Frascati is located in the Alban Hills, in the Roman Castles area. It is part of the province of Rome and has about 21,000 inhabitants. Known for its artistic heritage, characterized by ancient villas and castles, Frascati is one of the most visited destinations near Rome by tourists from all over the world. The architecture of Frascati is typical of medieval towns, with small streets, alleys and historic shops. The city is also famous for its white wine, and for the splendid panoramic views over Rome.
HISTORY OF FRASCATI
Frascati dates back to Roman times, but it was during the Middle Ages that the village began to expand. Following the destruction of Tusculum, the holy seat of the diocese went to Frascati. Under the patronage of Marcantonio Colonna, Frascati began to grow politically and economically. In 1518 the first hospital was built in San Sebastian, on the initiative of the Arciconfranternita del Gonfalone. After the death of Colonna, Frascati was given to the Apostolic Chamber, putting an end to the feudal period of the city. In 1538 Pope Paul III gave Frascati the title of "Civitas", building new fortified walls. During this period many villas which symbolized the power of the Roman aristocracy and the papal court were built throughout Frascati.
After the outbreak of disease in 1800, residents of the capital took refuge in Frascati and in towns surrounding Rome. After that, there was a large investment in the city which brought about the construction of the rail network linking it to Rome. During the Second World War Frascati was heavily bombed, only to be finally liberated by the Americans June 4, 1944.
THINGS TO SEE IN FRASCATI
Cathedral of St Peter's: The Cathedral was built around 1700 and is located in the center of Frascati. The facade was designed by the architect Gerolamo Fontana, while the interiors were created by Ottaviano Nonni. Over the centuries, the cathedral of Frascati has undergone several renovations, especially after the bombing on 8 September 1943. Following that particular bombadment, the church was restored, but as a result all the frescoes that adorned the interior walls were lost. The facade of the cathedral is built of stone extracted from quarries in tuscolana Monte Porzio Catone. On either side of the facade there are two tall towers, one housing a peculiar 6 hour clock. Also noteworthy is the front door of the cathedral which depicts the scene of Jesus giving the keys to St Peter.
Address: Piazza San Pietro, 00044 Frascati, Rome
Church of Jesus: This church is located in the center of Frascati and its architecture is in full Baroque style by the architect Gregory Castrichini who designed it around 1700. The Church of Jesus stands on the foundations of an ancient church dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, which was built at the behest of Lucrezia della Rovere. The façade has two niches on either side of the portal with two sculptures of St Francis Borgia and St Ignatius of Loyola. The interior was designed in a Latin cross and has a fake dome, by Father Andrea Pozzo.
Address: Piazza Roma, 00044 Frascati, Rome
Church of St Francis of Assisi: This is a Catholic church in Frascati, attached to the Convent of PP. Cappuchins and the Ethiopian Museum. Over the years the church underwent several renovations and in 1873, the property was auctioned by the Italian State. Cardinal William Massaja spent the last years of his life here in the convent. Since 2003, the renovated convent plays host to lay and religious retreats.
Shrine of Our Lady of Capocroce: The church is named after the Virgin who, according to legend, appeared here in front of the columns to face the mercenaries, who upon seeing this apparition, fled the city thus saving it from a savage looting. Following the destruction in 1944, which also destroyed all the frescoes in the church, the shrine was rebuilt and rededicated in 1954.
Villa Aldobrandini: Also known as Villa Belvedere is one of the most important ancient villas in Frascati is located on a hill overlooking the city. Built for Cardinal Pietro Aldobrandini, the villa is currently open to tourists. Inside you can admire the frescoes by the Zuccari brothers and the monumental entrance designed by CF Bizzaccheri in the eighteenth century.
Villa Torlonia: The construction of Villa Torlonia in Frascati dates back to around 1560, when Annibale Caro began building near Frascati. Over the years Villa Torlonia has been the retreat for many important church leaders and the Roman aristocracy. Duke of Wales gave it to Cardinal Ludovisi who brought about several changes in the villa, with the help of the great architect Carlo Maderno. In 1661 the villa was bought by Pompeo Colonna, and then became the property of the Conti family. During the bombing of Frascati 8 September 1943, the building was completely demolished and rebuilt as a residential building, while the park became public.
Villa Falconieri: It was originally called Villa Rufina and was built at the behest of Archbishop Rufino Alexander Bishop of Melfi. The architecture of Villa Falconieri was designed by famous architects such as Borromini and Antonio da Sangallo Junior. Inside there are frescoes from the seventeenth century, while in the park you can admire a large lake surrounded by cypress trees. Since 2000, it has been the home of the National Evaluation of Education and Training.
Villa Grazioli: Villa Grazioli is one of the Ville Tuscolane built by the papal nobility of Frascati and is located in the municipal area of Grottaferrata. Inside you can admire seventeenth and eighteenth century frescoes that adorn many of the rooms and a gallery on the second floor, showcasing various well known artists such as Ciampelli Agostino, Giovanni Paolo Pannini and Carracci.
Ex-museum Tuscolano Scuderie Aldobrandini:The stables are an impressive structure from the seventeenth century that display an archaeological collection of the remains and ruins from the Roman city of Tusculum and the surrounding area, dating from the Republican to the Middle Ages and a historical Art section, which displays models in 1:200 scale of the Tuscolane Villas, all built between 1550 and 1620.
Museum Ethiopian Cardinal G.Massaia: Opened in 1909, the Ethiopian museum collects numerous weapons, costumes, drawings, prints, photographs, books, scrolls and objects of the Abyssinian culture, identified by Cardinal Guglielmo Massaia during his missionary work in Africa from 1846 to 1880. The Museum is housed in the Convento dei Cappuccini.
HOW TO GET TO FRASCATI
By train: Trains to and from Rome depart every 25/30 minutes and take about 20/25 minutes.
By car: 3 roads link Rome to Frascati, namely the Appian Way, the Anagnina Way and Tuscolana Way. The fastest way is: take the Autostrada del Sole (A1) to the GRA. Take exit 21-22 and cotinue for about 7 km towards Monte Porzio Catone. Exit the highway and turn right towards Frascati.
By bus: Regional bus CO.TRA.L. offers frequent service departing from metro station -Anagnina Line A going towards Fracati OC.
By Train: Trains depart from Termini Station in Rome to Frascati several times every hour, every day. For train schedules and ticket prices, please visit Trenitalia.it.
For more information check out the website of Municipality of Frascati.