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Roman castles – Castelli Romani private tour
Exclusive car tour from Rome with private guide
Wine and food DAILY tour around Rome with local private guide
Individual excursion 6/h to 8/h, max 10 pax – 6 pax Еур 60/h (from 1- to 6 pax)
Our guides are also graduates having obtained painting, dance, music or literature diplomas and are active artists working in Italy.
Lakes of Rome private tour
Tours around Rome with local guide
The two Roman lakes 30 km south of Rome
Along the trail that today retraces the ancient Sacred Way that connected the Appian Way to Monte Cavo, there is a place commonly known as the tocchialones: It is a natural terrace leaning towards the south and the only point of the Castelli Romani where it is possible to admire Lake Albano and Lake – excursions around Rome by Rusrim.com
Nemi at the same time. From here, the waters reflecting the sun within the surrounding circular brim of the ancient volcanic craters, remind us of a large pair of spectacles.
Castelli Romani individual private tour – video
Lake Albano Laziale – Private car tour around Rome
It is also called the Lake of Castel Gandolfo as the waters reflect the town where the Papal residence is located. With a depth of 170 metres, it holds the record for Italian volcanic lakes and is a destination for water sports lovers with particular interest to rowing, sailing and diving. Along the perimeter of the low banks, approximately 10 kilometres, you can often find roadrunners training.
It is not only for sport that Lake Albano is frequented. Its charming landscape, rich vegetation and archaeological and historical-artistic evidence make it a pleasant and interesting spot for relaxation and educational walks.
A new boat service introduced by the Regional Natural Park of the Castelli Romani will take visitors to sail along the so-called Sentiero dellAcqua, letting them approach in a new, easy and involving way the environmental and historical-archaeological themes of Lake Albano. Further information is available on the Internet website of the Regional Natural Park of the Castelli Romani
Like all lake basins of volcanic origin, Lake Albano has no tributary and is supplied only by rainwater and some
underlying springs. In 397 BC, the Romans carried out an enormous hydraulic engineering enterprise: an artificial emissary, which allowed the waters of the Lake to reach the sea in order to control the level. Further visible evidence of Roman Age are the Doric Nymphaeum and the Bergantino Nymphaeum.
From the Medieval Age you can see the Convento di Palazzolo and a few remains belonging to the Romitorio di S. Angelo.
Musica dei Castelli Romani
Lake Nemi – Private car tour around Rome
It is the smallest of the two Castelli Romani lakes and in ancient times was also called Specchio di Diana (“Diana’s Mirror”) because of the Sacred Woods and the Temple-Sanctuary of Diana Nemorensis (p.10), the Goddess of Woods, situated along the banks.
Lake Nemi was appreciated as an entertainment and holiday location of by the ancient Romans. Emperor Caligula organized enormous celebrations in honour of Diana on his two famous ships, which were anchored in the centre of this small volcanic lake. The remains of the ships can be seen today at the Museum of Roman Ships (p.11) located on the banks of the same lake.
Today, a large part of the banks of the lake is taken up by cultivations of tasty good quality strawberries for which the attractive medieval town of Nemi has become renown.
According to the Goletta dei Laghi report in 2009, it is considered possible to bath in the lake in its complete form, except for the area in front of the Museum of Roman Ships.
Castel Gandolfo – Private tour around Rome
Romantic view from Paganelli restaurant 200 years of history
In a splendid position overlooking Lake Albano, Castle Gandolfo is situated on the brink of a volcanic crater. The town is known for the beauty of the surrounding nature and its elegant historical centre encircled by the wall. It has been elected one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. Above all, the small town is famous for the Papal Palace where Popes have spent their summers since the 176 century. After all, Castel Gandolfo and neighbouring towns were favourite places to build summer residences as far back as ancient Roman times, initially by patrician families and emperors and later by important clergy and noble Romans. Evidence of ancient Roman times are the remains of the Villa di Domiziano (Domitian’s Villa) to which the Ninfeo Bergantino belongs. The villas and other residences surviving today such as the Chiesa di San Tommaso di Villanova (Church of St. Thomas of Villanova) were mostly built as of the 17th century when Castel Gandolfo became property of the the Holy See. Its history is very ancient as its origins go back to the town of Alba Longa.
