The town is located in the Castelli Romani area on a low plateau, from which there are views to the Lake Nemi.
Its origins go back to the year 1100, when just a few houses existed around the church Santa Maria della Cima - church. The city was surrounded by defensive walls on one side, while the part that faces the lake was easier to defend, and therefore did not need a defence wall. A larger castle was built in 1235 and so on over the years it changed hands.
Spread out over a volcanic plateau above Lake Nemi, Genzano di Roma is a typical Medieval hill town. It sits on the famed ancient Roman road, the via Appia. Its stone defensive walls still enclose the town in a cradle of well-preserved charm. Genzano is actually a pretty bustling place, with restaurants, wine bars, cafes and nice shops. A pretty promenade is the Olmata, a wide, elm-lined avenue.
The lanes of the historic centre are littered with alluring fountains, one of which is known as the Fontana del Vino (wine fountain) because of the decorative grape leaves carved into it. The Fontana del Vino turns water into wine once a year when it spurts vino as part of Genzano's annual wine festival.
During the festival, wine tastings are held in the Renaissance-era Palazzo Sforza Cesarini. The local vintage is DOC Colli Lanuvini, a full-bodied white. But Genzano's most famous festival is the Infiorata (the flowering) when the streets are strewn with blooms to celebrate Corpus Christi. Elaborate works of art are painstakingly created in the streets using petals, seeds, nuts, and wood shavings - all elements must come from the plant world. The colorful festival is a dazzling sight to behold.