Frascati - Encyclopedia

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FRASCATI, a town and episcopal see of Italy, in the province of Rome, 15 m. S.E. of Rome by rail, and also reached by electric tramway via Grottaferrata. Pop. (1901) 8453. The town is situated 1056 ft. above the sea-level, on the N. slopes of the outer crater ring of the Alban Hills, and commands a very fine view of the Campagna of Rome. The cathedral contains a memorial tablet to Charles Edward, the Young Pretender, whose body for some while rested here; his brother, Henry, Cardinal York, owned a villa at Frascati. The villas of the Roman nobility, with their beautiful gardens and fountains, are the chief attraction of Frascati. The earliest in date is the Villa Falconieri, planned by Cardinal Ruffini before 1550; the most important of the rest are the Villa Torlonia (formerly Conti), Lancelotti (formerly Piccolomini), Ruffinella (now belonging to Prince Lancellotti), Aldobrandini, Borghese and Mondragone (now a Jesuit school). The surrounding country, covered with remains of ancient villas,, is fertile and noted for its wine. Frascati seems to have arisen on the site of a very large ancient villa, which, under Domitian at any rate, belonged to the imperial house about the 9th century, in which period we find in the Liber Pontificalis the names of four churches in Frascata. The medieval stronghold of the counts of Tusculum, which occupied the site of the ancient city, was dismantled by the Romans in 1191, and the inhabitants put to the sword or mutilated. Many of the fugitives naturally took refuge in Frascati. The see of Tusculum had, however, always had its cathedral church in Frascati. For the greater part of the middle ages Frascati belonged to the papacy..

See G. Tomassetti, La Via Latina nel media evo (Rome, 1886), 170 seq.; T. Ashby in Papers of the British School at Rome, iv. (London, 1907). (T. As.)

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