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Apr 5, 2009 10:53 AM

Help with suggestions for food/wine daytrip from Rome

Hi, I'm taking my family to Rome in August, where we'll be for a couple days before moving on. They'd like to take a daytrip to visit a winery, or an olive oil operation, or cheesemaking, or .... Anyway, can anyone suggest a full day excursion originating in Rome that covers some/all of these, and includes a nice locally prepared lunch? Is the Tuscany region too far?? Private tour would be preferred by if someone had a great experience with a larger group tour that's OK too.

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  1. You don't have to go to Tuscany to visit a winery - there is white wine made in Frascati and the Castelli Romani above Rome and it is a lovely short trip up into the hills, where it is cooler than in the city in summertime. That is why the Pope's summer residence is up there!

    I don't have any specific ideas as I haven't been there in almost 20 years (I have been to Rome since, but was busy at a conference and seeing friends and family thereabouts), but do remember lovely lunches under a pergola. Check this site for Frascati, Castelli Romani, Colli Albani or google them, you'll get lots of hits in English, Italain and other languages. You can get there by coach or train or by car, it is just a short, pleasant trip.

    Sure, you can also go to Tuscany or Umbria, but that is a longer trip, and you might be hot and tired. The Castelli region is a scenic short trip, and Frascati, the largest town, a pleasant place to visit in summertime.

    1 Reply
    1. re: lagatta

      Thanks, lagatta!! Actually, we're big fans of Frascatti ... this may make the most sense. I'm working with a local limo service for airport pickup, tranportation around Rome on our other days,etc. and I have this big hole in our calendar for this day trip. I just didn't want to leave it up to them to decide on a place, I have some great ideas to research.

    2. Have you read the recent post about Casperia and the olive oil touring?

      1 Reply
      1. Two days in Rome is almost nothing - where are you moving on to? It might be more logical to do this type of touring on your way to your next destination than to take time away from Rome itself.

        4 Replies
        1. re: jen kalb

          Agreed, jen. But the area I suggested is really the suburbs of Rome now, and sometimes cooler and more pleasant in the August heat.

          1. re: lagatta

            Absolutely- we have always wanted to visit the Castelli Romani - there is clearly a lot to see, do and eat there - the great local breads in addition to the wines, for example. (I think Fred Plotkin's book has some suggestions) Feels like a perfect summer sunday excursion, sitting on a terrace under an umbrella and sipping those wines. But we've never had the time on our visits to Rome, with all the things to see and do in the city itself - that was really my point - to fit it in. Hopefully in the future

          2. re: jen kalb

            We're in Rome a few days before we jump on a Med cruise. We've been to Rome as a family 3 times before this, so we're looking for something new to do. Also, the kids are older now (and legal!) so their interests are changing. Trip timing (Aug) dictated by cruise sked. Obviously if I wanted to do JUST a food/wine tour my timing would be different. Thanks for all of the replies and advise, my first time using chowhound, you are all awesome!!

            1. re: NVirginia

              That sounds lovely! Of course "legal", if you mean drinking age, is younger in Italy (and here in Québec) than in the US, and is not strictly enforced at all for teenagers having a family supper. Not to worry, there are strict social controls afoot and British-style binge drinking is seen as extremely uncouth by Italians...

              I hope you have a great trip; I had friends in the Castelli and enjoyed the little break from the heat and dust of Rome, though don't worry about a "free day" - sitting at a café and watching life go by is a perfectly acceptable and memorable activity.

          3. Have you visited Orvieto? Its a fine day trip from Rome both foodwise and cultrually and you could look into visiting a winery around there. Alternatively, assuming you get an early start and its not scorching hot, walking the Appian Way is an excellent out of Rome proper day, with the Catecombs for cooling off on the way and L'Archeologica as a good long lunch break.

            1. It's not in a great wine region, but the seacoast town of Sperlonga south of Rome is an hour and eleven minutes away by train (Fondi-Sperlonga stop). It's a lovely beach resort, with an old town of climbing, whitewashed streets and good seafood restaurants.