Home to Rome’s low-cost airport, Ciampino is named after the 17th-century scientist and archaeologist Giovanni Giustino Ciampini. It lies in the south-east of the Italian capital and on the doorstep of Lake Albano, which is home to the summer papal residence and its exquisite gardens.
Things to do in Ciampino
Extending along the western edge of Ciampino is the Via Appia Antica, a cobblestoned road commissioned in 312 BC to move troops during the Second Samnite War. It’s lined with cypress trees and crumbling ruins while exhibiting the wear of centuries-old carriage tracks on its paving stones. Nearby are the ancient Roman remains of Villa dei Quintili.
South-east of Ciampino is Lake Albano, a volcanic crater lake that is nestled at the foot of Monte Cavo. It is fringed by summer residences, historic villas and cottages, as well as waterfront restaurants and hillside fruit farms. On the western shore is a beach where you can swim during the summer months or launch a canoe to explore the lake at your leisure.
Overlooking Lake Albano is Castle Gandolfo, which is the site of a summer papal palace built partially atop the ruins of Emperor Domitian’s residence. Admire the Church of St. Thomas of Villanova and marvel at the Doric Nymphaeum before taking a photo beside the world’s first postbox. A highlight of the complex is the meticulously manicured Barberini Gardens with its clipped hedges and elegant fountains.
Getting around Ciampino
Ciampino is around 30 minutes’ drive from the centre of Rome and 25 minutes from Leonardo da Vinci International Airport. Ciampino–G. B. Pastine International Airport is located within the city and serves low-cost carriers flying to Europe and North Africa. Trains connect to the Ciampino and Acqua Acetosa railway stations while buses also travel throughout the city.