How to Visit Frascati Wineries from Rome?
Many travel to Tuscany wine country from Rome, but the countryside surrounding Rome boasts some of the best wines in Italy, Frascati being the most celebrated.
It is quite easy to escape Rome and go on a wine tasting and history tour of Lazio even for a few hours. Villas, villages, olive groves and rustic Italian wineries of Castelli Romani are only about half an hour away from Rome.
Castelli Romani, literally translated as Roman Castles, is an area to the southeast of Rome, just a little further away than the Ciampino airport.
Famous for the Roman monuments, historic palaces dating back to the 17th century, and churches, Catelli Romani also refers to a collection of nine small wine-producing towns scattered over the Alban Hills.
The landscapes of Castelli Romani were created by volcanic activity. Lake Nemi and Lake Albano are in fact the craters of the old volcanos and are among the most attractive natural features of the Lazio region. The lakes and the altitude cool the vineyards providing perfect conditions for white grapes..
The region is home to an abundance of indigenous grapes. Malvasia and Trebbiano based white wines are made in a fresh unoaked style. They are medium in body with medium to high acidity and flavours of citrus and orange blossom.
There is also significant production of red wines and sparkling wines, however, they are not as high-profile.
Frascati is the most well-known of the Castelli Romani towns. Only 13 miles (21 km) from Rome, this town is the most visited by tourists and a popular destination for Romans.
Rome’s trademark wine, Frascati, has been produced here for nearly two thousand years and was known to Romans as the “golden wine” due to its color and value.
Other notable towns are:
- Castel Gandolfo, the summer residence of the Pope. The picturesque hill-town is dominated by the Papal Palace and its extensive gardens
- Genzano, which is above the crater of Lake Nemi
- Albano Laziale, a busy town on a steep slope leading up to the Lake Albano crater
- Ariccia and Velletri are other notable towns with a rich history. Ariccia is also home to famous porchetta (roast pork).
Ways to get to Frascati from Rome
Frascati is easily reachable by public transport.
COTRAL buses run frequently from the Anagnina metro station (remember to buy your tickets in advance from the kiosk at Anagnina and to validate them when you get on the bus).
You may need to change buses to reach smaller towns.
There is also a local train service from Rome, which leaves from the Rome Termini Station.
If you are traveling independently, it is very much recommended to pre-book your tastings at wineries by contacting them by phone, by email, or by booking directly on their website.
When you arrive at the Frascati station, wineries are within about a few minutes’ drive from the town. Arrange a pick up by a winery or take a taxi.
The best season to visit Frascati
September – October, April – May are the most comfortable
July and August may be very hot
February -Carnevale, with parades and celebrations
March – Velletri Camellia Festival
May – Festa dei SS Filippo e Giacomo, a festival in honour of the town’s patron saints
23 June – Sagra della lumaca, a snail-eating outdoors feast
October – Sagra del vino, wine festival
What kind of wine is made in Frascati?
The regions is mostly known for white wines that are designed for drinking young, characterized by high acidity, volcanic minerality and crispiness.
White grapes: Malvasia del Lazio, Trebbiano, Greco, Bombino
Black grapes: Cesanese, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah,
Appellations in Lazio: Roma DOC, Frascati DOC white wine, Frascati Superiore DOCG white wine, Vagnolo IGP red wine.
Wineries to visit near Frascati
Some great wineries to visit near Frascati:
Other wineries are a bit further, near Colonna and Cori:
- Principe Pallavicini. In addition to tasting delicious wines, visitors also get to tour the first-century Claudio Aqueduct located here.
- Damiano Ciolli, where wine lovers will enjoy glass after glass of red vino from the world-class Cesanese black grape, along with a tour of the vineyard.
- Marco Carpineti, situated near Cori, an ancient, incredibly scenic town that predates Rome by over 500 years. In addition to the winery, be sure to spend time exploring the town during your visit.
Wine Tours from Rome
I recommend getting on one of the wine tours if you don’t want to drive through Rome and its suburbs and fully enjoy wine.
Most of the tours will take you to one or two of the villages and then to a wine tasting at a winery. Some include lunch or snacks and olive oil. The Typical duration is between 3 and 7 hours.
Wine tours run from Rome or from Frascati train station.