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Castel Gandolfo> Monuments
The Gallerie

The Pope Urban VIII (1623-1644) did not limit himself to promote the construction of new buildings. He knew very well the difficulties and the problems of travellers in that age. He crossed the “regina viarum”, i.e. Via Appia in a long and arduous travel from Rome to the Castelli, noting therefore the bad conditions of roads and streets. As there were not streets linking Castel Gandolfo with Albano and thanks to his passion for long walks along the lake’s ridge he decided to build two roads: the Galleria di sopra and the Galleria di sotto.

These streets still have the name Galleria, indicating the tunnel created by the leafy fronds of the secular trees planted in a row on their two sides.
The Pope build these two streets by widening some of the ways running along ancient Roman paths. Their function was to link the two feuds, Castel Gandolfo and Albano, one street running high over the volcanic lake and the other in a downward direction (they were each two-kilometre-long) and to decorate the pope’s property with their trees, growing in all their beauty. The paths of the Gallerie is almost unchanged, still running near the Barberini’s villa.

The most suggestive of the two streets is the Galleria di sopra, that probably was the Pope’s preferred one during his visits to the near Convents and during his excursions. The Galleria di sopra has several points from where it is possible to see a wonderful panorama (Palazzolo – Malaffitto). It is obvious what was the pope’s intention: to create a continuous path, a wall of trees, that through the sights over the lake which quite suddenly appear to travellers, gives the possibility to see the panorama imaging it in an infinite space.

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