“For a lot of employees, corporate retreats are dreaded events. And for good reason: At a bad corporate retreat, you might end up singing Kumbaya in the woods with your boss or falling backwards into the arms of a coworker to “build trust.” But it doesn’t have to be that way.” - Oyster.com on Business Insider
Indeed, it does not have to be that way and we at Italian Special Occasions can prove how! In today’s post you will learn about one fantastic destination in Italy that really has everything a corporate meeting and team building trip could possibly need and wish.
The Roman Castles (Castelli Romani in Italian) consist of a set of small towns scattered on the Alban Hills, just 15 to 25 km away from Rome’s ring road. This area distinguishes itself for the green hilly landscape and beautiful lakes, for the delicious local food, and for its important and rich history.
The towns that form the Roman Castles are: Frascati, Ariccia, Castel Gandolfo, Grottaferrata, Monte Porzio Catone, Monte Compatri, Colonna, Rocca di Papa, Rocca Priora, Albano Laziale, Lanuvio, Genzano di Roma and Nemi.
The ancient Roman noblemen chose the area as a summer destination because of its fresher climate, a tradition that the Popes continue still today (the village of Castel Gandolfo hosts the Pope’s summer residence). During Medieval and Renaissance times, many noble and princely families owned castles and villas there.
In fact, one of the most mesmerizing cultural activities that groups can enjoy in the Castelli Romani is to visit these villas and their beautiful gardens. Just to name a few: Villa Andobrandini, Villa Falconieri and Villa Lancellotti in Frascati; Villa Mondragone and Villa Taverna Borghese in Monteporzio Catone; Villa Grazioli and Villa Muti in Grottaferrata.
The area also hosts archeologic sites and ancient ruins. Among these are the Terme di Caracalla (also known as Cellomaio Baths), a Roman imperial bath complex that was later transformed into a stronghold during medieval times. Another interesting site is the Barco Borghese, which features a monumental tufa fountain, a Renaissance wall and panoramic views of the Roman countryside.
The nature and landscape that embraces the Castelli Romani are ideal for open-air sports, including trekking, cycling, horseback riding and paragliding. The volcanic Lakes of Albano and of Nemi allow for kayaking and sport fishing. And for a unique team-building activity, what about some golfing inside the crater of a volcano? That’s right! At Castelgandolfo Golf Club – designed by Robert Trent Jones Senior – there are 18 holes in what was once the crater of an active volcano and then a lake called Laghetto di Turno.
Ask any modern Roman what the main reason is for him or her to visit the Castelli Romani today. Most Romans will answer “per bere e mangiare” (to drink and eat)! In fact, the area is renowned for producing famous and quality wine labels as well as exquisite local products.
Foodie team-building activities include the exploration of the Wine Routes of the Roman Castles, which are itineraries dedicated to vineyards and wine production. With Italian Special Occasions, you can discover special gems that are off the beaten track. We can take your group to unique places such as Castel de Paolis, a wine estate located on the ruins of a medieval Roman fortress. What’s so authentic about it? The barrels with red wines for ageing are located in the ancient cistern from Roman times, where you can also enjoy wine tasting!
Local delicacies include the porchetta (roasted pork), fresh mozzarella and Lariano Bread (made with whole-wheat flour, 00 flour and natural yeast – and cooked in a wood oven with chestnut tree bundles). The best places to savor the local cuisine is in the rustic 'fraschette', where an informal and lively atmosphere will give you a taste of the Roman countryside and lifestyle!
The proximity to Rome makes the Castelli the ideal place for corporate trips: business meetings can be held in the Italian capital on one day, and on the next day you can be enjoying other corporate activities – sports, enogastornomy, history & culture – in the hilly area nearby. Contact us now and let us help you create the perfect itinerary for your corporate meeting!