The Castelli Romani are the 16 hillside towns just 20km southeast of Rome. These charming hamlets occupy the slopes of former volcanoes and while the architecture of many is clearly medieval or baroque, virtually all of them have roots in antiquity when they were the summer playgrounds of the Roman elite. The Castelli make a great day trip from Rome, offering fresh air, great food, and a wide range of archaeological and architectural sites. One can begin in Frascati, a famous white wine producing region, and strike out from there. There is one train every hour from Roma Termini (30 minutes). Some towns and places of interest include:

Arricia: Rustic restaurants serving porchetta (roasted pork) and Romanella (Sweet effervescent red wine), Bernini’s Assunta church
Castel Gandolfo: The Pope’s summer villa, Lake Albano
Genzano di Roma: DOP bread
Frascati: Villa Aldobrandini
Marino: Annual wine festival in October when wine runs from the local fountains
Grottaferrata: the Abbey of Santa Maria di Grottaferrata
Nemi: Lake Nemi, Museum of Roman Ships