CASTEL GANDOLFO – VATICAN TERRITORY – PRIVATE TOUR
The summer Pope-s residence in Castelli Romani
Roman Castles – Castelli Romani tour – Rusrim VIDEO with original music by Adel Karanov
Nemi – Private car tour around Rome
Lying deep in the sacred woods that once were dedicated to Diana Nemorensis (also known as Diana of Nemi), is a charming medieval borgo well known nowadays for the delicious strawberries Gently resting along the border of the crater and surrounded by woods, Nemi overlooks the small volcanic lake bearing the same name. The charm of this small town of ancient origins and medieval aspect with its towers reflecting on the blue water of the lake surrounded by rushes and strawberry greenhouses, has seduced poets and painters and still enchants the many tourists visiting today. The history of Nemi is ancient and important. Because of the Tempio di Diana Nemorense (Temple of Diana Nemorensis), which was situated here, the area was already considered sacred by the Latin League. Later, it was also favoured by the Romans and Caligula, who decided to keep his two big ships used as banquet halls, anchored here. What is left of the vessels is conserved in the interesting Museo delle Navi Romane (Museum of the Roman Ships).
Museum of the Roman Ships – Private tours Roman Castles
Strawberry speciality in Nemi – Culinary tour from Rome
Nemi – Castelli Romani romantic tour from Rome
Nemi – VIDEO Roman castles tour – Original music by Adel Karanov
The Roman Castles – Castelli Romani – Private wine tour from Rome
The hills of Castelli Romani, guardians of the Urbe Alba Longa, Tusculum and the origins of Rome
The origins of this part of the world are lost in myth, so much so that Cicero called these hills the ‘uterus of Rome’. The Castelli Romani area had a central rote in several events connected to the Eternal City: in fact it was here that Alba Longa was located. Legend has it that it was founded by Ascanius, son of Aeneas and was the capital of the famous Latium or Latin Civilisation. In the Tri century B.C.. Alba Longa was definitively conquered by Rome, after the legendary battle between the Horatii and the Curatii, and with it the whole Castelli Romani territory fell under the influence of the growing Roman civilisation. The area has always appealed to Rome’s affluent families and is full of the remains of villas and residences which belonged to noteworthy figures such as Marcus Tullius Cicero. Seneca, Domitian and Caius Julius Caesar, on the ruins of which stand entire villages. Among the most famous ancient towns in this area, the city of Tusculum cannot be forgotten. According to legend, it was founded by Telegonus, son of Homer’s mythical hero Ulysses. Located on the volcanic ridge of Mount Tuscola, the small city played a main role in the famous battle of Lake Regillo, where the Latiums were beaten by the Romans who had help from the Dioscuri Castor and Pollux themselves, or so legend has it. It yielded definitively when the Romans destroyed the city and razed it to the ground in 1191 for sheltering Frederick Barbarossa who was fighting the Romans at the time. The area where it once stood, where today lie the municipalities of Monte Compatri, Frascati, Grottaferrata and Monte Porzio Catone, was partially for grazing and partially woodland.
From Castles to sumptuous Villas The name ‘Castelli Romani’ indicates an area that includes a group of neighbouring municipalities to the south of Rome. The origin of this name dates back to the 14m century when, after the difficult period of the so-called Avignon Papacy, the process known as ‘encastellation’ began: some residents of Rome moved to the feudal castles owned by some rich Roman families in this area.
1500s, when a period of peace began that would last two centuries and allow the urban, architectural and artistic/cultural development of the zone. The architects of this long stretch of prosperity were the powerful families who owned feuds here, such as the Colonnas, the Chigis, the Sforzas and the Borgheses. It was during this period that the appearance of the Castelli Romani area was further embellished with the construction of numerous monumental buildings: from majestic Tuscolan villas such as Villa Nlondranone. Villa Falconien. Villa Rufinella, Villa Grazioli and Villa Aldobrandini to the Pope’s summer residence in Castel Gandolfo.
