39km (24 miles) east of Rome

Like Tibur, ancient Preneste (as Palestrina was called) was a superb holiday spot. It was a favorite of Horace, Pliny, and even Hadrian, who maintained a villa here.

Getting There

CoTral buses leave every 30 to 45 minutes during the day from Rome; departures are from the Anagnina Metro stop in Rome. It takes about an hour to reach Palestrina and costs about 3€.

If you're driving, exit through the Porta Maggiore and travel on Via Prenestina for about 39km (24 miles) or the Autostrada (A1), and get off at Valmontone; the latter route is much quicker.


Exploring the Town

When U.S. airmen bombed part of the town in World War II, they never imagined they'd launch Palestrina as an important tourist attraction. After the debris was cleared, a pagan temple (once one of the greatest in the world) emerged: the Fortuna Primigenia, rebuilt in the days of the empire but dating from centuries before. In Palestrina you'll also find a Duomo dating from 1100, with a mostly intact bell tower.

Palestrina predates the founding of Rome by several hundred years. It resisted conquest by the early Romans and later took the wrong side in the civil war between Marius and Sulla. When Sulla won, he razed every stone in the city except the Temple of Fortune and then built a military barracks on the site. Later, as a favorite vacation spot for the emperors and their entourages, it sheltered some of the most luxurious villas of the Roman Empire. Its most famous child was Pier Luigi da Palestrina, recognized as the father of polyphonic harmony.


Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.