It’s a beautiful little town but that’s not really saying much because Italy in general is beautiful—you gotta be bring a whole lot to the table if you want to stand out as a special, unique city. Physically I wouldn’t rank it any higher than say Milan. BUT the trip to Frascati will stand out as one of the best, most-authentic days I had during my entire stay in Rome.
There was a huge street market going so we wandered around the town for a while (it seemed like every single resident and their dog was out enjoying their Sunday afternoon passagiata), looking at the random merchandise, stopping in the church and checking out the views of Rome. Finally we stumbled onto a piazza that had cart after cart of the very thing I came after: PORCHETTA.
Aside from us, there was an older couple from Rome who had driven to Frascati for lunch. Between listening to the beautiful Italian songs, talking with the older couple, speaking in French with one of the customers (he was explaining the concept of the cantina to us but asked to switch to French as his French was better than his English—yay for knowing a foreign language!) and chatting with the shop owners, it was an incredible afternoon. We stumbled out of there 3 hours later, tipsy from the delicious wine (in addition to the two carafes we bought, Max must have filled our glasses 4 times), stuffed from all the great food and grinning from ear to ear. I live for those kinds of experiences.
One funny thing to mention: there were tons of gnats flying around the cantina, one even fell in my drink. I’m really squeamish in general but the owner insisted that they wouldn't hurt us and it was totally normal to have them around since they just finished making a fresh batch of wine that morning. Um… ok. We spent half the time swatting gnats and trying to keep them from falling into our meal. As we were leaving Ana joked, “Don’t worry. If we’re lucky we only ate 10 of them.”