The eastern Romani area today In 1870. having been the focus of the most powerful Roman families and Popes for centuries, the Alban Hills area was annexed to the Kingdom of Italy and a series of infrastructural works was begun which improved rail and road connections and made the area a popular destination for travellers from all over Europe. The Second World War was a particularly painful time for the Castelli municipalities which were at the centre of Anglo-American bombardment. Despite this. the economy in the Castelli Romani area recovered immediately after the conflict, especially in the agricultural sector, and has remained healthy to this day.
Culinary tours from Rome to Castelli Romani
Traditional Dishes in the Roman Castles
Touring the fraschette is an activity to which you should devote yourselves assiduously. The fraschetta is a typical inn of the Castelli Romani area, with ancient origins connected to the move of carters from the countryside to Rome and the places where they stopped for refreshment. Today most of the fraschette offer traditional Castelli Romani cuisine, while some maintain the tradition of selling only wine to their customers who bring their own food. Try the Lane Pelose in Monti Prenestini.
This translates as Hairy Sheep which explains its humble origins among the shepherds. Just as balls of wool were pulled off the sheep to be processed, so the women pulled off pieces of dough to then roll them into strips. Today they keep the same name but the preparation technique has evolved: whole-wheat flour and water are used for the dough which is then rolled out and cut (roughly) into rough strips with the help of a knife, without too much concern for precision. They are served with many different condiments: porcini mushrooms, geld sauce or salted cod. The traditional first course in Castelli is fettuccine, which are prepared here with both wheat flour and chestnut flour (more rustic and aromatic) and served with a meat sauce or porcini mushrooms. Or, if you prefer, try the Gnocchetti a ‘coda di soreca’ (mouse tail gnocchi) a very simple pasta made from flour, water and a pinch of salt and made into an original shape that recalls a mouse tail. These are made by hand and are the
same diameter as a chunky bucatino pasta with a tapered tip. Typical of Prenestine cuisine, these are served with meat sauce, Iamb ragu and artichokes, You will also eat these gnocchetti from the typical ‘scifette’, rectangular containers made from wood: a real blast from the past. Speaking of fresh pasta, another typical dish from Castelli Romani and the municipality of Colonna in particular is pincinelle: a long round pasta. approximately 3 millimetres wide, made with a dough of flour, water and salt. Every menu also contains the local dishes that are now famous all over the world: delicious carbonara made with guanciale, egg, pepper and pecorino romano cheese; cacio e pepe whose ingredients are in the name (cacio e pepe means means pecorino romano cheese and pepper); amatriciana made with guanciale, tomato and pecorino romano cheese and gricia, similar to the amatriciana but without tomato.
The second courses are often made with lamb or abbacchio as it is known here. In Roman dialect, this means milk-lamb, which has always been a dominant feature in the culinary tradition of Castelli Romani. The Abbacchio Romano, born and raised wild or semi-wild within the borders of Lazio is also PGI protected and has a ,r and le n mea •, It is ised in meat is seasoned with garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper to make roasted abbacchio which is served with potatoes. To make abbacchio ‘alla cacciatora’ it is slow-cooked in a casserole dish or pan and flavoured with anchovies, olives and tomatoes depending on the recipe. Abbacchio ribs are eaten ‘scottadito’ style – cooked on the grill or barbecue and served immediately (the name translates as finger-burners) or breaded and fried. An ancient dish is the legendary Tordo matto di Zagarolo, rolled horsemeat with crushed lard. parsley, garlic, sage, coriander, chili and salt which is cooked in the embers, roasted or pan-cooked with local red wine. Tordo matto is made by the butchers of Zagarolo and it can also be found in some restaurants in Monti Prenestini. Other meat dishes, such as rabbit ‘alla cacciatora’ (with garlic, rosemary and vinegar) and humble sides that use the intestines or less noble parts of the animal such as pork tripe ‘alla romana’ with tomato sauce, mint and pecorino or beans with pork rind and iamb giblets. You must of course try the saltimbocca ‘alla romana’: a slice of veal pierced with a toothpick which holds a leaf of sage and a slice of prosciutto crudo, seared in oil and white wine.
