IF YOU’RE A HISTORY BUFF
Imagine a massive 2500-year-old temple larger than the Colosseum within the ancient city of Praeneste, considered one of the world’s most important cities at that time.
Today, the modern town of Palestrina sits atop the temple remains; some of the ruins, as well as the city’s ancient walls, are still visible and accessible. A comprehensive archaeology museum housed in the former Barberini Palace contains many artifacts and mosaics plus a scale replica of the temple.
This excursion also includes a visit to a tiny village of Castel San Pietro di Romano, which offers stunning views of the nearby river valleys. You’ll also have time for an afternoon stroll in Palestrina, the birthplace of renowned sacred music composer Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina.
Palestrina is only 7 km /4 miles /15 minutes’ driving away from Olive Tree Hill.
IF YOU’D LIKE TO VISIT SMALL VILLAGES
This trip takes you to charming villages where you’ll be one of the only foreigners. No tour buses here! Generally, every village in Italy has something for which it is known (for example, wild strawberries, porchetta or sparkling wine).
We spend a leisurely day walking around a few different villages, enjoying the ambience and tasting the various specialities. The Lazio region of Italy is home to several volcanic lakes, offering dramatic views you don’t expect to see so close to Rome. During this excursion, we’ll have lunch overlooking one of the lakes.
The villages are 20km / 12 miles / 25 minutes’ driving from OIive Tree Hill.
IF YOU WANT TO MARVEL AT GARDENS, FRESCOES AND RUINS
Most people journey to Tivoli to visit Villa d’Este, a UNESCO site whose extensive gardens and gorgeous fountains are said to have served as an example for Versaille. The villa itself contains multiple detailed frescos.
Nearby Villa Gregoriana is actually a park that nature lovers will enjoy; its woodland trails are perfect for strolling and it’s also home to a gigantic waterfall.
Another UNESCO site, Villa Adriana, was Emperor Hadrian’s retreat from Rome. This important archaeological site is considered an ‘architectural masterpiece.’ Many sculptures and artworks discovered in the villa have been restored and are on display.
With gardens, architecture, art and natural surroundings, the three main attractions of Tivoli have more than enough to keep you occupied for an entire day. The old town of Tivoli itself is also worth a wander.
Tivoli is located 23km / 14 miles / 35 minutes’ driving from Olive Tree Hill.
IF YOU’RE SHORT ON TIME
Perhaps you have limited time for exploring outside Rome. Our ‘best of’ tour allows you to visit several secret spots outside Rome in just one day. We’ll make a stop in our own medieval village of Zagarolo, view the temple ruins in Palestrina, and have lunch in a picturesque lakeside town.
We end the day on Lake Albano, where the Pope’s summer residence (Castel Gandolfo) is located. It’s the perfect combination of small towns with no tourists, history, and beautiful scenery.