castelli Romani draw international visitors wishing to escape the bustle and the heat of Rome.
The region containing the Castelli Romani is a sprawl of verdant landscape and natural beauty. A winding drive from one Castelli Romani town to another yields a panorama of many kinds of flourishing trees, an abundance of bushes, and rolling hills that stay green into summer. Several craters are now filled with water, which make up the lakes of Albano and Nemi. The earth here remains seismically active– but don’t get too nervous. It’s speculated that volcanic eruptions won’t occur for a couple tens of thousands of years. For a while now and a while to come, visitors can thank the volcanic area being responsible for the agriculture and the abundance of greenery.