Gaeta, city of seven beaches.
Gaeta is one of the southernmost cities in the Lazio region, the region surrounding Rome. It’s a small town, and that’s true if you’re just looking at the numbers. But then you consider history, culture, food, and charm, this bustling city punches like a giant. Built on a peninsula, the city has scenic backdrop of the Aurunci Mountains and surrounded by the blue sparkling sea. This place just gaves an absolute taste of southern Italy thenewer you go there – frendly people, fantastic food, sense of history which all together ties it in tons of absolutely special magic ambiance.
You won’t find Gaeta in many guidebooks, though it’s an extremely popular summertime destination for italians. That’s why we are especially glad to introduce this Rome getaway direction on our page.
From one side Gaeta is enclosed by spectacular Gulf of Gaeta. Practicaly it’s a broad sweep of bay which stretches down towards Naples. From another side of peninsula is the wide expanse of golden sand of seven beaches.
The history of Gaeta.
The history of Gaeta as a town, dates as far back as the first century AD when Romans started inhabiting it. It was called Caieta at that time. Built on an elevated hillside it was valued by ancient Romans as a military stronghold, and as favorite summer resort for wealthy citizens. Since then, it has been part of the Byzantine Empire, Kingdom of Naples, the Reign of the Two Sicilies, sacked by France, and seized by Spanish and Sardinian troops. Now, under the Republic of Italy, it is home to a NATO base.
What to do, what to see.
Gaeta has tiny old city which offers something for everyone. You can stroll along the Lungomare (sea road) and watch fishermen ply their trade. Have a drink at one of the seaside bars or grab a bite of the famous “tiella” at one of the streetfood kiosk. Look up to see the walls of the Angevin-Aragonese castle. Then walk right up to the Romanesque bell tower tucked away between buildings in the old city and look closely at the walls. You’ll see blocks with carvings on them. It’s because the tower is made from re-used items from ancient structures. And finaly be sure to stop for gelato at “Il Molo” or “El Tiburon”, at the far end of the old city in Piazza del Pesce.
Outside of toown: hike to the top of Monte Orlando.This prominent hill separating new Gaeta from the old city, is named also as Montagna Spaccata, or Split Mountain. It’s a bit of a hike to get to the top but you’ll be rewarded by bird’s eye view. Tyrennhean sea extend all the way to the horizon and the drammatic cliffs overlooking the sea are split from top to bottom. Locals believes that the mountain was cleaved in two at the moment Christ died on Calvary. Make sure to shoot some unique 360 degree photos from there. On the mountain, you’ll also find the ancient Roman Mausoleum of Lucius Muniatus Plancus.
Don’t miss the Sanctuary of the Holy Trinity built between two rocks and the Grotta del Turco (Turkish Grotto). It’s a cavern, carved out of the mountain by the sea itself. To get to the Grotta del Turco you’ll need to take some steps down – around 400. Be aware that the way back might be little bit more challenging.
Beaches of Gaeta.
The fabulous seven beaches attract Italians and tourists with their scenic landscapes, sparkling water, white sand and well-run lidos (pay-to-use beaches).You can find all them marked in the below Gaeta’s map.
Serapo Beach – within walking distance of downtown Gaeta, draws the most tourists because of its soft, gold sand that stretches for over two miles.Be aware that Serapo beach can be quite jammed during August, also the parcing can be a challenge.
Ariana Beach – it’s a Blue Flag designated beach, awarded for its clean water, well-maintained environment and its natural setting. Lies in the protected cove below the hills just below town. It is an arch of fine golden sand backed by Mediterranean scrub, anchored by rocky points that protect it from the wind. The name in fact derives from “aria sana” meaning “healthy air”. The beach is reached off Via Flacca. Because it is more confined in the cove, it can get rather crowded.