Ladispoli, located on the Italian coast, only 35 kilometers west of Roma, is a very popular summer resort city. During the months of July and August, the city is filled with sun worshipers, beach goers, etc, all out for a bit of fun and relaxation.
I, however, was visiting the city in the beginning of May. So, I had the place pretty much to myself.
Ladispoli shares a train station with the neighboring city of Cerveteri. It lies on the Roma/Pisa train line, which runs, for the most part, along the coast. I arrived by train from Piombino.
Before arriving, I checked the location of the apartment that I’d rented, wanting to find out if it was within walking distance of the train station. It was, but not with luggage, and a computer. So, I did the only sensible thing I could do, and once out of the train station, made my way to the nearest taxi stand, which was right in front.
Luckily, for me, there was a taxi waiting there, at the taxi stand. The driver, a woman named Eleonora, spoke perfect English, and I gave her the address that I needed, and she took me to my destination. During our brief ride, I mentioned to her that I would need a ride up to Cerveteri in a few days, so she gave me her business card, instructing me to phone her an hour or so before I wanted to leave, so that she could come pick me up.
I had booked myself a two bedroom apartment, with a small terrace, full kitchen, full bath, for three nights. The property was called “Beach and City”, and I found it on Booking.com, my “go-to” site when seeking places to stay. The apartment was part of a residential complex.
The place was spacious, clean, safe, and I was, once again, very happy with where I was!
After I settled in, I went out to buy some essentials for the place – breakfast items, juice, etc.
Ladispoli is a working class city. The people who live here are good, hard working people, and the prices, especially in the markets, reflect that. A quart of blood-orange juice and a six pack of one liter bottles of water came to E 1.90. At a local dairy shop, four yogurts and a kilo of homemade cookies cost E 3.00.
Even though the the area has been populated since ancient times, the modern city of Ladispoli , as we know it today, was founded in 1888 by Ladislao Odescalchi. That said, there is no centro storico, so to speak, like in many other Italian towns. You won’t find the stone covered streets, and medieval alleyways here. This is a real, working city, full of real working people (except – of course – for the peak summer months). Yet, there is another kind of beauty here. The people are welcoming, and friendly. And the city itself, while it has a bit of grit and grime to it, as you walk around, you can’t help but notice the beautiful small details that people have added to their homes, and apartment buildings.
The heart of the city is Viale Italia. This is the main shopping street of Ladispoli, and it runs from the train station, all the way to Piazza Roberto Rossellini, and the waterfront.
Ladispoli has long been a favorite of Italian film directors, seeking a sea-side location. Films such as Umberto D by Vittorio De Sica, Era Notte a Roma by Roberto Rossellini, Il Sorpasso by Dino Rossi, and the more recent Saimir by Francesco Munzi were all filmed here. The town is proud of this fact.
Before heading to dinner I stopped at the Bar Nazionale for a Negroni Sbagliato (E 5.00). This is obviously where many of the locals go for an aperitivo. The place was full of people, all sipping drinks, and nibbling snacks.
Sunset in Ladispoli was spectacular. The buildings were suddenly bathed in a rich honey red that immediately made you want to look heavenward, to a sky that could only have been painted by the hands of a master artist!
For dinner, I headed a short distance to the waterfront, and to a restaurant that I’d noticed earlier, while strolling around.
I highly recommend this place. My meal cost me E 40.00, and that included an amuse bouche which consisted of fried shrimp with a puree of potato and asparagus, then I had a mixed seafood appetizer, followed by pasta stuffed with fresh fish and creme. Then came branzino in a cheese crust, while desert was a white chocolate torte that was to die for! To drink, I had a bottle of local wine, a bottle of water, coffee and a grappa. It was a wonderful meal! The food was delicious and the portions were just right – meaning, you were able to finish each plate, and not leave the restaurant feeling as if you were going to explode!
All in all, it was a great first day in Ladispoli.
next up: more from Ladispoli