Italy, Around Rome – Frascati a Ostia Antica
The last day in Rome was the perfect day for a trip off the city. We visited two different places. After Villa d‘Este we decided to set off to Frascati. There is Villa Aldobrandini. Frascati is situated 20 kilometers southeast of Rome. A train departs from roma Termini to here regularly. The ride takes half an hour. But bear in mind that the train departs from a pretty remote platform. So don't go to the train station at the last minute.
Frascati is really a small town. Everything is in close vicinity here. Therefore be sure to not to spend entire day to see it all. However, there is one advantage of this. It won't take long to find a sight here. Once you walk through the modern train station building you will see stairs going up on its right side. On the top of the stairs, there beings the main square of the town - Piazza Roma. There is an amazing vista just before you. What you see is the impressive Villa Aldobrandini rising above the town in afternoon sun. The historical Museo Tuscolano is situated just below the compound.
According to the map and direction boards, one needs to reach the villa by going on the left side. We didn't manage to find out if and when it is open. However, it is not too bad that you need to partially walk around the compound because it gets you to the second main sight of the town - St Peter Cathedral (Basilica Cattedrale di San Pietro Apostolo) founded in 1598. The cathedral is trully an amazing building from the outside. However, its interior is not such opulent. One of the reasons is that the cathedral was destroyed during bombing in 1943. About 10 minutes of walking uphill along Corso Italia and Via Cardinale Guglielmo Massaia you reach the Villa Aldobrandini compound.
Guides and websites state that the villa is open all year round. This is not entirely true. There is no visitors's center nor a mpa of the compound. Fountains and other water sights were not operating. However, there were many employees doing landscaping works. Yet we were not the only tourists who were surprised by this. The compound seemed unkept. Pitty. There is amazing Teatro delle Acqua behind the villa. If somebody took better care of the place it would have been amazing. The villa was not opened to the public nor there were any information available. Perhaps this was so because we were there off season. Maybe it this will get better in the future. Only then could we recommend you to visit it.
In the afternoon, we visited the ancient town of Ostia Antica. When stanice metra linky B Piramide jsme příměstským vlakem dorazili do Lido di Ostia (platí stejný lístek jako na metro). Vlak jezdí nejméně každých 15 minut, takže není potřeba neustále řešit čas, jako při jiných výletech. Od vlakové stanice jsme za pomoci místních našli areál Ostia Antica asi za 15 minut. I bez nich by byla ale cesta jednoduchá. Můstkem pro pěší jsme přešli hlavní silnici hned za nádražní budovou a pak jsme již směřovali k hradu. Těsně před hradem se nachází příjezdová cesta do Ostia Antica. Vstup stojí 8 euro.
Ostia used to be a port and a cultural, and trade center in ancient Rome. The city was founded around the year 620 BCE under the reign of King Anco Marzio at the shores of the Tyehenian Sea. During the floods of 1557 the city disappeared. However, archeologists have worked on this site since the 19th century. Gradually tehy excavated it and renewed it. Thus, toursits can admire a theater, a necorpolis, forum, spa, or a Roman gate, and other ancient sights today. On the compound, there is a small museum with statues of emperors and sarcophages. Next to the museum, there is a souvenir store and a snack bar. The compound is quite large. It takes about 2-3 hours to walk it through. However, anyone interested in history will find the place exciting.
GPS: (Ostia Antica) 41°45'19.1"N 12°17'23.8"E
Text and photos: Veronika Schubertová
Even though the city is a commercial and industrial center now, the seat of the gas and oil refineries, and the World War II has hit its historcal heart, it still offers a number of beautiful historical monuments. In the following lines, we will look into its center and enjoy the local architectural gems.
Once more we dive deep into this beautiful town of 20 thousand.
A hundred kilometers north of Rome lies the Umbrian town of Orvieto. It sits high above the valley of the Paglia River. The town was founded by the ancient Etruscans. It later became a significant fortress, especially due to its strategic location. Today it consists of two parts. The old town lies at higher altitude, the newer part lies in the valley and it is the place which you see first when you get off the train or park your car. To get to the historic center, you can use the funicular. Up there you will find most of the tourist attractions.
The city of fashion and design, finance, sports and nightlife. This is what attracts many to Milan. And once you get to this city even though your primary destination were landmarks, you can not miss out on this side, which makes it the richest city in the country.
Milan is one of those cities where you can spend a few days and still discover something new. Since the time of the Celts, the city has developed into a modern economic center of Italy. In its tangled streets, overcrowded with cars you occasionally find some interesting sight which maybe is not one of the top attractions of Milan, but as we we are there already, why not and make a stop for a while.
Spring seems to be a distant dream. Maybe it is worth traveling somewhere where it is warm. Therefore, we chose the town of Ostia to be the place of our article for today. In the past, the town was known as Rome's most important port. It is situated close from the Tyrrhean Sea. Now the town features the second largest excavation site in Italy.
Today we go to a region where you will love to stay for as long as possible.
On this day we travel to Campania, Italy. Its mountainous landscape is situated in the south of the country and you will lvoe this region. The nature is amazing, history is rich, and food is addicting while everything is wrapped into the beautiful nature which is dotted with beautiful towns.
We return to Florence, Italy, to see other interesting places.
Last week we introduced you the Renaissance town of Siena and mentioned Florence was its great competitor. To make a better idea of Florence (or Firenze if you will), we together hit its streets today.
Siena is situated in central Tuscany, the cradle of Reneissance. Its people are often considered a nation within a nation.
In the first part on Pisa, we saw three main sights situated one next to another. This time we are not going far either.
In the antiquity, Pisa was an important Roman port. However, the Arno River has silted up since. Now, there is a 10 kilometer gap between the city and the sea. It is very likely that you know Pisa as the home of the leaning tower. However, it is possible that you don't know that Campo Santo cemetary or local cathedral are other major sights around here.
We were about to stay five days in Rome. So we intended to make some trips around Rome. We received some advice at the visitor's center which led us to visit the town of Cerveteri. The town is situated in the Lazio region about 40 kilometers from Rome. It takes us about an hour by train to reach Marina di Cerveteri station (the train departs several times every day from Roma Termini station). Then you need to reach a bus stop (100 from the train station). A free of charge minibus departs from here to the historic center of Cerveteri (to Piazza Aldo Moro). The ride takes about 20 minutes.
We decided to leave Rome on Sunday for Tivoli, a town about 40 kilometers away. Formerly, this was a place where Rome's rich went to recreate because they had their summer residence there. Today, tourists are most intrigued to visit the magnificent Renaissance villa – Villa d'Este.
We were pondering if winter or early spring are suitable seasons for a stay in Rome. It turned out, it was a great choice. It is off main season, therefore accommodation, and flight tickets are notably cheaper. There are also lesser tourist crowds (yet in Vatican or at the main train station there are still many people there). Moreover, the weather is amazing. It was bit frosty in the morning but as the day goes on, the sun is more powerful. Temparatures then rise up to 18 °C so we wore just sweaters (some even wore T-shirts and shorts).
Being in Rome one should visit Vatican - the smallest country in the world. Millions of tourists visit it every year and sea its museums, the Sistine chapel, or St Peter's basilica. The entire land is surrouned by ramparts. The state of Vatican consists of the Vaticane gardens, St Peter's square, St Peter's basilica, and another significant structures.
Do you have some place that you love the most on the old continent? Rome is our choice! Do you know why? The answer is not a short one and we can name dozens of reasons.