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Frascati is also remembered for having been the first city in the Papal State, as the railway connected here from Rome. Today though, the city's economy is based on wine production with its Frascati DOC, a typical white wine from the area south of Rome.

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Beautiful and impressive buildings

Frascati history goes back to Roman days and the city experienced a significant growth since the nearby Tusculum was destroyed in 1191. In the 1500's, the great nobles from Rome chose to come here - The Farnese, Borgia, and Colonna - to build their villas outside Rome in this city. You can see many beautiful villas from those days in the city still today.

Read more about Frascati

The wine & festivals

Today, the city's economy is based on wine production with its Frascati DOC, a typical white wine from the area south of Rome. The city's saints of San Filippo and San Giacomo are celebrated on May 11th.

Of other festivals include

- Sagra della Lumaca: The is a festival of snails and snails are served all over the city. - Sagra del Vino: a wine festival, celebrated every year in October, when the year's new wines come onto the market.

The grand villas

The most impressive is the Villa Aldobrandini, designed by Giacomo Della Porta for the nephew of a pope. This palace dominates the town, hovering above the central piazza in faded splendour. The gardens are open to the public and are free to visit - you just need to collect a permit from the tourist office first. On a weekday the grounds may be completely empty, and you can explore the terraces in solitary state. A gigantic water feature (no longer functioning), sculptures and architectural follies dominate the gardens behind the Villa, and you can climb up beside the crumbling cascade and imagine the estate in its glittering heyday.

The Villa Torlonia, nearby, was destroyed in the war. Nowadays it is a public park, where office workers jog in their lunch hour. You can still admire the gardens, and an impressive fountain, the Teatro delle acque (water theatre), designed by Carlo Maderno.

The cathedral is worth a look, as are some of Frascati's other churches. The chief appeal of an excursion here is the relaxing ambience, fine feasting, and wandering around the evocative medieval streets and the faded grandeur of the aristocratic past.

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