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Castelli Romani food & wine Tour
Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri, Sat
Pick-up at your hotel, more details at booking
Your driver will pick you up from your hotel in the morning and drive you toward the Castelli Romani for your full day tour. This excursion will take you through the lovely countryside surrounding Rome and to the fantastic residences of ages past.
The Castelli Romani (“Roman Castles”) is a group of communes in the province of Rome which include Frascati, Marino, Albano and Castel Gandolfo. These ancient hill towns of classical and medieval origin are celebrated for their lush green scenery, volcanic lakes, authentic cuisine, and local white wines. The area was initially frequented by wealthy Roman families who built magnificent palaces to enjoy the fresher climate during the summer. During the medieval period, powerful noble families took over the towns and began constructing more beautiful residences. Then, during the 16th and 17th centuries, aristocratic Romans renovated the palaces or built their own luxurious ones. At that time, popes were also erecting their own villas; in fact, Castel Gandolfo became the property of the Holy See and became a summer residence for the various popes.
Your full day tour will include independent visits of Frascati, a culturally and gastronomically rich city; the Abbey of San Nilo, built in the 9th century in Grottaferrata; the San Barnaba Church, built in the 17th century; and the famous wine fountain in Marino. You will also visit the Church of San Tommaso, on Caelian Hill, and Castel Gandolfo, the papal summer residence still used today. You will have some free time to stop for lunch and a wine tasting in Castel Gandolfo. You will be returned to your hotel in Rome at the end of the tour.
– Round trip transportation with private car
– Expert English speaking driver coordinator
– Visit of Grottaferrata
– Visit of Castel Gandolfo
– Wine tasting and Lunch in Castel Gandolfo
– Abbey of San Nilo
– Castel Gandolfo
– Confirmation will be received at time of booking
– Voucher and detailed operator information, including local emergency numbers will be received three weeks before the date of your tour.
– Adult pricing applies to all travelers.
– The dress code for men and women is strictly enforced in Churches. No bare shoulders, miniskirts or shorts.
Pick-up at your accommodations
Drop-off at your accommodation
Grottaferrata & Abbey of San Nilo
Grottaferrata is located on the lower slopes of the Alban Hills in Castelli Romani. The city is renowned for the fascinating Abbey of Santa Maria di Grottaferrata, also known as the Abbey of San Nilo. It is the only Byzantine abbey to have survived on the slopes of the Alban Hills.
Grottaferrata is one of the symbolic villages in Christian history. In fact, the village served as shelter to several popes and important religious people. In 1004, San Nilo da Rossano settled in the village, living in the cave of Saint Agnes of Grottaferrata. After his death, the abbey was built to honor him. Pope Pius II ordered its renovation in 1492 while Pope Pius IX gave the monastery its independence in 1848.
Things to see
Miraculously, Grottaferrata did not get as damaged as the other villages of the Castelli Romani during the Second World War. The abbey can be found in the center of the village where we can admire its bell tower while inside we can be awed by a Byzantine icon of the Virgin Mary. This icon was placed in the middle of the masterpiece realized by Bernini.
Grottaferrata also boasts the ruins of a medieval fortress which was first mentioned in 1140. For lovers of the Middle Ages, the village is partially surrounded by ramparts which offer visitors a fantastic setting to take unforgettable pictures. The village is also composed of several villas which in the past belonged to rich aristocrats that came from Rome to take a break from city life.
The Catacombs of Grottaferrata, also knows as the Catacombs Ad Decimum, were an important archeological site. More than 800 tombs along with frescoes and sculpted sarcophagus were found, some dating back to the 5th century. A national archeological museum now exists inside the abbey of San Nilo with some of the items found on the site.