Minturno, itinerary from the sea to the mountains
Not everyone knows that the territory safeguards the archaeological area of the ancient city of Minturnae. It runs alongside the mouth of the Garigliano and still visible within its territory are the remains of the Republican era forum, the Capitolium, the Imperial Forum, the ancient market, the ancient thermal baths but above all the Roman amphitheatre dating back to the first century AC, able to accommodate at the time about four thousand spectators.
During the Roman era, ancient Minturnae was probably one of the most important cities after Pompei and this can be seen by the fact that it stood along the Ancient Via Appia, whose original stone paving, within the archaeological area, still remains. The section of Via Appia that is still visible coincides also with a section of Via Francigena del Sud which crosses various cities of southern Lazio from Rome to continue on to Campania and Apuglia.
Real Ferdinando II Bourbon Bridge
A few metres from the archaeological area of Minturno and from the majestic amphitheatre, setting for performances and shows during the summer, stands the Bourbon bridge dedicated to Ferdinand II of the Two Sicilies who had it built.
The Bourbon bridge, Real Ferdinando was the first iron catenary suspension bridge to be built in Italy, designed by the engineer, Luigi Giura, and inaugurated in 1832. This bridge once united the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, which had to the north, as ultimate stronghold, the Gaeta fortress, and then kept the province of Littoria united with that of Naples; today, it connects the province of Latina with Caserta.
It was also the scene of the battle of Garigliano between the Savoy and the Bourbon in 1860, which led to its conquest by the Savoy army. On 14 November 1943, its only span was mined in two places and made to explode by the German army retreating toward Rome after the ceasefire. The bridge was rebuilt in 1998, the project was entrusted to the Minturno Archaeological District and the visit is included with the visit to the Park.
The historical centre of Minturno
The historical centre of Minturno is very characteristic, made up of small alleys, porticoes, Roman construction remains and churches in which to lose oneself.
Special mention to the ancient walls surrounding the old town, the church of Saint Francis built by the Caetani around 1363, containing a fresco of the Madonna delle Grazie, protector of the city. The church of the Madonna della Libera and the church of Chiesa di S. Pietro, cathedral of the city, among the most characteristic of the city where a very prestigious pulpit is still kept.
Naturally, a visit to the Aurunco Ethnographic Museum, small museum of local costumes and peasant culture, is a must. It is located in Corso V. Emanuele.
What to see in Minturno: parks overlooking the sea and breathtaking beaches
In addition to a beautiful historical city centre set on a hill, it boasts a sleek, modern promenade and golden beaches with crystalline water, very popular with tourists and residents. It’s beaches have also been awarded with blue flag status in the last two years, proof of Minturno’s top quality services and excellent water quality. Don’t miss out on Sassolini beach in the Scauri district: Nino Manfredi chose it as the location for his villa by the sea.