Villa Grazioli

One of the things I enjoy most about traveling is finding a bargain. Villa Grazioli was that and much more. Located on a Tuscolo hill near Frascati, the hotel has a very illustrious history. Built in the 16th Century by a Cardinal Carafa, the villa was a masterpiece boasting frescoes by G.P. Panini. The villa was handed down to various families over the years until it finally fell into disrepair. Abandoned, it was used as a shelter during WWII and in some rooms, there is still evidence of cooking fires and soot. Serious effort is being put into restoring the glorious frescoes but the dilapidation, in my opinion, only serves to deepen the character of this place.

It is situated in a splendid position with cool breezes in the summer and a majestic view of Rome and Castelli Romani. We loved the fact that we had the Villa to ourselves. Walking its magnificent galleries we were transported to a different time; a magical place. One of our favorite frescoed rooms had comfy couches and tall windows that looked out to the countryside. Surrounded by smiling, carousing satyrs we relaxed with a good book and enjoyed the solitude. I would have been happy had I paid $300 a night for this place but at $150 I thought it was the bargain of the century.

We had been to Rome and wanted to explore neighboring countryside estates, villas and off the beaten path kind of places. Villa Grazioli was the perfect starting point and ending point of our adventure. Breakfast was a lavish feast, service was immaculate and aside from the much too expensive dinner menu, the experience was sublime. Highly recommended.