Gaeta is a picturesque fishing port commune with beaches, museums and views of the Mediterranean Sea. The town has an intriguing history entwined with military fortifications dating back to the Romans. Many relics remain in the buildings and walls as reminders of the former ruling dynasties.
Descend the stairs from the mossy mountain at the southern part of town to sea level at Turk’s Cave at the southwestern tip. The cove contains rocks with an opening that looks out to the sea through the rupture of Monte Orlando, a promontory that holds a forest and a mausoleum. Hike or cycle along the paths through the Monte Orlando Park.
Northeast of the mountain is the historic center of town. Watch fishermen in action beside the old city walls. See the 10th-century Romanesque bell tower and visit the famous Golden Chapel of Annunziata Church.
After sightseeing in the historic center, enjoy the glorious beaches. Serapo Beach is just west of town and has flat terrain. Head farther west to sunbathe on the golden sand of Ariana Beach. Gaze up at the green hills surrounding the picturesque bay. Surf at Sant’Agostino, where you will catch the best waves. Several other lidos line the coast beside the town.
The region’s pleasant climate is a major attraction for visitors, with dry and warm summers best for enjoying the beaches. Locals speak a distinctive Italian dialect that retains certain elements from Latin. Try the region’s specialty, tiella, which resembles a pizza with stuffing, such as calamari and hot pepper. Seafood is also popular here.
The town overlooks the Gulf of Gaeta on Italy’s western coast, between the cosmopolitan giants of Rome and Naples. It is in the Latina province in the region of Lazio. Arrive at Capodichino Airport and rent a car for the 60-mile (100-kilometer) journey north to Gaeta.
Gaeta caters to all manner of vacationers with its three sections: beaches, historic structures and mountainous forest.