Frascati And The Magnificence Of The “Ville Tuscolane”
Frascati villas and gardens reached their greatest splendour around the second decade of the seventeenth century. In Roman times the Tuscolo hill, with a pleasant climate, had been chosen as a favourite place of Villas and gardens by the most powerful and illustrious Roman citizens, among them Catone, Lucullo and Cicero. The closeness of Frascati to Rome, centuries later, allowed a similar use for its territory.
From the sixteenth century, families of papal nobility converted the ancient castles into luxurious residences for summer stays and for this reason famous architects and painters were commissioned.
We will visit Villa Mondragone, which stands on the foundations of an ancient Roman villa, belonging to the Quintili consuls. In this villa lived Cardinal Ugo Boncompagni, who later became Pope Gregory XIII, who here, in 1582, started the reform of the calendar in use today, bearing his name, the Gregorian Calendar.
This Pope had a dragon as a heraldic coat of arms, from which he named the villa, Mon-dragon-e.
The villa is now home to the University of Tor Vergata for its institutional activities.
Villa Grazioli was built in 1580, inhabited by Pope Paolo V and decorated by important seventeenth and eighteenth-century frescoes, which adorn most of the rooms and of the gallery on the second floor, attributed to well-known painters as Antonio Carracci.
Today it houses a luxury hotel.
Villa Aldobrandini (also known as Villa Belvedere) is one of the most important villas in Frascati. It stands on a panoramic hill overlooking the entrance to the town, and it has a multi-century history, divided among important families and papacy. It was built for Cardinal Pietro Aldobrandini, nephew of Pope Clement VIII who commissioned famous architects of the seventeenth century as Carlo Maderno and Giovanni Fontana.
Inside the villa, now private property, there are frescoes painted by baroque and iconic artists such as the Zuccari brothers, Cavalier d’Arpino and Domenichino.
Particularly interesting is the Sala del Parnaso.
Visit and tasting.
Private bus transfer to the centre of Frascati and lunch at leisure.
Appointment at the bus stop area for Rome and return to the city at 17:00.
Meeting with your guide
Itinerary: Rome – Frascati and the entrance to the Villas
End of the tour
The price includes
Guided tour of the Villa Tuscolana and other Villas, with a small tasting at Villa Aldobrandini
Licensed tour guide available for members
Mode of travel: private bus for the itinerary which leads to the Villas