Ariccia (my little secret)

Just a short ride out of Rome lies one of Italy’s rarest gems. Visitors and locals must take time out of their trip or day to visit Ariccia. Ask any Roman, they will all tell you the same thing; this is the best day-time trip destination away from the chaos and bustle of Rome’s city center.

A magical village up in the luscious hilltops, it is hard not to fall in love with Ariccia. One of the best known Castelli Romani towns, which means “Roman Castles”. This charming little town is famous for mouth watering food and bubbly wine.

First and foremost, it is important to take a stroll in and around Ariccia on arrival to get your bearings. The most striking sight in Ariccia is the northern entrance point “Ponte di Ariccia” (Bridge of Ariccia), which leads to Bernini’s Baroque square. If you have the patience to wait for the incredibly late, but totally worth it Italian dinners, pass your time by visiting the two volcanic lakes that the town is positioned between. It is definitely worthwhile to check out these beautiful lakes on the way to Ariccia. These extinct volcanos play a great role in wine production in this area. The soil here is volcanic and naturally healthy. It is very permeable soil with good drainage and high ash content, creating a perfect environment to grow grapes. However, these lakes and sites are hardly the reason myself and the many other “frequent fliers” are incapable of staying away from.

After walking around town, up and down the steep streets, it is most likely that you will have become quite thirsty and hungry. Luckily you are in for a treat. Take the tiny sloping streets down to the little osterias (restaurants), and don’t forget to wear your comfy pants.

VERY IMPORTANT! Make sure you do not skip the speciality antipasti plates. It is common table manners to cover every inch of your table with cured pork, cheese, and the classic local dish known as “Porchetta” (slow roasted pork). The salty appetizers are nicely matched with a sweet sparkling bottle of wine called Romanella. It is much too easy to drink bottle after bottle of this wine. Luckily it is only 2 euros a bottle!

Unfortunately, it is not very easy to get to Ariccia via public transportation, like everywhere else in and around Rome, so sign up for a Castelli Romani Wine Tour with When In Rome Tours and get there in your very own limo. The tours generally explore the center of Frascati, Lake Albano, and Castelgandolfo, but are willing to include additional winery visits to Ariccia.