Park Hotel Villaferrata, Grottaferrata ***
Park Hotel Villaferrata, Grottaferrata: family hotels Italy, bookable online at ahotelinitaly. Quick, simple and secure. View hotel
Double rooms from €49
Park Hotel Villa Grazioli, Grottaferrata ****
This lovely hotel in Grottaferrata on the outskirts of Rome has a real wow factor. Originally a handsome patrician villa built in the early 16th century, visitors can experience a real sense of history here. this is ideal for someone looking for easy access to Italy's wonderful capital city. View hotel
Double rooms from €145
Locanda dello Spuntino Hotel, Grottaferrata ****
South of beautiful Rome, and past its perhaps less beautiful suburbs, are the 13 towns that make up the Castelli Romani. Set on the Colli Albani hills, these towns have long been the holiday and weekend destination for Romans. View hotel
Double rooms from €130
One of the Castelli Romani towns lying in the Alban Hills (Colli Albani) south of Rome, Grottaferrata is famed for its 11th century abbey and its wine. The abbey is a fortified Basilian (or Greek Orthodox) church, founded here in 1004 by St Nilus the Younger. Legend has it that it was built on a spot where the Virgin Mary appeared and told Nilus to build a place of worship. Within the Abbey we have the little church of Santa Maria, with its Byzantine interior decor, 13th century mosaics and chapel to St Nilus. A little museum here has medieval and classical sculptures.
Nearby is the town of Marino, which boasts Lazio region's best wines after Frascati. Nearby sights also include the town of Rocca di Papa, which at 680 metres above sea level is the highest of the Castelli Romani towns, and with a stunning medieval centre tumbling down the hillside. There is the pretty wine town of Frascati, with its superb Villa Aldobrandini and gardens, and the hilltop town of Monte Cavo. See too Lago (Lake) Albano, which has Castel Gandolfo, the summer home of the Pope. From here, a very pretty road leads to Albano Laziale, along the Via Appia (Appian Way). And just north of here, of course, is Rome itself. Well within reach for days out, while keeping a foothold in the countryside of southern Lazio.