The Art, Food and Wine Tour of the Castelli Romani
Transfer to your hotel in the town of Frascati to settle in.
In the evening we'll gather for a welcome dinner at a prominent restaurant located next to the hotel in the heart of Frascati where we'll discuss the activities of the coming week. Local wine included.
After breakfast, we'll familiarize ourselves with the centre of Frascati,renowned for its splendid palaces and villas of the papal nobility of the 16th -19th centuries, followed by a trip above the town to the ancient hilltop site of Tusculum, with its sweeping views of the Castelli Romani. We'll spend the day here sketching and drawing, taking in the magnificent views as we enjoy a picnic lunch of local delicacies from the Castelli Romani, including it's renowned local wines.
Mid-afternoon we'll visit the small museum devoted to the history of Tusculum, housed in the former stables of the imposing Villa Aldobrandini which overlooks central Frascati.
Transfer back to your hotel.
In the evening we'll dine at the famous Osteria di San Cesario to savour the authentic recipes and exquisite flavours of the kitchen of internationally acclaimed chef, Sora Anna Dente, the "Queen of Roman Cuisine". You've never tasted anything like it!
We travel to the town of Ariccia where we'll lunch at a "fraschetta", or local eating house for plenty of wholesome, roman fare.For those interested, there is also the option of a guided tour of the Chigi Palace, notable for the original furnishings which remain intact, in the afternoon. There'll be time both before and after lunch for art activities in various locations in the visually interesting historic center.
Transport back to your hotel.
In the evening, we'll head to Castel Gandolfo for a wine tasting and dinner. A renowned and one of the oldest restaurants in the Castelli in continuous operation, we'll dine in an elegant atmosphere overlooking Albano Lake in the shadow of the Pope's summer palace.
We'll spend the day at Nemi Lake where we'll walk in the sacred forest and visit the ancient Temple of Diana, goddess of the moon, fertility and the hunt. We'll also visit the small museum where the remains of the boats of the Emperor Caligula are displayed along with other artifacts from this archaeologically fertile zone.
Surrounded by the forested hills of the crater, with grape vines stretching towards lake's edge and the small town of Nemi perched above, we'll experience the cooking of our local friend Maria, accompanied by her husband Carlo's robust wines as we lunch in their private vineyard. The sublimely bucolic setting is guaranteed to stimulate the creative juices and you'll have plenty of time to relax and practise your art. Transport back to your hotel Evening at your leisure.
Morning is free to relax, take in more of Frascati or perhaps to indulge in more sketching. Late afternoon, we'll head off for a wine tasting at the 'cantina' of a prominent wine producer in the area.
In the evening, we'll dine at the country home of Signora Laura, set among the rolling hills of vines and olive groves below the town of Lanuvio. One of the original settlements of the Castelli Romani, Lanuvio pre-dates Rome by 300 years. Laura is a passionate and accomplished cook, and her extensive knowledge of the authentic recipes passed down through generations ensures a special, personalized dining experience.
In the morning, we'll go to Sermoneta and its 13th century fortress, the Caetani Castle. Because of its picturesque setting and the beauty of its architecture, the town has been used as a backdrop for film production and photography. We'll be sketching, drawing and photographing in this exceptional, visual location.
We'll stop for lunch at a local trattoria.
In the afternoon we'll enjoy a private tour of the world famous Gardens of Ninfa, often referred to as the "most beautiful gardens in the world". Set in the ruins of a medieval town, we'll have time to sketch, photograph and enjoy the beautiful setting of these truly extraordinary ornamental gardens. A very suggestive environment for the artist.
Transport back to your hotel and evening free.
Today we return to the Nemi area to enjoy the perspective from high above the lake. Nemi town clings to the side of the crater with a glorious panorama towards the sea far below. From here one understands why the lake is referred to as the "Mirror of Diana".
We'll have the opportunity to visit Maria and Carlo's house in the town for some wine tasting in their grotto cantina and to view their art collection of canvases of Nemi by artists from the period of the Grand Tour. We'll lunch in a local trattoria in Nemi.
There will be ample time for sketching during the day, observing day to day life of the town and shopping for those last minute souvenirs and gifts.
In the evening we'll have our farewell dinner at a renowned restaurant in the town of Grottaferrata.
Breakfast served, then transfer to airport or other ongoing travel.
Non artists are certainly welcome to accompany their partners as there is much to see and do to interest them, also.
As improvised seating, walking on hillsides, on uneven ground and up and down steps in various locations is involved, participants are advised of the need for some fitness.
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