When my (Sommer’s) mom and sister came to visit early this fall, I wanted to surprise them with a girl trip. Castelli Romani is an area about thirty minutes southeast of Rome that is filled with large homes owned by the wealthy and built starting from the ancient Roman era. The area was frequented by the noblemen of Rome for its fresher climate during summer. The popes followed suit and still have their summer residence in Castel Gandolfo.
We found a great deal on a booking site to stay at the beautiful Villa Grazioli, built in 1580 and located just outside of Frascati. The villa is rich in artworks by masters of 16th and 17th century like Ciampell, Carracci and Pannini. We stayed in the old carriage house that has been beautifully remodeled and is one of two other buildings on the grounds that you can stay in.
For us girls, the whole experience felt very wonderfully “Downton Abbey.” We hung out by the pool enjoying an afternoon caffè, ate a delicious meal in the villa’s restaurant that overlooks the valley of the Eternal City, explored the gorgeous villa and the well-maintained grounds, and we relished in the fact that the three of us were together again after nearly two years. It was perfect.
The next morning, Neil and the boys came to pick us up at the hotel and we stopped in Frascati for lunch at a lovely little pizzeria. And of course we finished the afternoon with a cone of yummy gelato.