Grottaferrata, Italy is a small town and comune in the province of Rome, situated on the lower slopes of the Alban Hills, 20 km south east of Rome. It is bounded by other communes, Frascati, Rocca di Papa, Marino, and Rome.
The history of Grottaferrata identifies largely with that of the Basilian Monastery of Santa Maria, founded here in 1004 by Saint Nilus the Younger. The founding legend narrates that, at the spot where the abbey now stands, the Virgin Mary appeared and bade him found a church in her honour.
The Abbey of Santa Maria di Grottaferrata has several courts, which lead to the famous portico designed by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger, with an arcade of nine bays supported by slender columns with Renaissance capitals.