Why visit Palestrina

Located some 20 kilometers east of Rome, Palestrina is an ancient city, perhaps even older than Rome itself, which makes for an excellent daytrip idea for holidaymakers of the capital, though, as some might believe, it is one of the most unrightfully neglected destinations in Italy. Sundry archeological findings dug out from Palestrina show the city, back then called Praeneste, used to be inhabited by the Etruscans and by the Phoenicians. The modern town of Palestrina was built entirely on the ruins of the celebrated Temple of Fortuna Primigenia. Only parts of the vestiges of this ancient and impressively large edifice can be seen today in Palestrina, scattered throughout the city (remains of ancient city walls, columns, terraces, frescoes and the like).

The history of Palestrina, in particular in the Middle Ages and during the modern age, was decided by its conflicting or, on the contrary, friendly relations with the papacy. Thus, it was razed to the ground by order of the popes (Pope Boniface VIII in 1298 and Pope Eugenius IV in the 15th century), as well as rebuilt and enriched on their command (in particular, the city was protected by the popes and cardinals born of the Barberini family).

The Barberini Palace, which is now home to the National Museum of Archeology of Palestrina, is one of the chief attractions of the city. It showcases the most compact and valuable collection of vestiges of the ancient Temple of Fortuna Primigenia, including vestiges from ancient sanctuaries and necropolises, a Capitoline Triad and the famed Nile Mosaic of Palestrina.

How to get from Rome to Palestrina

By visiting COTRAL, tourists can learn about the schedule of the regional buses which connect Rome to Palestrina. For a trip accompanied by the presence of specialized guides, tourists can turn to the bus tours offered by the bus tour companies operating in Rome.