If you’re based in Rome for the duration of your Italian trip, there are so many possibilities for outings in the surrounding Lazio region. The Roman Empire blessed Italy with many things, not the least of which being small hillside towns with remarkable backgrounds, historical sites, and unique food cultures. Frascati is a town 30 minutes by car from Rome and a short train ride away from Termini or Tiburtina stations. It's known by locals as being the best place to visit for cheap, delicous food and to try the many varieties of local wine that grow specifically in Castelli Romani region. Frascati white wine is well-known and is locally produced by many vineyards nearby.
A perfect trip to Frascati includes a full, Italian-style lunch with several courses at a “fraschetta”, wine tasting, a visit to one of its famous historical villas, and a walk through the center of the town to enjoy the small streets, food stands, and beautiful cathedral.
Last weekend we took one day out of the long weekend to spend here, starting with a memorable lunch at Osteria Fraschetta Trinca. This restaurant has a history of being one the oldest fraschette and still embodies the regional tradition of celebrating each season’s wine harvest with delicious local food.
Osteria Fraschetta Trinca is known for its selection of smoked meats, cheeses, and wines, as well as offering first, second, and dessert courses. It’s important to make a plan of attack before entering the restaurant, or you’ll end up with a HUGE tagliere selection of meat and cheese, with no room for pasta afterwards.
Their special “Gran Misto Trinca” offers 6 kinds of meat, including a fabulous porchetta, four different cheeses, grilled and pickled Mediterranean veggies and bread in abundance. The highlights for us were definitely the porchetta, salame, pecorino and a to-die-for ricotta drizzled with honey and walnuts. Keep in mind, if you know you want to try pasta I recommend asking for the Gran Misto for ONE person, or cutting your number in half.
After this extravagant lunch, we managed to drag oursleves into the city center for a walk and spent some time lounging on the sunny cathedral steps (La Cattedrale di Frascati). We even found a way to fit in a lemon gelato for the road.
The next time I’ll go for a full day and visit some of the amazing villas around and do a wine tasting that the Castelli Romani regions is known for. And I probably won't say no to another lunch at Fraschetta Trinca either.