The ruins of ancient Tusculum

The Tusculum Archaeological-Cultural Park does not just offer an exciting journey back through history, but is also an occasion to enjoy the natural beauty of the Alban Hills for a few hours. The remains of the city stand along the crest of a hill overlooking Monte Albano and framed by the thick vegetation typical of the Mediterranean scrub. The Via Basolata dei Sepolcri, for example, is dotted with ferns and thistles and the Roman Theatre stands in a small clearing surrounded by imposing beech trees. According to some sources, Tusculum was founded by Telegonus, son of Odysseus and witch Circe, but archaeological findings in the heart of the acropolis date it back to the Iron Age. It was the leader of the Latin League, a confederation of villages in the Latium region against Rome, and then became a Roman municipality itself. In Republican times, the small town was chosen as a refuge by members of the Urbe aristocracy who built luxurious villas there.

It was in this period that the great public works whose ruins we can admire today were built: the Theatre, the Amphitheatre, the Basilica, the cobbled and porticoed Forum, the Judicial Basilica, the Temple of Mercury and the Archaic Fountain. Tusculum was then destroyed in 1191 by Rome itself and abandoned until the early 20th century. A visit to the site lasts an hour and a half in total and you can then stop in a picnic area to enjoy your own food in the shade of the branches.

Slightly further away from this main nucleus, you can visit the Extra-urban Sanctuary, a Medieval Church and the imposing remains of the oldest Acropolis, which is still being excavated.

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