Our English-speaking driver/guide will welcome you at your hotel or any other place of your convenience.
You will go on a day-tour in the vicinity of Rome through scenic landscapes, inhabited since ancient Roman times, where you will be allowed to stroll through some of the small historic towns to see how the locals live.
Strong towers and imposing walls will not be seen driving along the leading to the famous area of Lazio region. You will not see castles, but a series of small villages scattered on a territory of volcanic origin, called Roman castles only in recent times. Small towns are sometimes separated one from the other by woods of chestnut trees or by rich and untouched vegetation. Sometimes, they are linked one to the other by a continuity of buildings, or yet, other times they are isolated on the top of the ancient extinguished volcano.
The name, “castles,” is derived from the villages that emerged around the popes’ villas and the rich noble families’ palaces that, following an old tradition, chose these sites for their summer residences. With a jump into a remote past, back into the Middle Ages, searching into an age whose episodes are still mysterious, we can imagine finding castles and strongholds of the most important families. They had set them in strategic places, like pawns on a chessboard, to control all southern Lazio and communications with the reign of Naples. The authentic Roman castles were then, the same villages that rose around those castles, which through the centuries became independent. The name reminds us no longer of existing castles, but of symbols of power of families in continuous struggles to get control of the area. Actually, the name, “Roman castles,” referred originally to all the inhabited areas of the ancient Districtus Urbis, an area of about 100 miles, reduced then to 40 miles, which surrounded Rome from North to South.
Frascati is, the most famous town of the Roman castles, name probably derives from the freshness of its waters, or according to other scholars, from the frascata, a special right to collect firewood or from the frasche (branches) which were used in the Middle Ages as a mean to cover houses. Its territory includes the area of Tuscolo, with the important archaeological remains of ancient Tusculum, Latin town destroyed by the Romans in 1191.
The Roman castle hill towns of ancient and medieval origin are celebrated for their lush green scenery, volcanic lakes, authentic cuisine, and local white wines.
In medieval times, the towns became the battlefield of various powerful land-owning families. Many of these families also controlled the fortunes of Rome and the papacy during this era.
The town of Castel Gandolfo became the property of the popes. At the end of the 16th and early 17th centuries, aristocratic Romans began to build luxurious villas in and around the Castelli Romani Hill towns, just as the ancients had done. The popes decided that they too should have a country villa in the Roman hill towns, and the papal residence in Castel Gandolfo is the result.
Your English-speaking driver/guide will be happy to suggest some great local restaurants in the area for lunch and upon request, schedule a visit in a local vinery.
At the end of the tour, your driver/guide will drop you off at your hotel or other area of your convenience in Rome or surrounding area.
This tour length is approximately 8 hours in total and is conducted by an English-speaking driver/guide that will not enter sites but drive you around and show you places, pointing out things while explaining what they are, as well as stopping at the places that require a visit and helping you access them.
• Pick up/drop off directly at your hotel or any other place of your convenience in Rome
• A fun and informative private English speaking driver/guide to lead you through the day
• Private transportation by air-conditioned and fully equipped luxury Mercedes Benz vehicle
• Free wi-fi and fresh bottled water on board
• Parking, city passes, fuel & tolls
Meals & entrance fees (unless specified on your confirmation voucher)
Gratuities (entirely at the client’s discretion)