When I was younger, the only wine we ever drank was Velletri and Colli Albani. It tasted OK, it was cheap, and... well, it was cheap.
"Colli Albani" means the Albano Hills which are just south of Rome. It turns out there's a commuter train out of Rome that goes there, another that goes to Velletri, and another that goes to Frascati (home of a light white wine of the same name). Who knew?
So we went there. Turns out that its also home to Castel Gandolfo, the Pope's summer residence. What a spot. The Albano Hills are in fact the slopes of an extinct volcano, and in the crater is Lago Albano.
|Castel Gandolfo on the crater rim|
|The crater, but full of water.|
|Pope's house on the left. His church on the extreme right|
|That be the ocean|
|Small, and fairly stark|
|The inside of the dome|
|Baskets on nice buildings|
|Looking back to the Pope's house|
|Interesting perspective on a trapezoidal building|
|The 2nd main drag|
|The Pope's house on the edge of the cliff. Railway station lower right|
Okay, the place also had killer views.
|Looking back towards Rome|
|A K1 and a C1 out practicing on the lake|
|A restaurant terrace|
|Nice patio on this house|
|Views above, beaches below|
|Looking back over to the ocean|
|Very little empty space|
|An abandoned amphitheatre, only an oval one|
|Original city wall and gate|
|Ruins in the middle of town|
|A baths complex...|
|Modernized for 20th century living|
|A couple of strange tombs|
|The entrance to the necropolis, or underground burial tombs|
|Life on the edge|
|And what an edge|
|A big sucker|
|Not a bad place|
|The main drag|
|More of the main drag|
|Typical Italian distressed|
|An original city gate|
|Plant on your deck?|
|A typical back street|
|Another back street|
|How to get to your house|
|Another. Note there are 2 apartments serviced by these stairs|
|Round the corners|
|Another house access|
|On the train up|
|In a church back yard|
|Vineyards on the hillsides|
|I like the ivy on the building|
|Heck of a parking spot|
We had trouble with train tickets on this trip. We bought our ticket to Castel Gandolfo with ease in Termini from an automated machine. But on board waiting for the train to depart, we realized they had not been validated (time stamped), and we had no time before departure to run back and find a validation machine. I found a conductor, he gave me a hard time about validating them when I bought them, but stamped them for me. And wandered through the train checking tickets on the journey up.
As we took the train into Castle Gandolfo and back from Albano Laziale, we couldn't buy a return train ticket. To come home, we arrived at the Albano Laziale train station at 4:32 to catch the 4:44 train, and the train was sitting there. But there was no ticket machine in the train station. We asked two folks on the platform where we could get tickets. They didn't know, but suggested a tabacci in town. So I ran -- ran -- to a find a tabacci. First one I came to was closed. Next one I ran to didn't sell train tickets. Next one I ran to didn't either, and didn't know where I could buy them. So I ran and found one more -- coincidentally next door to the gelateria we had been at 30 minutes earlier -- and they had them. I bought two -- she said I didn't have time to catch the train -- and ran back, making the platform 60 seconds before the train pulled away. But the machine on the platform you use to validate your ticket wasn't working, so our tickets were technically "illegal".
But no one even checked I had a ticket on the ride home at all.