Cacio e pepe pasta – Roman dishes
In Castelli, the reinvigorating polenta accompanies boar but there is also a vegetarian version with mushrooms. broccoli and chickpeas. Not only vegetarians but also fans of the ‘sides’ menu or anybody bored of potatoes, grilled vegetables and
BIO products from the Roman Castles – Vegetables
mixed salads which abound on Italian menus, will be pleased to know that sides are a serious business in Castelli Romani. This is the land of ripassate vegetables where the vegetables are tossed in a pan with oil and garlic, occasionally some chili, and potato and ramoracci (a flavoursome wild herb) frittatas. Then there is the chicory, puntarelle, artichokes, asparagus and broccoli; all with that slightly bitter taste and crunchy consistency that make them exceptional accompaniments to the hearty second courses in typical Castelli cuisine.
King of sides is of course Artichoke ‘ells romana’, which is simmered in water and seasoned with garlic, mint and parsley, or perhaps oanzane.11a made with yesterdays soaked bread, fresh tomato and oregano You might never have tried it before but it is definitely worth a taste. The name is Scottone and it’s a cheese that is served… hot! You need to climb up to Rocca Priora to try it, because this is where Scottone is still produced to this day. It is a semi-liquid cheese, similar to ricotta, obtained after boiling sheep’s milk twice. The name (burner) reminds us that it should be served while it is still very hot in an earthenware bowl.
Typical and Biodiverse Products in the Roman castles
Wine tour around Rome with local private guide
The words ‘Castelli Romani’ immediately conjure up a getaway. You get a longing for the kind of artisanal food products that made this land so perfect for gastronomic escapism Castelli Romani was made famous by history, cinema, literature and songs. It has widespread popularity ,and offers a simple welcome and a joyful atmosphere, as if it were always Sunday here, always a trip away, always a discovery. And Frascati DOCG is the life of the party. With its straw colour and delicate aroma, it is an excellent aperitif but also a faithful companion to all the best Roman cuisine. It is the most famous wine from Castelli and is produced in various types: Frascati Doc normaie (dry) or Spumante Frascati Superiore DOCG. Cannellino di Frascati DOCG (sweet wine from late harvest). All these are made with the Malvasia del Lazio or Puntinata, Malvasia di Candice Trebbiano Bellone and Bombino grapes. Frascati DOCG wines are a gastronomical triumph of the Castelli Romani area and are also made organically in some vineyards. In line with the wine tradition in Castelli Romani, the master gelato-maker Roberto Troiani has created a line of gelato with Castelli wines.
Local BIO product made in the Castelli Romani – Rusrim.com Culinary private tour from Rome
Using the local must, he has created delicious ice-creams that are perfect for enjoying on a stroll or in original combinations with food. The wine ice-creams are creamy, sweet and flavoursome, characterised by an acidic note that is balanced by the scent and rich and consistent flavours of he wine. There is a flavour for everyone: Cannellino (cream, Cannellino, cinnamon and almond): Crema al Passito (Malvasia passita, cream and cinnamon); Frascati Superiore (Frascati DOCG, cream and green apple) and many more.
Among the local gastronomic specialities, the Castelli Romann norcinerias play a fundamental role: the Coppiette are spiced strips of dried pork. The manufacture process stars with the selection of the best cuts of meat which are then cut into strips and seasoned with salt, fennel seeds. chili, wine and various spices depending on the butcher’s recipe. Once seasoned, the strips are hung to dry and folded in half, hence the name coppietta (little couple). The coppietta should be bitten into with no hesitation or concern for etiquette, just like the old inn customers used to do who. stimulated by salt and spices, would then drink copious amounts of wine. In distant times, the coppietta was the inseparable companion of shepherds and legionary soldiers as it would keen for a long time in their saddlebags. Today it is eaten before, during and after meals, in the restaurant or as street food. It is a treat that is difficult to resist.
