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Frascati is one of the Castelli Romani, historic hill towns to the South East of Rome. It is a small relaxed town perfect for a getaway from the metropolis of Rome. World famous for its (usually quite average) white wine, Frascati has a slower pace of life, cleaner air, and a far more casual feel than the nearby capital. In 1943, Frascati, the seat of the German Fieldmarshall Kesselring, was heavily bombed by American B17s. Around half of its buildings were destroyed by a total of 1300 bombs. Many people died in that air strike and in a second air strike on January 22, 1944, the day of the battle of Anzio. The city was liberated from German occupation on June 4, 1944. Although you probably won't notice it from a casual visit, Frascati is an important scientific center. It hosts Italy's National Institute for Nuclear Physics, as well facilities of the European Space Agency, and The Spaceguard Foundation, which aims to protect the world from collision with objects in space. (less...) (more...)
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Points of Interest in Frascati
Frascati is famous for its villas, in particular Villa Aldobrandini, which dominates the town. These villas were built in the 16th Century by the Roman aristocracy as status symbols and for social activities. Most have been restored since being damaged in World War II but the cost of maintaining such buildings these days is horrendous.
- Villa Aldobrandini (Unmissable when you enter Frascati, whether by road or rail). Also known as the Belvedere because of its dominant position, with a view all the way to Rome. The inside of the villa cannot be visited but the gardens are accessible on weekdays with a pass obtained from the IAT tourist office in Piazza Roma.
- Scuderie Aldobrandini, Piazza Marconi 6 (At the bottom of and outside the Villa Aldobrandini gardens and on your left as you look at the villa.). 10-18 closed on Mondays. This building was the former stables of the Villa. It houses an archaeological museum with pieces collected from the ancient Roman town of Tusculum, about 5km from Frascati. There are also scale models of the villas of Frascati.
- Take part in the passegiata in the evening: wandering up and down the main street, preferably with a gelato, checking out everyone else doing the same.
- Porchetta is a speciality of the region: whole spit roast pork. Many places around the town will have most of a pig sitting in a cabinet, usually served by carving a few slices and placing them between pieces of rustic white bread. Perhaps nothing could be a better match for a glass of Frascati.
- Frascati is famous for its white wine, and while the quality isn't renowned it certainly tastes better in its home town. There is a big difference in quality between the best producers and some of the others. The largest producer is Fontana Candida and its Superiore Santa Teresa is normally reliable. Villa Simone is arguably the best producer and you should also look out for Castel De Paolis, Casale Mattia, Poggio Le Volpi and San Marco. Antiche Terre Tuscolane cooperative produces relatively small volumes of very good wine.
- A feature of Frascati is its Cantine, essentially places where you can buy and drink wine, and can bring your own food. During summer nights the Cantine put their tables outside on the paved roads and it seems like the whole town sits on these benches drinking, talking and laughing beneath the stars. On such nights it's easy to see why they choose to live in this small but vibrant town.
- Osteria del Principe is an authentic cantina at 25 Via del Castello, frequented by locals in the early evening.
- Taglienti white wine.
This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Frascati on Wikivoyage.