Tiberius reigned over the Roman Empire from 14 to 37 AD. Like most Romans today, he sought to escape the summer city heat by heading to the shore. He chose the tiny coastal city of Sperlonga, to build his summer residence in. Now, as I said before, with paid admission to the Archaeological Museum, visitors are free to roam around what is left of Tiberius’s once lavish home. Here, you can walk through the ruins at your leisure.No matter which way you turn, it is plain to see that this area is full of history! This is the land where the legends that we read about in school, supposedly took place. To find yourself standing there, on the very soil that has seen so much of time pass by, is an astounding experience. It also makes you wonder if maybe there was some iota of truth in those fantastic tales we were taught in school — the tales of Ulysses and Hercules!At the bottom of the gently sloping hill, where the land meets the sea, you come upon man-made ponds, and the entrance to the infamous Grotta di Tiberio.It is possible to enter the grotto, and I highly recommend that you do!This is where the Roman Emperor used to throw his lavish “parties.” Benches cut into the stone still line the walls — these were for his guests to lounge on. Instead of returning to the city by the same route that we took earlier, we decided to simply walk back along the beach. So, once we exited the museum, we made the first left, and headed for the water.Built in 1532, the Torre Truglia was once part of the city’s defensive system, against invaders. Today, it remains one of Sperlonga’s main landmarks. The Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta in Cielo is the main church of the city. Built on the summit of the centro storico, it replaced an older building, which was damaged years ago. The church that we see today dates from 1964.For our second dinner in Sperlonga, we decided to dine at Mudejar Spiriti e Cucina. Reservations are recommended, as the place is small. The food was delicious though, and we had a wonderful time.
Next up: We head a little south, to the lovely city of Gaeta!
Note: This blog is written in English and Spanish, and the author takes no responsibility for the quality of any other translations which may appear. If you have enjoyed this post, please check out our archives for more posts from Sperlonga, as well as other Italian destinations. Grazie!