The Regional Park of the Castelli Romani is situated on the heights of the Alban Hills in the south-east of Rome. The area of the Colli Albani was born about 600,000 years ago, because of the great volcanic activity in the area. The area of the Alban Hills in fact consists of the remains of the Latium Volcano, an area rich in forests, animals and water sources.
The area of the Regional Park currently includes all cities of the Roman Castles, including the Lake of Nemi and Lake Albano, and areas of Velletri, Larian and Lanuvio. Many of the historical monuments, churches and ancient buildings were in fact built with materials of volcanic origin, like tufo, the paperino and the basalto, which on contact with air have solidified and become resistant materials useful to humans.
The park of Lazio has always been an oasis of nature where they are preserved rare plant and animal species. Already in ancient times the Romans had done to preserve some forests, such as the forests around Ariccia and shores of Lake Nemi, because they were considered sacred places. Over the years, lost their value and religious worship for this man began clearing these areas to draw raw materials. The environmental consequences were very heavy, so that the flora and fauna found in wooded areas of the Roman castles were disappearing. Much of the forest land was converted to pasture and crops, while the trees were replaced with mixed chestnut for obvious economic reasons. Currently the park is a protected area which, thanks to experts and scholars, seeks to protect biodiversity and in recent years has managed to record a large increase in wildlife and more.
HISTORY OF THE PARK
The first permanent human settlements in the Regional Park of Castelli Romani can be traced back to the period before the Neolithic. But the first people who have left an important documentation on land and settled around the year 1000 a. C., was formed when the civilization of iron known as the "Lazio", which then took on the exact characteristics with the birth and development of the mythical city of Alba Longa.
The rough and strong Latin had to defend against several enemies. Besides, the possession of these lands having regard to the strategic location of the Latium Volcano in central Italy was vital, not to mention the goodness of the climate and the generous abundance that nature offered. Volsci tribes, and the Equi tried several times to take over this territory, but the Romans, at the end of the fifth century BC, were winners and would therefore undisputed masters. The area of the Latium Volcano was chosen by powerful and prominent personalities from the era including Cato, Lucullus, Cicero, to construct their villas with attached gardens where you can safely enjoy the leisure time of the campaign.
Among the most important archaeological sites of importance to recall the ancient City of Tusculum, with well-preserved theater dating back to the first century B.C., the remains of the Forum, the so-called Villa of Tiberius, and several tombs. The others interesting archeological sites are Albano are the nymphs of Lake Albano, the temple of Juno sighed Lanuvio and the remains of the Temple of Diana in Nemi.
The ancient Romans with their typical paving flagstones are well preserved, as the ancient Via Sacra from Ariccia rises to Monte Cavo, the ancient Mons Albanus where Latins and Romans went to the Temple of Jupiter (Juppiter Latialis) built on its summit to celebrate the Faerie Latinae.
THE VEGETATION OF THE PARK
The plant community of the Regional Park of the Castelli Romani is the set of trees, shrubs, herbaceous plants in the area, which will vary depending on weather conditions due to the difference of the shares. Among the different classes of vegetation in the park include the Mediterranean region, which includes holm oak, cork oak and the different types of herbaceous plants and evergreens. At an altitude of 500 meters is the band of mixed oak forest, which is precisely the name of the tree in this area. At 800 meters there is the submontane broadleaf and where you can see beautiful specimens of beech.
Most of the park is covered by forests very wide, many of which find chestnut trees that were planted for economic reasons as a result of human interventions on the environment hard. Now, thanks to some intervention was possible to reconstruct the natural habitat of the past, formed not only by the chestnut but beautiful specimen trees of various types. Among the most important woodlands we suggest you visit the "Forest of Cerquone" (Rocca Priora), the "Forest of Tears" (Montecompatri), the "Forest of the Capuchins" (Albano Laziale), the "Bosco della Madonnella" (Grottaferrata) and the "Macchia dello Sterparo" (Frascati).
THE FAUNA OF THE PARK
The animals in the Regional Park of the Castelli Romani are a very large variety of wildlife during the years and is increasingly growing. Visiting the park will come across wild pigs, which feed the elements of the forest, hedgehogs and porcupines, foxes, which are clearly visible nests, squirrels and moles. Among the birds are beautiful specimens of hawks, owls and tawny owls and barn owls as well. Not only that, you will also find nests of swallows, blackbirds and great pheasant.
One of the individuals who have recently returned to the territory and the peregrine falcon, after years of absence due to predation of its eggs and the use of chemicals for agriculture. Among the amphibians the presence of the crested newt, the frog and newt Dalmatian is a corollary to the reappearance of the spectacled salamander with at least four different populations, after a long absence.
This is among the mustelids pine marten, arboreal mammal habits of particular significance as a biological indicator, in addition to the more common weasel and marten. Very important is the presence of badgers, other animals whose presence is indicative of a general state of health of the habitat.
HIKING IN THE PARK
The protected area of the park is really wide, so that would not be possible to visit in one day. Tourists fond of nature and history will be able to make numerous excursions on trails within the park. The routes in the park are many and can be done in several ways: on foot for trekkers who can follow the directions on the trails, but also cycling, riding among the treasures of nature. More and more fans who choose the routes on horseback through the woods and along the shores of the lakes.
The Park offers, in addition to an extensive network of trails in terms of magnificent scenery, an incredible variety of trails with historical and archaeological vocation. The origins of the housing area they throw roots in ages much older than the founding of Rome. An example for all are the ruins of the Temple of Diana Nemorense and the impressive excavation during construction, the City of Tusculum.
HOW TO REACH THE PARK
• From the GRA (GRA) exit 21-22 Anagnina-Tuscolana. Continue sull'Anagnina direction or on the Tuscolana Frascati Grottaferrata
• From the GRA (GRA) exit 23 Appia. Head towards Marino
• From the A2 Roma-South Branch ", leave Monteporzio, San Cesareo.
• Termini Train Station and Tiburtina Train Station.
- Rome-Albano Laziale
- Rome-Frascati. Stations: Frascati;
- Rome-Velletri. Stations: Lanuvio, Velletri;
- Rome-Naples line via Cassino. Stations: Colle Mattia.
• From the terminus of the Metro A Anagnina Cotral bus for all the Park.