See the Villa d'Este and the terraced gardens there built in the 16. century by Cardinal d'Este and the Villa Adriana the country retreat of Emperor Hadrian.
Buses go to Tivoli from Rome, Ponte Mammolo metro station with a stop near Villa d'Este and Villa Adriana, there are also trains but you have to walk a bit more. City bus # 4 goes from the city to the Villa Adriana.
Buy a train ticket and head to Orvieto for the day. In just over an hour, you'll go from swirling, exciting Rome to beautiful, serene Orvieto. Both are wonderful and completely different. Orvieto is what I pictured Italy would be like--quaint, charming, a visual delight. It's worth at least a day--postcard perfect views of rolling Tuscan hills from a little gem of a town with a huge, black & white cathedral.
Adorable shops, excellent gelato (never actually had any bad gelato anywhere in Italy), friendly people...do yourself a favor and go! Love to shop for unique items and found clothing, artwork and gifts that I didn't see anywhere else in Italy. Of course, plenty of shops with "staple" tourist items, too. Plenty of info on the internet--just google "Orvieto". I'm only sorry I didn't spend a night or two there. It's also perfectly located for an overnight between Rome & Florence. Enjoy!
A short train trip from Roma's Termini Station will take you to a beautiful piece of heaven called Frascati. The white wine there is infamous and it is full of little Cantinas where you can enjoy a beautiful day eating in Italy. Wine can be purchased fresh from the barrel for something like .90 euro cents a little. Ask the staff what cheese and meat goes well with their wine. From Frascati you can see all of Rome and enjoy peace and relaxation that tastes incredible.
Regional trains are actually pretty affordable in Italy. If you're planning to make a one-day trip outside of Rome, go to the Trenitalia site and see for yourself! You can go to Florence from 14.31 euros one-way (3.5 hour trip), thru a 17.31 euros one-way rate (2.5 hour trip) up.... reducing your trip to some 2 hours one-way, for much bigger bucks. The round-trip tickets are slightly discounted.
Uhhhhh, by the way..... if you go from Rome to Florence in your own car, you're going to spend some 20 euros each way (gas + highway charges).
40KM away from the Eternal City of Roma.... on the southern shore of Lake Bracciano, the Castello Odescalchi di Bracciano reigns majestically as one of the most beautiful medieval castles in Europe.
The 14th century medieval Odescalchi Castle belongs to the noble Odescalchi family, whose ancestors include Benedetto Odescalchi, the 17th century pope Innocent XI. It once hosted princes but is used nowadays for conventions, gala dinners and receptions for up to 1,400 guests.
The castle has also hosted several celebrities' weddings. Worth mentioning: Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes' wedding in November 2006. Also, CNN international correspondent Christiane Amanpour and the former U.S. State Department spokesman James Rubin held their 1998 wedding reception there, attended by 180 guests including the late John F. Kennedy, Jr. That same year, Italian pop megastar - Eros Ramazzotti tied the knot with model Michelle Hunzicker (now his ex-wife), held their reception at the castle.
Bored staying at the Castle... and don't know what to do?
Worry no more, my friends!
The little medieval town of Bracciano boasts of a mere 14,000 inhabitants and is perched 280meters above sea level . The town's most famous landmark must surely be the majestic Castello Odescalchi di Bracciano.
In case you get too bored staying in the Castle, you must wish to explore the Botanical Gardens of San Liberato where you can also admire the oldest bell-tower in the world.
For the more adventurous, I'd like to highly recommend taking a boat trip on the lake with the "tragetto"....
For the artsy folks, how about a visit to the Aeronautical Museum at Vigna di Valle
It's something that people often miss while in Rome, but it's for sure worth visiting as it's unique. Ostia Antica is a city that dates to II cent. A.D. It's all discovered not so long ago, all the ancient city with the Terms, Theated, streets, houses, markets ecc. WHOLE ANCIENT CITY complex in one place. I doubt you can see something like that soon.
At least it's worth visiting because of fresh air if anything else does not interest you, it's close to the sea, real refreshement.
