After saying goodbye to Athens our early-summer trip continued a bit to the west – to Italy. We continued from one ancient city to another, from Athens to Rome. These are two of the most important cities in our view of ancient Europe. Maybe we should have included Konstantinopel (Istanbul) as well on this trip, but there’s not enough time for everything. After years of considering a trip to this part of Europe, we had finally found a road to Rome.
So here we go, it is time to extend our Visiting Athena with the Road to Rome.
Arriving at Rome—Ciampino International Airport
Hardly surprising for an afternoon in late June, the sun was shining this Saturday when we landed in Italy. However, Rome Ciampino International Airport fast received a spot on our top 5 worst airports. And that was even prior to our departure from the same airport. There really is a lack of information in regards to public transport and you might think that an airport of this size would have good connections with the train station located just a short drive away (on the other side of the runway). Well, apparently not, we had to wait for one of the hourly buses. There are a lot more buses to the center of Rome than connections to the regional train service. A bit too one-sided for us as we didn’t want to take the shortest road to Rome.
Our final destination for the day was the town of Frascati, located just a short train ride from Ciampino. Frascati would be our base for the last five nights before heading back home to Sweden. We were staying in one of the grandiose old villas overlooking the town.
The First Sight of Frascati
Frascati is located around 20 kilometers south-east of Rome and is one of sixteen towns in the group of municipalities known as Castelli Romani (Roman Castles). These are all located at the feet of the Alban Hills and also include Castel Gandolfo that we will get back to in a later post. What makes Frascati stand out is the villas. These were built by Popes, cardinals and other Roman nobles. We stayed at Villa Tuscolana and could enjoy a great view out over the valley.
Upon arriving we soon found out that the view had a price. It was quite a walk downhill back to town for our dinner. Luckily the road didn’t have a lot of traffic and it was actually quite manageable to walk. It was, however, over a kilometers walk descending the hill. This just to have a pizza and walk back up again. Well, we did get our exercise while in town as we did walk up and down once or twice per day. Our first day in Italy got closer to an end while Susann and I enjoyed a glass of wine in the town and Little A slept in the stroller.
I must also mention the walk back up. Fireflies guided us up the otherwise dark street through the forest. It was quite a magical sight that was only interrupted once – when a wild boar crossed the street a few meters up.
The Road to Rome
We didn’t spare any time to rest upon arriving in Italy. We had already our next day planned. Sunday morning, breakfast and the road to Rome was open. Join us these last days of our 5-week trip and enjoy more of what Italy has to offer.