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Back to Excursions list/Short Distance Excursion / Walking in ROME / Excursion to Upper and Eastern Lazio / Excursion to Rome South / Tour to the South

Southern Latium (Lazio)
& Riviera di Ulisse


Ponza & Ventotene islands, Gaeta, Formia, Montecassino, Sperlonga, Ninfa, Sermoneta, Norba, Bassiano, Fossanova and Valvisciolo Abbeys
full day Excursion

The Coast
Rome to Naples
beach

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The Backbone of the territory of South Latium is the Via Appia, one of the seven roads built by the Romans to conquer and keep quiet their Empire. Today two better ways have been built to join Naples and the South from Rome:
-the highway, on the back of the Appia road, far from the sea, touching the industrial towns of Frosinone and Cassino, and
-the via Pontina running seaside or in little distance from the coast of Latium, to touch Latina and Sabaudia, San Felice Circeo and Terracina, then changing name to
-the Via Flacca - this too built by the Romans to reach their preferred holiday resorts - passing through Sperlonga, Gaeta, Formia, with branches to Itri and Fondi.
More than a hundred km of rattling fine and white sandy beaches, quite all with umpolluted sea waters, some fragments with striking mountains sharply falling into the sea to form gorgeous inlets.
Fish trattorias, good wine production, buffalo mozzarella and good cheese will not be trivial for your brief leisure.

A few km far from the Via Appia, in the midland, on the foot or in mid of the mountain chains Lepini and Aurunci the time stopped to the time past, in Monasteries and ancient peasant villages.




EXCURSION DESTINATIONS

PONTINE PLAN
Caetani's Feud
Caetani-Castle
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Drive 42 km about from Rome and in 40 mins you'll reach the Pontine Plain.

At the end of 1300 Pope Boniface VIII Caetani donated to his family the territories of Sermoneta, Bassiano, Ninfa, San Donato and the marquisate of Ancona while his brother Roffredo II was named Count of Caserta by King Charles II of Anjou. The Caetani, Feudal lords, Dukes and Counts proved to be brave warriors and formed a real armed force in protection of Pope Boniface VIII.

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-NORBA, The ghost Roman city, where hectares of remains of stone tell a tragic story. From there you can enjoy a breathtaking view on the old postal road to Naples marked by the great :
-SERMONETA with CASTLE CAETANI,
-NINFA “off the beaten track” whose beautiful gardens has been called the most romantic garden in all of Italy; -Some ruined Churches and
-BASSIANO, the walls still intact, with nine towers and three gates. The structure of the hamlet is spiral, with a series of ladders, characterized by the 'tower' houses, typical of the Middle Ages, separated by alleys.
-FOSSANOVA AND VALVISCIOLO, two suggestive medieval ABBEYS that, in the land of the Caetani still standing proudly, inviting places to stop in their shadowy cloisters:
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MONTECASSINO
THE ABBEY OF MONTECASSINO
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Drive 160 km from villa Infiorata and in 2 hours you'll reach Formia and Gaeta's Bay

St Benedict founded the Abbey of Monte Cassino, perhaps the oldest and most famous monastery in the world, in 529 A.D. It became a beacon of civilization throughout the Middle Ages, here the torch of knowledge was kept burning and during the 11th and 12th centuries, it was a center of learning, particularly in the field of medicine.
After the Italian Facist Regime collapsed during World War II, German troops occupied the town of Cassino in 1944. Subsequent fighting, which lasted for four months before the Allied breakthrough, left the town of Cassino devasted and Monte Cassino severely damaged. Both Cassino and Monte Cassino have since been rebuilt on the original sites.
The memory of the Battle of Monte Cassino is kept alive by the American, British and Polish cemeteries

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The AURUNCI mountains
A PEASANT


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Simplifying directions, the stretch of road that runs along the sea from Terracina (1 hour and 15 minutes from Rome) to Formia, coasts the Aurunci mountains, which occupy a large part of the interior
The Natural Park of the Aurunci Mountains extends between the provinces of Latina and Frosinone, at the border of Latium with Campania Region and includes part of the districts of ten towns, among which Formia, and some of the old villages where the time seems to be stopped, like Itri, Spigno Saturnia Campodimele, Lenola, Ausonia, Esperia, worthy to be visited.

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FORMIA
formia

Drive 160 km from villa Infiorata and in 2 hours you'll reach Formia and Gaeta's Bay

In the Republican Era and during the days of the Roman Empire, Formia became a noted seaside resort for the Roman aristocracy.
Still today it is an appreciated holiday destination for its beautiful landescapes, the white sandy beach, shoreline and sea child safe,  the local fish and good cuisine, affordable trattorias, good food and street open markets.

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The isle of
PONZA
Ponza port
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Hidrofoil from Anzio (if in Rome) or from Formia, both in 70 minutes of navigation.

 The island of Ponza is the greatest of the Pontine Islands (or Ponziane Islands).

Set on one of the most beautiful coastlines on the Mediterranean, between the Gulf of Gaeta and Circeo Point, Ponza is the largest of a string of volcanic islands, the others being Ventotene and Santo Stefano to the east and Gavi, Zanone and Palmarola to the west
This is a small island with 3500 inhabitants abt., 8 km. long and one of the points more tightened measures 300 m. abt. Ponza has a particularly healthy climate thanks to the iodine-rich breeze rising from the crystal clear sea and blending with the sun's rays. The shores are mainly rocky and made up of tufa cliffs, with caves, creeks and steep, offshore crags. This rocky landscape also has bays and little beaches, the most famous and most extensive being Chiaia di Luna.

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GAETA
Gaeta

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Drive 170 km in 2 hours from Formello, to reach
GAETA, a small town at the end of a picturesque peninsula on the Tyrrean sea, sits upon a crag.
A big marina situated in the gulf is complimented by the white sandy beach of Serapo.Picturesque beaches are after Serapo beach, on the way to Sperlonga. Marvel and beautiful sandy beaches, emerald bays, colorful reefs in the midst of a multicolored transparent sea.
A very beautiful boulevard runs from the small Roman port of the old town through the Cape to the fish open market, a distance of 2 km.
Every afternoon, as the fishing boats return, a improvised merchant market sprouts up on the dock from 5p.m. till 9 p.m. Fish may be purchased from the stalls across the boulevard.

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SPERLONGA
Gaeta
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Drive 150 km in 2 hours from Formello, to reach
SPERLONGA, a small fisherman village on one of the most beautiful italian coasts.
The Aurunci Mountains come down to the shore, and the coast is lined with beautiful white beaches leading to clear blue Tyrrhenian waters.
The Roman ruins of Tiberius villa and the local museum are worth a visit, before taking a dip in the crystal clear waters of the sea, before enjoying good local seafood cuisine and a coffee in the shade in front of the bars in the square.

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ULIXES COAST
the Split Holy Mountain
Undiscovered pearl of the Mediterraneum, off the beaten track. Imagine a long stretch of wild rocky coast, punctuated by sandy beaches and recultivated plains, a visual experience that astonishes most travellers new to the Ulixes Coast.
The Ulixes Coast, where the Ausoni and Aurunci Mountain chain rises 1500 metres above sea level, breaks off from the Appennini plummets into the Tyrrhenian Sea. The terminus is an array of reefs, precipices and sandy inlets separated by ancient watch-towers built in a time to prevent the visits of the unwelcomed Saracen invaders.

It is a land rich in exceptional archaeological finds, with recently created natural parks and marine reserves that respect of the breathtaking environment of the Regional Park Riviera di Ulisse.

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