The tourist attractions Monte Porzio Catone, a small hill town to the south-east of Rome is most famous for, are the archaeological finds of Tusculum and the Eremo di Camaldoli monastery.
Monte Porzio Catone
Tourist information: There is no tourist office. Town hall: Via Roma 5, 00078 – Monte Porzio Catone (phone: +39 06 9428329).
Public transport: The town does not have a railway station. From Rome you need to take the metro to Anagnina and then a Co.Tra.L bus. The final destination of this bus is Rocca Priora, so you need to ask the driver where to get off.
One of the main attractions of Monte Porzio Catone is formed by the ancient ruins of the no longer existing town of Tusculum. The theater is the best preserved part of this town. The walk from Frascati is leads past some villas and offers several beautiful countryside views.
The 17th century monastic hermitage Eremo di Camaldoli is surrounded by a park.
The Villa Mondragone was built in the 2nd half of the 16th century.
The Villa Parisi was constructed in the early 17th century. It is also known as Villa Taverna.
The Sant’Antonio Martire Church is also located in the countryside. It contains a 10th century fresco depicting St. Anthony himself.
The San Gregorio Magno Cathedral is the main religious building in the town itself. It is embellished with paintings by Guglielmo Borgognone and Ciro Ferri.
Four rooms of the Duomo are being used to host the Museo dell Città, which highlights the history of the city itself.
The most interesting civic building is the Palazzo Borghese, which dates back to the 17th century.
The archaeological complex known as Barco Borghese is located on the road to Frascati. It is generally considered to have been the foundation of a Roman villa.
Construction of the Astronomical Observatory was started in 1939, but finished only in 1965. Built on a Roman ruin, its construction was set in motion as a result of a gift by none other than Adolf Hitler.
A brief history of Monte Porzio Catone
The territory of Monte Porzio Catone was already inhabited before Roman times, as evidenced by the discovery of the ruins of Tusculum. There are also some ruins of large Roman villas.
In the 11th century AD, the territory was owned by the counts of Tusculum. After the desctruction of Tusculum in 1191, the lands became property of the monastery of San Paolo.
In the 15th century, Pope Boniface IX gave the area to the Annibaldi family. The next owners were the Altemps (16th century), who were to lose the property to the Borghese. The latter held on to it until the feudal system was abolished.
How to get to Monte Porzio Catone by car
The E821 leads from Rome to Monte Porzio Catone.