As the weather turns nice, the fancy might grab you to get out of Rome and take a classic trip out of town — or outside of the city gates as they say in Italian — to explore the surroundings and its villages, history, and nature.

ROMAN CASTLES

Don't let the name fool you. These are not Medieval castles with walls and crenellations, but 13 lovely villages where Romans lived in antiquity (there are lots of archaeological ruins in the area) and now a popular site for classic Sunday day trips.

The villages include:

Castelgandolfo, known as the pope's summer home, rises above Lake Albano.

Genzano di Roma, famed for its "Infiorata" festival when a carpet of flowers of over 2,000 square meters covers the town.

In Marino, the Civic Museum is home to many famous archaeological finds, such as Medusa's head.

Ariccia is equally famous for Bernini's works and its mouthwatering pork!

It seems that Lake Nemi was once the site of naval battles in Ancient Rome. Sadly, the two Roman ships that were recovered in the Fascist era were destroyed. But a small museum still tells their history.

For info and credits of the pics: www.visitcastelliromani.it

Tivoli

Thirty kilometers from Rome, Tivoli is home to two major attractions:

Hadrian's Village (118 - 138 a.C)— The ancient Roman villa built at Hadrian's behest was enormous, once over 120 hectares, and full of statues, gardens, salons, arcades, and more.

Villa D'Este - A classic example of an Italian villa (built 1550), featuring a beautiful park with many fountains.

OSTIA

Ostia, on the coast, is the beach of modern-day Romans, who often spend the days at the shore here.

Well worth a visit is Ostia Antica, a jewel of our archaeological and cultural heritage. The Roman Theater, Neptune's Thermal Baths, with magnificent mosaics, the River Harbor, the Forum... all let you imagine what life must have been like in the times of Ancient Romans.

Info and credits pic: http://www.ostiaantica.beniculturali.it/orari-ostia-antica.php


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