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Woods and Parks
The Tuscolo


The Romans built their villas and a theatre right in this place and not by chance. The panorama in fact is one of the most beautiful of the Castelli Romani's area; it is possible to see the morphology of the volcano and individuate the evolution of this territory. Tuscolo finds on the outer promontory of the Tuscolana-Artemisia mountain, on the crest. Near the cross, it is possible to see volcanic rocks and individuate the ancient crater's structure. The history of this place began more than 600.000 years ago. The Tuscolana ridge together with the homonymous mounts finds on the eastern side about the Colli Albani and together with the Artemisia mounts, on the southern side, form what is left of the ancient laziale volcano, and it is called “external ring”, originated during the first volcanic eruptions.

Area's Natural Characteristics
Within the peak's woods, there is the celtis australis, also known as “spaccasassi” (stone breaker), as its very strong roots can penetrate in the rocks and grow notwithstanding the difficult conditions. Its fruit, like a small cherry, is the birds' preferred one for its sweet pulp, and by eating it they spread also its seeds. The Tusculum pine woods is very characteristic; it extends over a two-kilometre-wide area, following a slight slope, from east to west, towards south. It consists mostly of pines, cluster pines, and Aleppo's pines. The pine's seeds are well-known for its culinary use, but the Latin historian Plinio in his written works ascribe to them aphrodisiac properties. The wood of the Aleppo's pine was used to build vessels. Caligola's vessels found under the Nemi's lake, had been built with this type of wood. Undergrowth consists of different kinds of plants among which, the fraxinus ornus, whose yellow colour in autumn is really charming.
If you sit down for a while near the cross, you will see a lot of the invertebrate kinds inhabiting this place. There are coleopteran kinds similar to the scarab beetle, that form pieces of dung into a ball, bring them in their den in order to eat it or to lay eggs. Among the coleopteran kinds there are the Carabidae, which have long legs to run speedy and robust curved mandible, revealing their predatory nature. They are considered essential for the agriculture as they eat caterpillars of the procession moths. As far as the vertebrate is concerned, it is possible to see the heaps of soil made by the moles, an insect-eating mammal, living underground with tiny eyes and with forelegs fit to excavate tunnels and with ears not visible on the outside. You can see the buzzard flying in the sky, a daily middle-sized bird of prey, and the kestrel flying in vertical to better sight its victims, which are generally small rodents and lizards. In this area there is also the timid hare, hidden among the bushes to sleep. In the surrounding woods and on the meadows it is possible to see traces of the nocturnal activity of the wild boar, turning up clods while trying to find bulbs, larva and worms.

The Tuscolo can be reached from Grottaferrata, Frascati e Monte Porzio Catone, following the tourist signs. The best way to reach Tuscolo, is from Piazzale G. Marconi of Frascati: cross via Catone and turn to the right on via Tuscolo. The square in front of it is also a parking area. Tuscolo finds at a distance of three kilometres from the centre of Frascati and there are not public transports.

Roads and Public Transports
By car: From Rome cross the via Tuscolana, S.S. 215 (slip-road 21 of the G.R.A.) or cross the highway A1 Rome-Naples (slip-road Monte Porzio Catone) following the road signs for Frascati.
By train: Line Rome-Frascati. There is a train starting each hour from Rome. It will take you half an hour to reach Frascati. For information on train timetable call the phone number 848888088 or visit the web page Through series of steps you will reach piazzale G. Marconi.
By Bus: Rome-Rocca Priora. (Cotral bus service phone number 800431784, phone number 067222153) from the underground station ‘Anagnina' of the Linea A. It will take you 20 minutes to reach the bust stop “Piazzale Marconi” in Frascati.

Landscape, Botany, geology, fauna.

There is a guided visit of the Tuscolo's area every Sunday morning at ten o'clock. The meeting place is on the square in front of Tuscolo. This visit is free and it is organized by the archaeological association Gruppo Archeologico Latino, and it lasts about two hours.
For information phone to the XI comunità montanta Townstà Montana del Lazio - Castelli Romani e Prenestini", Via della Pineta n.69, 00040 Rocca Priora (RM), phone number 069470820, or to the Azienda Autonoma di Soggiorno e Turismo I.A.T., sita in Piazzale G. Marconi, 1- 00044 Frascati, phone number 069420331.

Tourist signs
There are only tourist boards.

Further Information
Web ,,
Books: Del Nero R., 1996. Tuscolo-Guida ai Monuments e al panorama. Ed. Libreria Cavour, Frascati; Marciano M., 1991. Guida archeologica del Parco Regionale dei Castelli Romani. Edizioni del Parco, Rocca di Papa (RM); AA.VV., 1996. Quattordici sentieri tra natura e archeologia dei Castelli Romani e Prenestini. Editore XI Townstà Montana del Lazio Castelli Romani e Prenestini, via della Pineta 69, Rocca Priora (RM); Bassani P., Lotti L., 1992. Alberi e arbusti del Parco Regionale dei Castelli Romani. Edizioni del Parco, Rocca di Papa (RM).

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