From Castel Gandolfo, around Lake Albano, up to the Old Appian Way

This itinerary starts in Castel Gandolfo and borders Lake Albano, in its first stretch: the lakeside offers wonderful scenic spots. The itinerary then crosses the Parco Regionale dei Castelli Romani (regional park), on the outskirts of the woods of the Colli Albani (Alban Hills). After touring the borders of the lake head towards Frattocchie and, after crossing through rows of vines, reach the via Appia Antica (Old Appian Way), by crossing through the Parco Suburbano dell’Appia Antica (suburban park): you will then reach the town of Ciampino.
Just outside Castel Gandolfo station take the road downhill which leads straight to the lake: follow it clockwise. The pretty town, which used to be a summer holiday resort for aristocrats and emperors, is well worth a visit: the central square is embellished with a fountain by Gian Lorenzo Bernini and the monumental papal palace rises on the ruins of a medieval castle.
Pass the tunnel towards Rome and take the dirt track to the right; the path becomes an asphalt road for a small stretch and then becomes a dirt track again. It borders the crater and dives into the wood, and is interrupted by pleasant small beaches scattered on the lake shores. After a barrier and another stretch of asphalt road, cross through some canoing centres (enter via a gate) and return, after the tunnel, to the strada provinciale (by road) for Rome.
From here, turn into via delle Castagnole: at the fork in the road, take the road downhill to the right and, after crossing via Appia Nuova and via Nettunense, you will reach the town of Frattocchie. Pass by the monastery of the Trappist Friars and take the road lined with cypresses which marks the beginning of via Appia Antica (Old Appian Way): it enters the Parco Suburbano dell’Appia Antica. The Old Appian Way heads straight towards Rome; it is interrupted by railway tracks and then continues with its typical flagstones, and its sides are scattered with Roman tombs. This landscape, where old ruins and beautiful wild and cultivated fields live side by side, is among the most fascinating in the Roman countryside. Now you can choose whether you wish to head on towards Rome or interrupt your trip near the stations of Santa Maria delle Mole or Ciampino.

By train: Outward journey:Roma-Albano line (Roma Termini, get off at Castel Gandolfo)
Return: Albano-Roma line (from Ciampino to Roma Termini)
By bicycle: Length: about 20 km
Difficulty: easy

For further information, visit:
www.parchilazio.it
www.parcoappiaantica.org
Contact:
Parco Regionale dei Castelli Romani, Rocca di Papa, tel. +39 06 9495253 Parco della via Appia Antica: Tel: +39 06 5130682
Or read
R. Pugliesi, Lazio. Treni & bici. Il Lazio Meridionale, Padova 2000.

Area
Via Appia