The city of Grottaferrata is part of the province of Rome and is located in the area known as Roman Castles. Grottaferrata, such as Frascati, has about 21,000 inhabitants and for many years has been a favorite destination of the Romans and foreign tourists who come here to relax during the weekend. Grottaferrata is a very quite places and offers to the tourist a holiday between art and relax: you can visit the old churches and museums in the city center, taking long walks, relax in the farm and taste the typical food and wine in the restaurants and farms of Grottaferrata.
HISTORY OF GROTTAFERRATA
The first settlements in the territory of Grottaferrata date back many centuries ago, probably even Old Age. Over the years the area was a substantial expansion in terms of population. Grottaferrata has always been one of the most religious areas of Lazio, and this is testified to the fact that many Popes and clerics had taken refuge in the city. In 1004 San Nilo from Rossano, the Patron of Grottaferrata, reached Lazio from Calabria and settled with his followers at the shrine of Saint Agnes. Following Gregory the Counts of Tusculum, donated the land next to Via Latina occupied by the remains of Roman structures: thus was born the Abbey of Santa Maria di Grottaferrata. San Nilo died a few months after founded the monastery at sunset on September 25, 1004. His companions continued the work and the church was completed and consecrated by Pope John XIX, 17 December 1024, under the heading of the Madonna di Grottaferrata.
Over the following centuries, after the death of the saint, the Abbey of Grottaferrata was sacked several times and all the treasures and works of art that were inside were taken elsewhere. A major renovation of the abbey was undertaken in 1492 by Pope Pius II appointed Cardinal Basil Abbot Bessarion, that not only was interested in the arrangement of the library but did write the "Platform" or "Regestum Bessarionis" a list of all the properties of the abbey. In the same year was built the walls of the abbey, although the fate of the church continued to gravitate around a series of family succession. From the Farnese to the Barberini family until Consalvi Hercules, the last commendatory abbot in office until the final abolition of commendation in 1824.
On June 3, 1848 Grottaferrata get municipal autonomy by Pope Pius IX: is the first mayor criptense the merchant John Passamonti, who favored the urban development of Grottaferrata and its autonomy from Frascati. During the Second World War the city suffered no major damage such as Frascati, however, remember the night between 3 and 4 June 1944 when the Anglo-American reached Grottaferrata after recent clashes with the Germans and headed rapidly towards Marino, where some Germans resisted at San Rocco.
THINGS TO SEE IN GROTTAFERRATA
Abbey of Santa Maria di Grottaferrata: Also known as the Abbey of San Nilo in honor of the saint of Calabria, who founded with a group of followers, this is a monastery exarchs maintained by Byzantine monks. The religious complex is located in the heart of Grottaferrata and the decor of the façade reminiscent the style of oriental world. Beside the church you can admire the great bell on the door while inside you find a splendid mosaic that depicts Mary Mother of God. The church's interior is in Baroque style and retain the original structure with three naves. Along the south aisle you'll find the Farnese Chapel, decorated with frescoes depicting the stories of St Nilo. In the Abbey is preserved the work of Gian Lorenzo Bernini depicting "Mary and Child".
Address: Corso del Popolo 128, Grottaferrata, Rome
Sacred Heart Church: Built in 1918, was consecrated on October 31, 1928 and subsequently assigned to the PP. Salesians, who have governed until 1963. The church was built by the will of Mary Santovetti Tanlongo. The style is neo-Gothic, and inside you can admire the beautiful mosaics and stained glass windows, donated by the Marquis Alfredo Dusmet.
Address: Viale XXV Luglio, Grottaferrata, Rome
St Joseph's Church: Built at the behest of Nicholas Santovetti, was consecrated July 14, 1889. The church was given to the fathers by the family Santovetti Cistercian and during the sixties, the church underwent restoration work: coats of arms were removed from the facade of Santovetti and was walled rose, which opened at the center of the facade. Inside there are important works such as the "Mary and Child with Saint Joseph's" by Capparoni Silverio.
Villa-Dusmet Rossellini: Also known as Dusmet villa, was built in front of villa Arrigoni-Muti at the end of the Nineteenth century by Zeffiro Rossellini, grandfather of director Roberto Rossellini. In 1919 the villa was sold to the Marquis Alfredo Dusmet while in 1940 it was requisitioned by the Royal Air Force as its headquarters. In 1966 it was bought by nuns Pallottine.
Address: Viale Vittorio Veneto, Grottaferrata, Rome
Villa Gavotti-Joachim: It is a Sixteenth Century villa in purchased in 1614 by the Marquis Lorenzo Gavotti. The Marquis takes charge of the work of the house, expanding the building and decorating. After a series of steps, the villa was bought by Joachim at thebeginning of the Twentieth Century, which is still founder and director.
Villa Bracciano- Montalto- Grazioli: Also known as Villa Grazioli, was built in 1580 by Cardinal Antonio Carafa. Inside the villa are the frescoes that represent the themes of mythology and history in general. Today the villa houses the Park Hotel Villa Grazioli.
The Borghetto di Grottaferrata: it is an ancient medieval fortress, which dates from about 1140. Over the centuries the castle was identified by several names, depending on the families. From Burgus Annibaldi to Mons Frenelli till Castrum or Burghetti. In 1473 the castle became part of the abbey complex.
Catacombs to Decimum: is an important archaeological site of Grottaferrata where they were found more than 800 graves dating to the fifth century, some frescos and a arcosolium representing the "Traditio Legis", transmitting the Gospel message.
National Archaeological Museum of the Abbey of San Nilo: The museum is located inside the monastery and has an archaeological collection consists an ancient marble artifacts, sarcophagi and portraits of famous people. Of great importance is the collection of art history, with frescoes of the medieval church, Sicily and Islamic ceramics, rare objects and vestments, as the precious omophorion, the fourteenth century.