Italy on the road
Castelli Romani, an unusual destination combining culture and gastronomy
Sixteen municipalities not far from Rome that form an area commonly known as “Castelli Romani” (‘Roman Castles’).
An unusual name that comes from afar, when in the fourteenth century many inhabitants of Rome fled the city (and the Avignonese mismanagement) to take refuge in the neighbouring territories, in the family castles in fact.
They are located on the Alban Hills, which have been appreciated since ancient times for the healthy and breezy climate, but also for the lakes and ponds. It is no coincidence that emperors, popes, and ecclesiastical dignitaries soon settled here with luxurious residences, which are partly still preserved..
Today the Castelli Romani remains a much-loved destination both by the Romans and by those who are curious enough to cross the border of the capital. A certainly “unusual” destination for many but one that offers a range of possibilities that is no way inferior to more famous destinations, in terms of culture, history and nature. “Explosive” as it can be in volcanic territories like this, where today you can still enjoy lakes like that of Albano and Nemi. The first is considerably larger than the second and along its perimeter there are numerous possibilities both for those who love walking and for those looking for excursions on two wheels. In this sense, autumn with its colours and spring with its climate are the ideal seasons to visit these territories.
Tuffs and mineral substances, which the soils in this area are rich with, are the perfect “ingredients” to create the right habitat for vineyards. In particular, the area is suited for the cultivation of white grape varieties and the production of elegant and aromatically intense wines, such as Frascati DOP, a blend of Malvasia del Lazio, Malvasia di Candia and Trebbiano
Wine, oven bread and porchetta share a common address: that of the Ariccia fraschette, where you will be sure to find and eat good traditional dishes. They were born in the past as places dedicated to winemaking and the sale of ‘just-ready’ wine, where patrons could whet their appetite with bread from the ovens and hard-boiled eggs. To signal from the outside that the wine was ready, branches were hung on the doors, or twigs, hence the name “fraschette” (meaning ‘leafy branches’). And today they are still the address for those who appreciate the most authentic flavours.