In Southern Lazio between nature, culture and excellent gastronomy
A land rich in natural landscapes, regional parks, villages with authentic traditions and gastronomy. We have selected unmissable stops and breathtaking experiences in Lazio sud.
Villages nestled between the Aurunci Mountains in Southern Lazio
Variety is a constant in the landscape of Lazio sud, nestled between the peaks of the Monti Aurunci Regional Park and the crystal sea protected areas of Riviera d’Ulisse Park. Between the sea and the mountains there are villages with a thousand-year history, a crossroads of peoples and traditions. We start from Itri, built on the ancient Via Appia which partially marked its destiny. A medieval castle dominates the town. An unmissable stop is the Museum of Banditry. Located almost on the border between the Papal State and the Kingdom of Naples, it was center of the phenomenon of brigandage at the end of the eighteenth century.
Further south, another village that is worth a visit for the richness of its traditions. It is Santi Cosma e Damiano. Famous for the Carnival celebrations, during which sausages will be distributed to the participants. The country carnival, on the other hand, involves the challenge between the various districts that set up impressive allegorical floats. The procession of the patron saints is very folkloric and unmissable too.
Not to be missed:
Traces of ancient Romans
It is above all along the coast that traces of ancient Romans are visible. In the Riviera di Ulisse Park, in Sperlonga, stands the villa of Tiberius. The remains of the ancient summer residence of the emperor are kept in the Archaeological Museum of Sperlonga. A little further on, in Gaeta, the consul Gneo Fonteo built a villa whose ruins are still visible on the Fontania beach. In the protected area of the Park there are the Villa di Mamurra and the small port of Gianola, in Formia. The latter is known to be the city of Cicero, and it is the place where the mausoleum dedicated to the orator was built, along the Via Appia. In addition, the underground cistern designed by Marco Vitruvio Pollione and the National Archaeological Museum of Formia. In Minturno, on the border with Campania, there is a large archaeological area. The ancient Minturnae in Roman times was probably one of the most important cities after Pompei. It is thought that even the ancient locality of Suio, a well-known spa in the municipality of Castelforte, was already known by Romans because archaeological ruins have been found near the spas.
Not to be missed:
Along the Gustav Line in Southern Lazio
The Gustav Line was a fortified defensive line set up in Italy at Hitler’s disposal during the Italian campaign in World War II. It divided the Italian peninsula in two, to the north the territory in the hands of the Italian Social Republic and German troops, to the south the Americans. It was therefore the last German bastion before the arrival of the allied troops.
Today, a journey through the municipalities of Cassino, Esperia, Pontecorvo and Castelforte located along the line protects the collective memory and does justice to the civilians awarded gold medals for military valor for the suffering suffered at the end of the Second World War.
The municipalities found themselves at the center of opposing sides, suffering all sorts of violence from German and Moroccan troops and a large number of bombings by the allies including those that destroyed the famous abbey of Montecassino founded by San Benedetto. There were numerous civilian casualties and population centers were partially destroyed. The population resisted the hardest suffering, offering an admirable example of courage and love of country.
Not to be missed:
The excellent gastronomy in Southern Lazio
In Southern Lazio the gastronomy ranges from typical products of the land to those of the sea. Along the coast, fish-based dishes are the protagonists, such as the tiella di Gaeta with octopus or anchovies prepared in various ways (marinated, to season first courses or in meatballs). The typical products linked to the land range from fruit and vegetables such as the DOP red pepper from Pontecorvo, the red orange from Castelforte, Itrane olives, cheeses and dairy products such as the marzolina from Esperia, sausages and other cured meats. Do not miss the Fresa, a dish from San Marcos based on tomatoes, oregano, buffalo mozzarella, or laina and beans typical of Esperia or laina and chickpeas, typical of Castelforte. The icing on the cake is the award-winning Montecassino beer produced with the ancient recipe of the Benedictine monks.
Tiella of Gaeta
Fresa of Santi Cosma e Damiano
Laina and chickpeas
Laina and beans
Pontecorvo red pepper