Image credit: Yann Gar
Rome has such a wealth of amazing sights just a short drive away that it seems such a waste to sit tight at the usual spots. Here’s our five picks, from quaint, hidden villages to Italy’s grandest renaissance villas.
Rocca di Papa
Rocca di Papa is a small town within the Castelli Romani which lies on the slopes of Monte Cavo. If you are fond of miracles, then you’ll want to visit the Santuario Madonna del Tufo.
First constructed after a miraculous event in the 14th century, legend states that, the church was built by a passing wanderer, to thank the lady whom he addressed his prayer as he was about to be hit by a boulder. The prayer saved his life and the boulder stopped instantly. The boulder is now installed behind the high altar.
Every year Nemi conducts the Sagra della Fragole, the Festival of Strawberries, which draws hundreds of people from far and wide to indulge in its finest delicacy.
The town overlooks Lake Nemi, which has been considered sacred since the ancient Etruscan and Roman times. The area has been known to have been blessed by the Goddess of Fertility and in the ancient times several people from the region used to come to Nemi to bathe in its sacred waters.
Villa d'Este, Tivoli
Built in 1550 for Cardinal Ippolito II d’Este, the grand villa has some of the most significant and comprehensive illustrations of Renaissance culture Italy has to offer.
The historical architecture within the garden walls includes the ruins of ancient villas, such as the Villa Adriana, an area rich in caves, fountains and beautiful waterfalls.
The historical town of Anagni, also known as the ‘City of Popes’ was brought to light by the historical events which took place in the 13th century. In 100 years the town gave four Popes to the Catholic Church.
The Cathedral of Anagni became a place of historical importance. It’s home to some of the best works of Romanesque and Byzantine Art in Italy, and no trip would be complete without visiting its famous crypt.
Castello Di Fumone
Located 800 meters above sea level is the ancient town of Fumone. Its name is derived from the technique of communicating using smoke signals to announce the invasion of enemies coming from the south and heading for Rome.
In 1295, the imprisonment and death of Pope Celestine V, took place inside Castello Di Fumone nestled in the Ciociaria. Not only does the castle have a rich historical background, it also vaunts an unrivalled roof garden, with a 360 degree view of the surrounding countryside.
1 hour 30 minutes