The south of the Lazio region

Because there are so many highlights to see in the southern part of the Lazio region, we've broken them down into three blog pages. This page provides information on Tivoli (Villa d'Este and Villa Adriana), then Subiaco (two Benedictine monasteries), Anagni (City of the Popes), Palestrina (museum with well-known Nile Mosaic).You will also find information about Ostia Antica (archaeological site) and Appia Antica (Roman road).

 

Another blog site on the south of the Lazio region deals with the area of the Castelli Romani (also called the Alban Hills).In this area you can hike around the two bathing lakes Lago di Albano and Lago di Nemi and visit the lovely towns of Nemi and Castel Gandolfo (former papal residence). A third blog page dedicated to the south of the Lazio region describes the beautiful sea coast from Anzio to Terracina, Sperlonga and Gaeta, with the natural parks and dune beaches.

1. Subiaco

The small town of Subiaco lies on the edge of the Monti Lepini / Monti Simbruini mountain ranges. The old center consists of steep streets and at the top stands the 10th-century Rocca Abbaziale, a castle of the abbots of Subiaco. This fortress can be visited on certain days and has interesting wall paintings. The two Benedictine monasteries, Santa Scolastica and San Benedetto (Sacro Speco), about three kilometers east of the city, which were built on the sites where St. Benedict, are the main sights of Subiaco, which attract many tourists and groups of pilgrims from near and far. Benedictine Monastery of Santa Scolastica - The older of the two surviving monasteries of Subiaco consists of three cloisters and the monastery church. The monastery can be visited with guided tours. Benedictine Monastery of Sacro Speco - A comfortable path leads to the entrance to the upper monastery of San Benedetto, better known as Sacro Speco (Holy Grotto), which impresses with its special location. The monastery was built on a steep cliff high above the valley in several stages around the hermit cave of St. built around Benedict. This monastery, with its beautiful murals and interesting history, can also be visited.

2. Palestrina

The small town of Palestrina lies on the western slope. According to legend, the pre-Roman Praeneste (today Palestrina) was founded by the son of Odysseus (Telegonos) and the sorceress Circe. The houses of the old center stretch up the steep slope. At the highest point of the town stands the palace of the Barberini family, with a beautiful view. The archaeological museum of Palestrina is absolutely worth seeing. The most interesting exhibit is undoubtedly the Nile Mosaic, one of the finest examples of ancient mosaic art (2nd century BC)

3. Anagni

Anagni is the city of popes, being the hometown of no less than 4 popes. The prehistoric finds and the Roman city walls are of considerable interest. Highlights of Anagni include visiting the medieval cathedral with its almost intact mosaics, where Frederick Barbarossa was excommunicated. In and under the cathedral there is a museum worth seeing. You should also see the Palazzo of Boniface VIII (museum with audio guide). From the outside you can admire the Casa Barnekow.

Restaurants:

Malacucina - Restaurant

Welcoming environment, many refined details in the decor and in the choice of dishes. Friendly service. Location: Right by the Porta S. Maria gate.

Address Via Dante 68, Anagni

Phone +39 0775 96 11 09

 

Taverna Gotica Ristorante Pizzeria

Nice location and good, simple food. Location: In the center of the village, 500 meters from Palazzo Bonifacio VIII (museum).

Address Piazza Perfetti 4, Anagni

Phone +39 0775 186 09 54

4. Ostia Antica

Ostia Antica - During the Republican period, Ostia was Rome's main trading port and military base. Ostia's decline began in the 4th century when trade declined and the port silted up at the same time. Here you get a complete impression of life in the imperial period. There were various bathhouses, a theatre, taverns and shops. Next to the theater is the Piazzale delle Corporazioni. There lived the guilds of the trades that were entrusted with the outfitting of the ships. The Decumanus (the main street of Ostia Antica) leads to the Forum and the main temple built under Hadrian. Today Ostia Antica is a beautiful, large park with many interesting monuments from Roman times and therefore a very popular destination (there is also a museum, a restaurant and a bar).

Link: https://www.ostiaantica.beniculturali.it/en/home/ - Information on the Park Parco archeologico di Ostia Antica, in English.

5. Tivoli

Tivoli is one of the most visited places in Lazio. The historical importance of Tivoli was based on the wealth of water (River Aniene). In ancient times there were several important sanctuaries here. Today tourists visit the three beautiful villas of Tivoli. The Villa Gregoriana and the Villa d'Este are near the old city center, while the Villa Adriana is far away, about 4 km below the city.

 

Villa Adriana (Hadrian's Villa)

Near Tivoli Hadrian's Villa is one of the greatest examples of a Roman imperial villa, with ponds, nymphs, sculptures and structures capable of satisfying the refined tastes of Emperor Hadrian. Note: definitely worth seeing

 

Villa Gregoriana, near Tivoli

Beautiful park, which offers a romantic world of Roman ruins, waterfalls, grottos and vantage points for the visitor. A park of great environmental, historical and artistic value, whose beauty has only recently been reopened to the public. Note: if you have time and spend the whole day in Tivoli, a visit to this villa is recommended.

 

Villa d'Este

Famous villa, located in the center of Tivoli, with the impressive variety of fountains, nymphs, grottos, water games and water music. It was the model for some European gardens of the Mannerist and Baroque periods. Note: definitely worth seeing, especially in the evening when it is dark and the many fountains are illuminated.

Thermal baths in the Tivoli area:

Terme Acque Albule - Thermal baths

These are located in the province of Rome/Lazio, north of Rome. How to get there: From Genzano via Frascati to Tivoli.

Link: https://www.termediroma.org

 

Terme di Cretone - Thermal baths

These are located in the province of Rome/Lazio, north of Rome.How to get there: From Genzano via Frascati to Tivoli and Cretone di Palombara Sabina.

Link: https://www.termecretone.it

Restaurants:

L'angolino di Mirko

You can eat outside very nicely here, in a nice ambience, in the middle of the city.Friendly staff and good kitchen.Location: in the center of Tivoli

Address Via della Missione 3 , Piazza Santa Croce, Tivoli

Phone +39 0774 31 20 27

6. Sermoneta

Sermoneta is an almost completely preserved and beautifully restored medieval old town in southern Lazio. You can visit the well-preserved castle with guided tours and enjoy a beautiful view of the surroundings from the castle battlements.

 

Near Sermoneta are the Gardens of Ninfa (Giardini di Ninfa). A beautiful, wild garden with the remains of old buildings and famous churches. It is situated on the shore of a pretty little lake at the source of the Ninfa River, which reflects a medieval tower.

 

Between Sermoneta and Norma a road leads to Bassiano and to the simple monastery "Abbazia di Valvisciolo", which is worth a visit for its history.

 

Norma is located near Sermoneta, on a rocky terrace high above the Pontine plain, with a magnificent view. The place still has its picturesque winding town center. 2 km outside the village are the ruins of the ancient Latin city of Norba. The sport of gliding is practiced here, as the winds from the sea blow up evenly, and are therefore ideal for this sport.

Subiaco -  Rocca Abbaziale

Palestrina / Collepardo - La Grande Dolina - Pozzo d'Antullo

Cathedral of Anagni

Ostia Antica

Tivoli - Villa Adriana

Sermoneta - Entrance to the Castle

Benedictine monastery Sacro Speco , near Subiaco

Anagni

Ostia Antica

Tivoli - Villa Gregoriana

Santuario Mentorella , near Palestrina

Abbazia , near Sermoneta

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© by Team Marsilva 2022