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Friday, December 17, 2010
RST Top 40. #13: The Path from Frascati to Tuscolo
waterway fountain in Villa Aldobrandini's
amazing back gardens - in Frascati
This path is loaded with so much history, architecture, views and nature, it easily makes our Top 40.
The walk starts in the heavily bombed (in WWII) town of Frascati (now known for decent white wine: Frascati Superiore) and proceeds past Renaissance villas (see several photos below), and a hermitage selling honey for good measure, to the Roman ruins of Tuscolo - Tusculum to the Romans. Myth has it that Tuscolo was founded by Ulysses and Circe - who could ask for more? Prehistoric man, then Etruscans, then Romans - traces of many civilizations are here; you can see the substantial remains of an amphitheater in the ruins of Tuscolo, and a more modern cross on top of, of course, "Monte Tuscolo".
Is this Borromini's gate? Even the
Borromini expert isn't sure - at Villa
Falconieri just outside Frascati
End your day (this makes a nice day trip from Rome) with wine and a porchetta sandwich at a "fraschetta," a casual place that sells wine and simple foods. Frascati/Tuscolo was the playground of the rich and famous from prehistoric times until World War II - why not make it yours too?
You can easily travel from Rome to Frascati in the Alban Hills by train or Metro/bus. All the directions are in Rome the Second Time's Itinerary 13 (now with the map overlaid on Google maps in the eBook versions!). Dianne
Path behind Villas Falconieri and Mondragone
Rarely, the villas are open - usually special arts weekends
If they are, you will be treated to wonderful vistas and
interiors like this fresco of the eavesdropping monk