At the summet of the Monti Prenestini, rising like an osasis of tranquility, you will find Guadagnolo (1118 mt) along with the spiritual allure of the Santuario della Mentorella, built on a rocky cliff overlooking the valley below. From here you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the scenery which unfolds before you and offers a prime glimpse of the area’s naturalistic beauty.
Capranica Prenestina boasts of its uncontaminated environment and its noteworthy historic and artistic heritage. The Church of Santa Maria Maddalena, with its elegant “cupolino” designed by Bramante, truly enhances the already enchanting panoramic view . The Museo Civico Naturalistico dei Monti Prenestini represents an important place in the area where environmental protection in combined with scientific research. It is also possible to go for walks along the ancient paths, go mountain biking, go horseback riding through the centuries-old chestnut groves. In December the town celebrates its annual Sagra della Mosciarella (chestnuts dried using traditional methods).
Castel San Pietro Romano, Antique acropolis of Praeneste, rises on the summet of Colle Ginestro and dominates over today’s city of Palestrina. Among the places to visit, there is the Rocca dei Colonna, the Museo delle Arte Contadine and the Riserva Naturale delle Cannucceta (www.castelsanpietroromano.net). As a prisoner inside the castel, Jacopone di Todi composed his famous “Laudi”. And Castel San Pietro also became famous as the film set for unforgettable movies such as “Pane, Amore e Fantasia” and “Pane, Amore e Gelosia” which made Gina Lollobrigida famous. Cooking lessons can be arranged at the local bakery to make the delicious giglietti di Palestrina, traditional cookies which are now part of SlowFood’s Ark of Taste.
Archeo-trekking tours between Palestrina and Castel San Pietro Romano can be organized as a three hour “Akropolis” tour which departs from the Articolo Nove bookshop on via Barberini just in front of the national archeological museum. Other tours can also be arranged. Reservations can be made at www.articolonove.com.
Palestrina’s National Archeological Museum, housing the famous mosaic of the Nile and located atop of the largest pagan temple dedicated to the goddess of fortune, is open every day from 9:00 am to 7:00pm; the entrance ticket costs 5 euros and allows access to both Palazzo Barberini and the open air archeological area just below the museum entrance.
Summer in Palestrina offers an array of events and festivals, our favorites are the strawberry festival, the Giglietto festival, Nel Nome del Rock (In the Name of Rock) music festival, the Albatros travel literature award, the Palio and other festive games for the patron saint of Palestrina. Nearby towns celebrate a wine festival, chestnut festival, wild boar festival, and many more. There are often theatrical representations, concerts, film projections, and other public events taking place in the main square of town. Check out the events listed on the Facebook Page dedicated to Altavista Holiday Home.
There are so many restaurants to choose from, but Altavista’s owner has knowledge of the best places in the area from a great pizzeria to a typical trattoria to an elegant dining experience. Altavista’s owner can help you find farms for wine tasting, cheese tasting, craft beer tasting, organic honey tasting and organic gourmet chocolate tasting.
The shopping outlet in Valmotone has discount cards for visitors. Rainbow Magicland tickets can be pre-purchased through Altavista at discounted rates. Please advise if you would like any of these services. Other activities can be found here.
Here is a link to a slide show of photos taken in Palestrina.
Weekly open-air markets: Zagarolo’s farmer’s market (Sunday); Labico (Monday); Colleferro (Tuesday); Artena (Wednesday); Valmontone (Friday); Cave, Palestrina, San Cesareo, Zagarolo, (Saturday), Slow Food Earth Market in Tivoli (second Saturday of each month).
Monthly Markets: 1st Sunday (Antique market in Frascati and Tivoli Terme), 1st Saturday (Antique market in Tivoli Terme); 2nd Sunday (Antique market in Sora, Albano Laziale and Colleferro); 3rd Sunday (open market in Ariccia, craft and antique market in Montecompatri); 4th Saturday and Sunday (Paper market in Valmontone).