Tusculum was one of the largest Roman cities in the Alban Hills and today is amongst the largest ruins of a Roman city in the region. The Tusculum is located on Tuscolo hill on the northern edge of the outer crater rim of the Alban volcano. The volcano itself is located in the Alban Hills 6 kilometres (4 miles) south of the present-day town of Frascati.
Tuscolo Hills' summit is 670 metres (2,200 feet) above sea level and affords a view of the Roman Campagna, with Rome lying 25 kilometres (16 miles) to the north-west. Rome was reached by the Via Latina (from which a branch road ascended to Tusculum, while the main road passed through the valley to the south of it), or by the Via Labicana to the north.
Tusculum was most famous in Roman times for the many great and luxurious patrician country villas sited close to the city, yet a comfortable distance from Rome (notably the villas of Cicero, Lucullus etc.).
But still closer to Rome than the mountainous country where these cities lie, there is another ridge, which leaves a valley (the valley near Algidum) between them and is high as far as Mount Albanus. It is on this chain that Tusculum is situated, a city with no mean equipment of buildings; and it is adorned by the plantings and villas encircling it, and particularly by those that extend below the city in the general direction of the city of Rome; for here Tusculum is a fertile and well-watered hill, which in many places rises gently into crests and admits of magnificently.