Routes> A walk in the woods

A view from the Summit of the Castelli Romani: on the peaks of the Tuscolani Mounts; nature, art and archaeology
  • Tuscolo
  • San Silvestro
  • The Piantato
  • Monte Salomone

The Environment
The Tuscolana mountain range, on the eastern side of the Colli Albani, and the southern Artemisia mountain range originated from the first eruptive activity of the Laziale volcano, and they constitute the external ring of the ancient crater.
The ancient Romans chose these places to build their villas and even a theatre, whose ruins are still well preserved, evidently not by chance. From the summit it is possible to see the form of the crater, and wide chestnut woods from Colle Lano, along the slopes of Monte Cavo till the Monti delle Faete. You will see the buzzard, a small diurnal birds of prey, flying in the sky; or the kestrel, a small hawk, that is able to stop in vertical by flapping the wings, in order to see more easily its preys, which are generally small mice and lizards. Also the hare populates these places, that usually rests hidden under the bushes. In the surrounding woods and on the meadows there are numerous imprints of the wild boar, that during night turns up the ground searching bulbs, larva and worms.

The Route
This route begins in Frascati, that can be reached from Rome, crossing the S.S. 215 “Tuscolana” road (slip-road no. 21 of the G.R.A.) or the highway Rome-Naples (slip-road: Monte Porzio Catone) following the road signs to Frascati. From Piazzale Marconi in Frascati follow the road signs to Monte Tuscolo, cross via Catone, turn to the right on via Tuscolo, reaching in this way the homonymous square where you can park. From this parking area continue on foot, walking in the natural-archaeological reserve of the Tuscolo, among wide meadows, woods, ruins of ancient villas and astonishing panoramas (see description).
Travel back towards Frascati and after 1 km from the Tuscolo’s square turn to the right towards Monte Porzio Catone. At the following crossroads turn to the right to Montecompatri. Reach the main square of the town (Piazza Garibaldi) and follow the road signs to the Convent of San Silvestro, at a distance of 1 km (see description).
After visiting the convent and after taking a walk in the surroundings meadows, you can visit the woods of the “Piantato” (see description) characterized by rare trees, among which Turkey oaks and Roverelle. The path begins from the square in front of the Convent; cross via Stella Polare (1 km) up to the end of the slope. Near an house turn to the right on a street leading to the Ciufoli woods, cross it and after 100 metres turn to the left on a narrow path, walking along the enclosure walls of the Camaldoli hermitage and than again to the left towards Monte Salomone. The path is very narrow from this point on and it continues on a sloping road, along a wall, flanking the Plantato Woods. To reach Monte Salomone (see description), last destination of this route, come back to the road leading to the centre of the town of Monte Compatri and turn to the right following the road signs to Rocca Priora. After 2 kilometres there is the graveyard, where you can park. On the left, after a barrier begins a path within a thick chestnut woods, where in April and May it is possible to see the flowers of the peony.

The Towns
Frascati, Monte Porzio, Monte Compatri and Rocca Priora.

To cross this route, visiting only the areas described and following the suggested roads and paths it will take you a day. If you wish to visit the towns of Frascati, Monte Porzio, Monte Compatri and Rocca Priora, it will take you at least two days.

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