We might not know who is the current pope, but we have at least seen where one of his summer residences is located. After one day in Rome and another in Frascati, we decided to see more of the region of Castelli Romani. Looking through the web for recommendations we found photos of the town, Castel Gandolfo, overlooking the lake Albano.
Taking the Local Bus from Frascati
Finding out how to take the bus from Frascati to Castel Gandolfo was an adventure in itself. The bus stop is at Piazza G.Marconi, but there is no place to buy tickets around the square. Instead, you need to find a tobacco store a few hundred meters back towards the center of the town. There it is possible to buy tickets for the local buses. This is probably common in Italy, but we had no clue,
We were quite lucky as we had enough time to ask around and figure this out before the departure of our bus. These buses are regular, but they do have quite some time in between.
The bus did get really crowded with all the families heading towards the lakes for a swim, but
Lunch in Castel Gandolfo
We got off the bus at the outskirt of Castel Gandolfo. We didn’t know the exact bus route, so we took a well-calculated risk and ended up directly below the road leading up the center of this charming little town.
Castel Gandolfo is a really small town. It is, however, impressive. Once inside the town gates you are greeted by the impressive Palazzo Pontificio – the 17th-century papal palace. Walking along its picturesque streets there is one thing that stands out: the view down over Lake Albano – a volcanic crater (actually two) that is nowadays a lake. Lake Albano is the deepest lake in the Lazio region with its 170 meters.
We found a cozy little restaurant along the main street for lunch. For some reason Little A fell asleep just before we sat down, resulting in that we were not able to order food for her as well. We could instead enjoy a calm lunch in the sunshine. Pasta, what else?
A Walk to Albano Laziale
Unless you decide to go on tours in the papal part of Castel Gandolfo, you will probably have seen most of the town in less than an hour. That is why we soon were heading back down the hill toward where the bus dropped us off. About two kilometers away is the town of Albano Laziale – another of the towns of Castelli Romani.
Albano Laziale is a town with an ancient past. Out of the large amounts of sights in the town we had our eyes open for just a few. These were the parts of the old fortifications still standing as well as the Amphitheater of Albano. The Amphitheater must have been really impressive once upon a time. Sadly now we could only enjoy it from outside the gates. It has really limited opening hours and trash was scattered around the sight. So we were soon on our way back towards the train station. After a day of walking it was time to take the train back to Frascati.
Both Castel Romani and Albano Laziale were well worth a visit. Not only do they offer historic sights, but they were also something completely different to the hectic Rome. I’d say they make the perfect day trip from the Italian capital.