Porchetta is also an important part of the butcher tradition. It is made with boned pork, seasoned with aromatic herbs and then cooked in the oven or, as would be more traditional, over a wood fire. It is without a doubt the most popular dish in the fraschette, but also in restaurants in Frascati and all CasteIli Romani. Fans of cheese will not be disappointed by the Monti Prenestini, These lands re suited to pastoralism and offer a great variety of cheeses made with cow, sheep and goat milk. From ricotta to varyingly seasoned cheeses, that can be bought and tasted directly from the producer Cheeses and cold cuts go excellently with bread and there is an excellent local loaf made over a wood fire in Carchitti, a hamlet of Palestrina or the ‘Fascina’ loaf made in Rocca di Papa. They say that tradition is a successful invention. Hour, sugar and egg combine to make a formidable piece of culinary art: the Giglietto di Paiestrina. This delicious flaky biscuit requires rare manual skill so very few families continue the tradition and the Giglietti can only be bought in a few bakeries in Palestrina and Castel San Pietro Romano. The history of the Giolietto began in France do 1600 and is still celebrated today at the ‘Sagra del Giglietto e delle ghiottonerie dei Monti Prenestini’ (Monti Prenestini Feast of Giglietto and Gluttony) held in the first week of August. The Giglietto di Palestrina was Slow Food certified in 2014. If you still have not had enough of desserts and surprises, make haste to Rocca di Papa, perhaps with your sweetheart in tow. That’s right, weddings are celebrated with donuts in Rocca di Papa. The Ciambella degli Sposi di Rocca di Papa (Bride and Groom Donut from Rocca di Papa) recognised as a typical and traditional product, is connected to the wedding ceremony and used as an edible favour. Tradition has it that a specific number must be given dependino on your relation to the couple: 24 to your confirmation sponsors, 18 to your godparents, 12 for grandparents, uncles and aunts, 6 for friends and neighbours. Round with a hole in the middle. Ciambella degli Sposi di Rocca di Dois is made with simple ingredients sugar, egg, liquor, lemon zest. extra v rio.b b oi’ and yeast. It is then decorated .7 ii..,..:Hcoloured sugar sprinkles. The good news is that you don’t have to get married to try one: the Rocca di Papa bakeries make plenty during the orange flower season and for the feast of the Ciambella degli Sposi di Rocca di Papa which is held on the last Sunday of September. It is said that they are auspicious for a life full of joy. And donuts apparently. which isn’t half bad. Do you feel that air of fun, irreverence and exuberance? That is the typical Castelli breeze! It is time to try the Pupazza Frascatana. an imaginative and playful biscuit that looks like a woman with three nipples and is made with flour, honey and orange scent. It was created almost as a joke in the Sixties and became a typical product of the Frascati area. But why three nipples you cry. The answer is very simple: two for milk and one for wine. Castelli wine of course! The fact that wine is just as much a part of the local tapestry as traditional recipes is quite clear when you try the Wine Donuts. They are simple farm desserts to finish off a meal. The recipe uses basic ingredients such as flour. egg, sugar, lemon zest, extra virgin olive oil, vanilla, salt and Castelli white wine. Strips are made from the dough and then joined to create the typical round form and cooked in the oven. Aromatic and crunchy, these donuts are irresistible and it is quite impossible to stop eating them. The Wine Donuts are perhaps the most famous baked product of Castelli Romani but certainly not the only one: do not forget the Serpette, flaky biscuits with a winding form that looks like a snake, or the piangiallo made with honey and dried and candied fruit If you are planning an autumn trip, the main feature of your explorations in the Monti Prenestini will be the chestnut. In the Capranica Prenestina and Rocca di Cave regions, hundreds of hectares are devoted to chestnut groves. It is here that the Mosciarella di Capranica Prenestina
Car tours from Rome to the Roman castles – Castelli Romani wine tour
Small group tours in minivans ensuring the highest level of comfort. Our vehicles are fully equipped with all the options required for long trips, including air conditioning. An English speaking driver will be at your disposal for the whole day and will arrange the most satisfactory tour with you.
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