The Castelli Romani (Roman Hills) region - located just 40KM away from bustling Rome - is famed for its production of wine and local cuisine. This region also boasts of many interesting castles and villas from Villas Torlonia, Falconieri and Aldobrandini to the Castle of Santa Severa and Castello Odescalchi di Bracciano - which I'll be introducing to you very shortly.
We were there for a weekend of fun at our company's private dinner.
The Castello Odescalchi di Bracciano, one of the most beautiful medieval castles in Europe. Built sometime in the 2nd half of the 1400's, the castle is located in the little town of Bracciano and overlooks the volcanic lake of Bracciano.
Here's the full address of the Castle:
Piazza Mazzini, 14 - 00062
For more photos, please check out the Travelogue: A Weekend at Castelli Romani (Roman Hills). Grazie mille!
FANCY A DAY WALKING THROUGH AN (ALMOST) INTACT ROMAN CITY?
Pompei (or Pompeii) was destroyed almost instantly by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Now, with a little extra time, you can walk its streets and enter the courtyards of Roman Villas. You do need an EARLY START. Buy your tickets the day before at Termini Train Station to go to the PIAZZA GARIBALDI in NAPOLI (Naples). You want the ‘Rapido’ or Eurostar Train that will take about 1 ¾ to 2 ½ hours depending on which train you select. At the station in Naples you come into the lowest of 3 levels. Go up one level to find the ticket counter for the CIRCUMVESUVIANA Train. This operates like an inter-city metro and you have about 30 seconds to get onboard. Get off about 30 minutes later at POMPEI SCAVI. You are 100 meters from the entrance. Someone may say there is another Pompei stop. Ignore them. This is it! You can see the site properly in about 4-6 hours and be back in Rome for dinner.
Some helpful websites/links:
Unesco World Heritage information on Pompei:
UNESCO - POMPEI PAGE
A HELPFUL TRAVEL DIALOGUE:
The Cole Family
***Please feel free to add this to your "Custom Travel Guide" and print it off before you go! ***
We know we wanted a day at the beach to relax (i.e. fight off the jet lag). Originally, we wanted to go to Sperlonga, which is more than 1.5 hours away. True to our frugal selves though, we decided to take advantage of our 3-day transit pass (included in the Roma Pass) and visited the beach at Castel Porziano, which is supposed to be nicer than the public beach at Ostia Lido.
First things first: Directions! You can take the metro to the Pyramide station. From there, follow the signs and change to the Roma-Lido line. This is covered by the transport pass. Take the train to the Cristoforo Colombo Station (end of line). Based on the directions from one website, we were supposed to take the 61 bus. When we got there, we couldn't find the bus (it is actually there, just farther away from the entrance). We ended up hoping on the bus called "Mare 1" (The real number is 07). I don't think it really matters, basically, all these buses with the "Mare" name run along the beaches.
Unfortunately, we had no idea where to get off to get to the beach (apparently the beaches near Castel Porziano are famous for sand dunes), so we just followed the beach going crowd and got off when they did. Afterwards, we found out we got off at the Litoranea (Cancello 2) and arrived at "Free" Beach. Yes, that's the name of the beach, and we confirmed that it is indeed free to enter as well. We rented a decent sized umbrella for 5 euros and spent a few hours just laying in the soft sand and chilled. The beach was quite nice, maybe the sea isn't as blue as hoped (it is sort of near the airport), but the beach goes on forever. All in all, it was a perfect remedy to our sleep deprived, whirlwind tour of Rome on Day 1. Most of the beach-goers that day looked like locals. The place wasn't very crowded, although it could be a result of it being a Monday. We saw people windsurfing and para-gliding (?), so there is definitely other stuff you can do.
There isn't much around that area, so you probably want to bring a picnic and some drinks with you. If you feel obligated to do some sightseeing (since Rome seems to be the first stop for a lot of people I know), you can combine this with a visit to Ostia Antica a few stops before C. Colombo. Just make sure you don't go on Mondays. We did, and was promptly turned away by not 1 but 2 staff sitting at the ticket booth. Ostia Antica is one of the participating sights on the Roma Pass.
P.S. I found out from a sign at the lifeguard station that we indeed made it to Castel Porziano, though we did not see the dunes. There is also a naturalist beach in the area, but we did not come across that either.
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