Monday, July 19, 2010

Day Trip from Rome: Castel Gandolfo

This little town 40 minutes (by train) outside of Rome is the Pope’s summer residence.

A couple weeks ago I decided to take quick trip out of the city. Unfortunately, it was a Saturday. I had no desire to deal with all the crowds going to Sperlonga, or any other beach, so I headed for the lake instead.

Castel Gandolfo is definitely worth a day trip if you have time. It’s easy to get to and cheap. Only 1.90 euros each way.

The center of town is tiny! On the main square, Piazza della Libertà, there’s a very pretty church, San Tommaso di Villanova. It was designed by one of my favorites, Bernini.

The day I went just happened to be the same weekend as their Sagra. They were setting up dining tables, a stage and music was playing.

There were also tables selling local wines, cheeses, hand made crafts, African jewelry, etc. I saw one table filled with Scientology paraphernalia. It tripped me out to see Hubbard’s Dianetics in Italian. I wanted to take a photo but didn’t want to risk the Scientologists asking me to take a “test”. For a minute I felt like I was back in L.A. on Franklin Blvd. across from the CoS’s Celebrity Center.

For lunch I went to the restaurant, Hosteria La Fraschetta. All the outdoor tables were packed. I ordered the Rigatoni alla Carbonara. My glass of wine was a very full pour.

There were so many photos inside of Pope John Paul II. I can see why the Pope liked La Fraschetta. My pasta was delicious.

I got completely lost walking down to the lake. I should have turned left, not right leaving the train station. On the upside I saw a lot of pretty villas. I talked to a tourist from Toronto as we took photos of two donkeys. I assume they were wild. I wondered where they came from.

It was cooler by the lake. When I arrived it looked like it was going to pour but then it cleared up. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday.

Hosteria La Fraschetta
Corsa della Repubblica, 58
Castel Gandolfo (centro storico)
+(39) 06-936-1312
Closed on Mondays

Random donkey sighting.

View from a restaurant on a side street in the Historic Center.

Get your Sagra on!

Perfectly cooked pasta. I could eat it every single day.

I'm an ocean person but this small lake is very pretty. Lots of green.


Gil said...

Sounds like fun. Beautiful pictures!

Los Angelista said...

Ooh, so pretty and that pasta looks so delish. Glad you had a great visit.

nine said...

pretty cool summer residence, lucky Pope !

WineGrrl said...

Rome's Tourist Board needs to hire you, LOL!

Courtney aka glamah said...

Beautiful! BTW. we booked our tickets. I will be in Rome Sept 22-27. Cant wait to meet you if possible.