6 stunning seaside resorts near Rome
June 20, 2022
A much-favoured holiday destination for both locals and foreigners alike, Sabaudia forms part of Circeo National Park, hinting at the spectacular vistas on show. The Circeo promontory towers over a Blue Flag certified beach, while the white sand stretches many kilometres before merging into lush Mediterranean brush and coastal lakes. Waves gently caress the shoreline, making it a serene spot for evening strolls or an early morning swim to refresh the senses. Only 90km south of Rome, this lavish seaside resort is popular with many famous faces, many of whom own villas nestled amid the dunes.
San Felice Circeo
A short drive south of Sabaudia sits San Felice Circeo, named ‘one of the most beautiful villages in Italy’. The historical centre is small but striking, formed around the 13th century tower, Torre dei Templari. San Felice Circeo features in Homer’s Ulysses, where the great hero was allegedly bewitched by Circe the sorceress and imprisoned for over a year. Verdant green trails overlook the sea, which are ideal for hiking and enjoying the view. Nearby, Grotta Guattari cave can be explored, where nine skulls of Neanderthal Man were discovered, estimated to be between 50,000 – 68,000 years old.
A picturesque fishing village that looms over the Tyrrhenian Sea, Sperlonga is located around halfway between Rome and Naples. Whitewashed houses cluster together along the narrow streets while the sparkling blue waters have gained a Blue Flag for their high quality. The name of the village derives from the famous ‘speluncae’, the many natural caves carved from the coast. Golden sands promise sunny afternoons while the 16th century Torre Truglia is a magnificent structure worth exploring. The ruins of Tiberius Villa are a great draw, set right beside the ocean just outside the village.
Often called the ‘pearl’ of the Tyrrhenian Sea, Santa Marinella is situated in the Etruscan Riviera just 60km from Rome, making it great for a day trip to the seaside. Art Nouveau-style summer residences line the volcanic beach, while dozens of colourful umbrellas provide shade for the hot summery days. Divers join the sun worshippers, seeking treasure in the form of marine fauna that thrives under the crystal-clear waters. Surf’s up all year around at Santa Marinella as great waves entice surfers to its shores from around the globe.
120km from Rome, Gaeta’s dreamy beaches await. A charming historical centre demonstrates why Gaeta has gained the nickname, ‘city of a hundred churches’. More incredible Blue Flag beaches populate the coastline, offering bays and coves for young and old to enjoy. Seven different beaches promise endless fun in the sun from swimming to sailing. The most remarkable feature of the skyline is the Angevine-Aragonese Castle, which was an important strategic location in the 13th century. Turk’s Cave is another delightful place to visit in Gaeta, discovered by a 300-step descent in the cool cavernous rock.
Less than two hours offshore from Gaeta is the sun-kissed island of Ventotene. Its natural marine habitat is one of the most extraordinary in the Mediterranean. Ventotene features in the Odyssey as the Island of the Sirens and it was also a place of refuge for Giulia, the daughter of Emperor Augustus. Cala Nave is one of the best beaches on the island, named for the sedimentary rock that resembles a ship rising from the sea. Crystalline waters invite divers and swimmers to admire the scarlet sponges adorning the caves and tropical coral beneath.
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