A land of green hills and pine trees that line the historic Via Tuscolana and dive into the Lake of Albano ... with flora and Mediterranean like rain.
At the foot of the Aventino, during the spring, you can discover one of the most romantic gardens you have ever seen: the magic municipal rose garden. A triumph of colors and scents that involves more than a thousand species of roses taht will fill your eyes and all your senses.
From the rose garden you can also enjoy a beautiful view on the Circus Maximus and Palatine Hill, you can forget metropolis and live the dream of Roma across the green.
Rome is also an unexpected source of mineral waters: the waters Capannelle Nepi are only the most famous, but many other bio waters are avalable in the area...
Villa Borghese is the big green heart of Rome, as well as the most famous park in this capital city.
A park always crowded with thoughts and wayfarers, which allows you to stop in the shade of the trees, for a quick picnic or just for visit to the museums that includes the great gallery of modern art and wonderful sculptures by Bernini.
An oasis of peace and serenity with its Biopark, houses animals of all kinds, a games room and, for lovers of cinema, the famous Casa del Cinema; for horse racing and horse riding lovers the park offers the horse race in Piazza di Siena and the ritual of carousel of the Carabinieri.
St. Sebastian park is particularly green and full of surprises: you can find it along the ancient Via Appia, near the church of San Cesareo and the house of Cardinal Bessarion.
A treat to conclude: at the top of the Aventine hill, after the Giardino degli Aranci, the keyhole of the gate of the Priory of the Knights of Malta offers a breathtaking view of St. Peter's.
Looking through the slit you'll see the whole panorama: from the Dome of St. Peter's to the frames of hedges in the gardens of the Priory.
Do not forget you are in Rome... the undisputed leader of culture, archeology and good food.
Finding a good place for meal is very easy; from kiosks offering sandwiches with porchetta, to the "fraschette" along the lake.
Generous, never sophisticated, powerful and persistent flavors.
Starting from the most simple dishes and raw materials we can not forget the Roman tradition made of fresh vegetables (artichokes first of all, cooked with garlic and "mint" or served "alla giudia") and offal (the famous "fifth quarter", the innards like tripe enriched and perfumed with herbs, bay leaf and pepper).
Even the type of cooking is very traditional: try tasty cod, but even more delicious “frittini”, little pieces of fried vegetables (zucchini, cauliflower, and the delicious fried eggplant).
Among the cheese stands pecorino, made of sheep's milk from the green Roman countryside, delicious on pasta, in its variant "cheese and pepper" that you will find in every tavern.
Still on the topic, great carbonara with bacon and eggs and the simple "ajo e ojo", funny and spicy! Try common pasta and chickpeas and pasta with beans.
Stop at the bio Bistrot in the natural reserve park of the “Casa del Parco”: you will find only certified organic products, from small businesses in the area: the paradise of short chain, seasonality and zero kilometers!
The ingredients are fresh, every day, in particular you can find: focaccia with rosemary and sea salt, white bread, bread with poppy seeds, milk braid with fennel seeds, bread with milk and sesame seeds, whole wheat bread with almonds, honey and olive oil and red pizza with vegetables... let’s have a try!
Castel Gandolfo is a very interesting step to fully enjoy the shores of Albano Lake and the charm of the “Castelli Romani”, in one of the most beautiful villages in Italy.
Its territory belongs in fact to the area of the Regional Park of Castelli Romani and it is full of stories, suggestions and events.
From the narrow streets of Castel Gandolfo, you can see the Papal Palace, the famous summer residence of the Pope and majestic villas. Stop for a swim in the lake, an ancient and suggestive experience, there is a lovely small beach. From here ypu will find a path that runs along the circumnavigation of the lake and in two hours you will be able to make a panoramic tour in contact with nature.
In Genzano stop to enjoy the annual "'Flower Festival of Corpus Domini": the streets are covered with colorful paintings made of flower petals. A floral "tapestry", with brooms, carnations and wild fennel.
At about ten kilometers from Castel Gandolfo you should definitely visit Frascati, well-known for its “fiaschetterie”, and for the magnificent Villa Aldobrandini, set in gardens of Mediterranean Italian. The so-called Tusculum Villas in the nearby are a "status symbol" for Roman aristocrats.
On the Alban Hills, starting from Grottaferrata, you can walk “via XXIV Maggio” which leads to an intersection with a traffic light. When you reach the sign for Mount Tusculum, climb for 3 km until you find a fully picnic area, here you can leave your car and continue your journey on foot.
The trail will surprise you from the first footfall with the old Sanctuary and the ancient Roman theater; climbing up the walls of black tuff overlooking all of Rome, ypu will find an incredible impact, a vision that can touch your soul.
There are many signs indicating the route towards the beautiful Frascati. A trail into forests that leads you to Monte Porzio Catone with the famous Astronomical Observatory; you can also enjoy the wall of Villa falconers or Frascati, 15-minute walk.
Discover all eco-friendly accommodations in Rome and surrounding, organic farms surrounded by olive groves and vineyards, or small B&B set in ancient villages, beautiful hotels overlooking the roman hills.
by Angela Sebastianelli
Cover photo by sgirolimetto via flickr