|Titian, Paul III Farnese and his family, Capodimonte, Naples|
*The history of the Papacy through the Princes of the Church
*The Renaissance and Baroque artistic tradition of Rome
*Spectacular jewels of art and architecture outside the typical touristic routes
‘Prince of the Church’ is a title reserved for Catholic cardinals, who have appointed the Popes for centuries. During the Renaissance and Baroque periods, they belonged to the most powerful and rich families of the Roman nobility, who had their feuds, castles and palaces in the area around the Eternal City. This tour brings you to discover those monumental residences, still standing after centuries.
You will see imposing palaces surrounded by beautiful gardens and decorated with precious art pieces and frescoes, you will visit fortified castles and the Pope’s summer residence, you will walk among hundreds of fountains and be surprised by strange monsters hidden in nature as well as bathe in a natural hot water spring…
The sites can be visited on day-trips from Rome or following a 3-4 days itinerary
The “Castelli Romani Tour”, Frascati-Castelgandolfo-Ariccia-Grottaferrata:
|Frascati, Villa Aldobrandini|
Morning: visit of Frascati and its famous villa Aldobrandini, later in the morning visit of the Abbey of Grottaferrata.
Lunch in Ariccia
Afternoon: visit of Ariccia, its Chigi Palace and the beautiful church of S. Maria Assunta. Later in the afternoon visit of Castelgandolfo, the summer residence of the Popes.
|Ariccia, S. Maria Assunta|
Tivoli day trip
|Tivoli, villa Adriana|
Morning: in Tivoli visit of the ancient palace of the emperor Hadrian, villa Adriana. Later we will visit Villa D’Este (XVI century) and its surprising gardens.
Lunch in Tivoli
In the afternoon we will have a walk through the XIX century park known as Villa Gregoriana ending our day on the Acropolis of the old roman city.
|Tivoli, villa d'Este|
|Tivoli, villa Gregoriana|
The Caprarola and Bracciano tour
|Caprarola, the Farnese Palace|
In the morning we will reach Caprarola and visit the marvelous Farnese Palace.
We will lunch on the lake of Bracciano.
In the afternoon we will have a walk around the Bracciano city center ending our visit with the visit of the Orsini-Odescalchi Castle.
|Bracciano, the Orsini-Odescalchi castle|
The Renaissance jewels:Bagnaia, Bomarzo and Caprarola
|A monster in Bomarzo|
In the morning we will visit the two most surprising renaissance gardens of the region. In Bomarzo, the mysterious Park of the Monsters and in Bagnaia villa Lante, the most perfect example of “Italian garden style”.
We will lunch in a small village on the hills, Canepina, to taste the delicious dishes of the area.
In the afternoon we will visit the incredible Farnese Palace in Caprarola.
|Bagnaia, villa Lante|
Art and Relax daytrip
|The Termal Baths in Viterbo|
Combine the cultural visit of Bagnaia and Bomarzo or Caprarola with a relaxing afternoon at the Thermal Baths “Terme dei Papi” in Viterbo.
|The helicod stairway of Palazzo Farnese in Caprarola|
|Chris the Guide in Caprarola|
Where: Rome’s surroundings
Suggested transport: car or private bus
Points of interest: 9-10 towns, 17 points of interest
Target: For all (ideal for both art and nature lovers)
Accessibility: all year round
>> The tour includes 9 small-medium sized towns around Rome.
· Castel Gandolfo (population 9,000): old town + Pope’s summer palace over Albano lake
· Ariccia (population 18,000): old town + Chigi Palace (where Gattopardo was filmed – 15-18th C.) and church of Santa Maria Assunta (17th C.).
· Grottaferrata (population 20,000): fortified town, San Nilo Abbey (11-17th C.)
· Frascati (population 20,000): old town + Aldobrandini Palace gardens (16-17th C.)
· Tivoli: old town, famous Villa d’Este (palace + vertical gardens with fountains, 16th C.) and Villa Gregoriana with garden (19th C.)
· Bracciano (population 18,000): old town over lake + Orsini-Odescalchi Castle.
· Caprarola (population 5,000): Farnese palace (where most movies about the Vatican are filmed, since it’s forbidden to shoot in the actual Vatican)
· Bagnaia (population 5,000): Villa Lante with typical Italian gardens + thermal baths few km away (natural sulphur hot spring)
· Bomarzo: eccentric Park of the Monsters (wild gardens with huge sculptures of fantastical creatures suddenly popping out of nowhere in the middle of nature)
· Only on the first Sunday of October: in Marino, a small town between Castel Gandolfo and Grottaferrata, the “Grape festival” takes place: a real traditional festival with food and wine as main participants. Instead of water, wine flows out of the fountains. Music until late in the evening.
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© Christiaan Santini