According to Ovid Tuscolo was founded by Telegonus, the son of Ulysses and the witch Circe. More realistically the founding is said to originally and Etruscan town and its name, Tudum, would seem to bear this theory out.
Tuscolo, which was a member of the Latin League, was conquered by Rome in the 5th C. BC and then annexed in the 4th C.
The mild climate, the beauty of the location and its vicinity to the capital meant it became a holiday resort much loved by the Romans.
Cicero – who spent extensive periods of time here, as he writes in the Tuscolanae disputations – Lucullus, Maecenas, Tiberius, Nero and Galba were among many who had there villa here.
The city was inhabited until 1191, when it was completely destroyed by the Roman army, the last act of a fierce controversy which had begun when the lords of the town, the Tuscolo counts, had refused to pay the dues that Rome demanded of them.
The few survivors of the slaughter took refuge at the foot of the hill, in the ruins of an ancient villa, and from here set to building a new town: Frascati.
Of the ancient Tusculum we can now still see the theatre, the Forum area, the amphitheatre outside the walls, the villa known as belonging to Tiberius, a number of cisterns and tombs, in addition to the extensive paved roads, such as the via dei Sepolcri (Sepulchre Way) which from the via Latina led to the city gates and can still be walked today.