If you love the sea and you are visiting Rome, there's no need to give up your unbridled desire to run on the beach and jump into the waves! The Lazio coast offers beaches and seaside resorts where you can take a dip in the sea, as well as taste typical, fresh dishes, based on fish or something completely different. In this article, you will find some tips to help you explore the coast and start planning your next trip without having to give up the seaside.
To find pleasantly clean waters and wide beaches on the Lazio coast, we recommend that you go at least as far as Sabaudia or San Felice Circeo, located about 95 kilometres from Rome. San Felice Circeo, in particular, is a lively town situated on a promontory overlooking the sea, with a lovely central square that, like the local restaurants, bars and nightclubs, is filled with people in summer. Thanks to its position on the west coast, overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea, both the beaches of Sabaudia and the promontory of Circeo enjoy a breathtaking view of the sunset and many people love to stay by the sea until late into the evening just to enjoy this show. Both locations are immersed in the Circeo National Park, a protected area where nature reigns supreme. Water sports activities, walks on the Circeo mountain and visits to the caves set in the promontory are highly appreciated.
Approximately 130 kilometres south of Rome, you will find Terracina, an ancient and important port of the Via Appia Antica, now a popular seaside resort. The beach and fresh fish sold in the city are certainly the main attraction of this town, but it is also worth visiting the historic centre, starting with Piazza del Municipio. In the square, as well as walking on a pavement dating back to ancient Rome, you can admire the city's cathedral and an archaeological museum. The most fascinating monument is certainly the Temple of Jupiter Anxur, an ancient Roman temple located on Monte Sant'Angelo, the imposing arches of which can be seen from miles away.
Not far from Terracina, you will find Sperlonga, a maritime city dotted with white houses perched on a promontory and stairways that will lead you to unexpected terraces overlooking the sea. The beaches and the water are pleasantly clean and if you walk on the shore, you can also reach a WWF nature reserve located near the promontory. Even the Roman emperor Tiberius built his private villa in Sperlonga, confirming the beauty of this town and, thanks to the archaeological museum and the visit to the remains of the Villa and the annexed cave, it is possible to relive the ancient glories of an emperor in love with the Lazio coast.
Almost at the same distance as Sperlonga, you will find Gaeta, one of the most beautiful maritime cities in southern Lazio, very busy thanks to visitors from nearby Campania. Gaeta has seven beautiful beaches, including Serapo, the one closest to the city and therefore the busiest, and Sant'Agostino, a great favourite of surfers. The old and new cities are separated by Monte Orlando, from which you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the sea. Places you can't go home without seeing include Montagna Spaccata ('The Split Mountain'), so called because of the rift that divides the promontory in two at sea level, and the Grotta del Turco. If you find yourself hungry after this little trip, you should be aware that Gaeta is also famous for its fish and shellfish, cooked in delicious local dishes. You should also try the olives, sourced from nearby Itri, as well as the typical dish known as"tiella", a kind of rustic cake stuffed with fish or vegetables.
Finally, if you want to take a boat from Anzio, Formia or Terracina, we suggest you visit the Pontine Islands, and in particular Ponza. It is possible to visit all the islands in a weekend, but you should be aware that Ponza and Ventotene are the liveliest ones throughout the year, Palmarola comes alive only in summer, while Santo Stefano and Zannone are predominantly wildernesses and almost deserted. The best way to visit the islands is to rent a boat, with or without a skipper, and admire the wonderful bays, high cliffs and sea caves from the sea. TheParata inlet, in particular, is where Ulysses was bewitched by the sorceress Circe, who made him her slave. After a day in the sun, we recommend a walk in the ancient Roman port, where you can admire the colourful houses of the fishermen and enjoy a refreshing drink on the rooftops.
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