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Outside the city. Castelli Romani - Roman Castles

Outside the city. Castelli Romani - Roman Castles.
In the Alban Hills there are 13 enchanting towns known as the Castelli Romani or Roman Castles where privileged patrician families used to pass their summers. Patrician villas, Medieval country houses, gardens and archaeological remains are dotted throughout this enchanting area surrounding Rome. Start with Castel Gandolfo overlooking the Lake Albano and the summer residence of popes, cardinals and prelates of the Roman diocese who stayed in the antique residence of the noble Savelli family. Inside there is a famous astronomic observatory known as la specola vaticana or the Vatican Observatory. Frascati is known for its villas such as the sixteenth-century Villa Aldobrandini. Lanuvio is a Medieval hamlet and a walk up to fourteenth-century fort is well worthwhile. The Castelli Romani are well known for their wines and typical Roman cuisine. It is well worth stopping at one of the numerous fraschette or taverns such as that at Ariccia, to try some genuine food in a picturesque, folkloristic atmosphere.