The geographical region that Ariccia is in is called Lazio. Ariccia is located in the area of Casetelli Romani. Casetelli Romani translates to the roman castles but it refers to the area of wine producing hill-towns to the southeast of Rome. Today, we had a day-long tour of the area. It was our first trip together on the Monti tour bus! I did get a tad bit car sick riding around the hilly terrain, but getting to see all the great towns was worth it. Due to the amount of fog in the morning we started off with the town of Nemi instead of the hike to the top of Montecavo. I loved Nemi. It was so pretty and I love that the town was nestled in the hills above the lake. The town was also very colorful despite the gloomy weather. Nemi is known for their mini strawberries and their annual strawberry festival. The strawberry tart was so cute but we couldn’t quite put our finger on what it tasted like. My friend Spencer then said, “I know what it is!! it tasted like a grandma!”
The next town we went to was Castel Gandolfo. I now understand why it is the Pope’s summer vacation spot! It was so beautiful. It was my favorite town of the day. The sun came out for us to truly enjoy the town. It overlooks Lake Albano which is the largest lake of the area. We saw some kite surfers on the lake which was interesting to see this time of year. The church in the main square was beautiful as well. It had been remodeled by Bernini.
The Abbey in Grottaferrata is where we went next. The Abbey was very peaceful and pretty.
At this point I was starving, so I was very thankful when we were told we could eat lunch at the next town, Frascati. This is where Cinzia lives! This was my second favorite town. It was also in the hills and it had a lot to offer as far as shopping and eating. It’s also famous for the Three Breasted Woman cookie. The town was also bombed heavily during WWII because it was the location of German and Italian headquarters. I had lunch at a delicious sandwich place and I got zucchini, one of the first vegetables I’ve had since being here so that was great! Also, had gelato– salted caramel and some special flavor I’m not even sure what it was haha It was delicious. Although, I somehow managed to get it all over myself while trying to eat the cone.
After lunch we were all pretty tired. It got REALLY quiet on the bus. Next, was our hike to the top of Monte Cavo. From the top we could see both Lake Nemi and Lake Albano. It was really cloudy at that point so it was still hard to see, but it was still a great view. On the way down it was pretty slick, my new friend Becca and I were talking about how clumsy we were then all of the sudden she was on the ground. She just looked up at me and said, ‘It happened’. Luckily, her knee was just a little bruised.
Last, we went to Genzano. It is home to a flower festival in May and June. There were lots of good shops and restaurants in this town too! It is only a mile from Ariccia. So I plan on coming back when I get the chance.