Not having a car ourselves, we arranged for a driver to pick us up in Sperlonga, and then take us to our next destination, the city of Gaeta.
There, once again, we had booked a one-bedroom apartment to stay in, right in the historical center of the city.
For the first part of the day, all went smoothly. The driver arrived on time, and we got to Gaeta without too much trouble — we had a tiny bit of a problem finding the actual address of the apartment. Luckily, the driver was familiar with the city, and so he knew which of the narrow, winding streets went where, and eventually, we were able to find the address. As he promised, the owner was there to meet us.
We selected this apartment, because it was set up on the hill, and had a lovely terrace, overlooking the bay, and the city below. It would be a wonderful place to relax in, and to enjoy all that this lovely seaside city had to offer! As he was showing us around the apartment, the owner told us, kind of nonchalantly, that there was no running water. That meant no toilet, no shower, no cooking — no anything. It also meant that we were not going to stay there. Once we expressed concern about the situation, he assured us that the problem was being addressed as we spoke, and that it should be back working by 18:00, or 6:00pm. He said that he would meet us at the apartment at that time to make certain that all was well, and we could pay him for the rental then, once we knew that everything was functioning, and that we were staying.
Wanting to give him the benefit of the doubt, we agreed to this, and then, because we had no way of freshening up, or even washing our hands, we decided to go out for some lunch, and walk around a bit. After that, we could head back to the apartment, and hopefully, all would be well, and water would be running.
So, leaving our suitcases as they were, fully packed, we set out for a few hours of exploring. The apartment was situated, as I said before, on the hill, overlooking the lower part of the town, directly underneath the Tempio di San Francesco. While this church was definitely something that I wanted to see, it was closed at the moment, so we made a note to try and visit it later, during our stay.At the foot of the stairs, leading up to Il Tempio, you will find the Cappella Napoleonico.From there, to get to the heart of the city, where most of the restaurants and cafés are, you simply walk downhill, or down the stairs. Once we arrived at the bottom of the steps, we found ourselves at the entrance to a small park. In the center of the park was the Monumento ai Caduti.The monument is a lovely piece, honoring those who lost their lives in World War II. Unbeknownst to us, Gaeta has recently become famous for its Holiday Light Festival. The entire city is decked out with Christmas decorations, stalls set up selling food and drinks, as well as gift items, from the end of November to the start of the New Year. Most of the decorations and lights were already in place when we arrived, even though we did not get a chance to see any of them lit up.Across the street from the park, is the waterfront. A pedestrian promenade lines a large section of it. This is the home to the Signora del Vento, an old ship that still takes guests on overnight cruises, along the coast of Italy. Off in the distance, on the other side of the bay, we could see the town that we were going to next: Formia.From where we stood, we could look up, and see the apartment and the terrace, below the Tempio.Dating from 1321, The Santuario della Santissima Annunziata sits on the site of one of the old city gates. Inside of this church is the famous Cappella d’Oro, but every time that we tried to visit the church, there was either a mass taking place, or it was closed. Directly across the street, you will find the Ex Caserma Cosenz, or the Palazzo della Cultura, as it is called today. Erected in 1860, the building now houses the Museo Del Centro Storico Culturale Gaeta, as well as the Biblioteca Comunale Salvatore Mignano. It was also closed, whenever we passed by.
Next up: more from Day One in 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 posts from other Italian destinations, such as Palermo, Lecce, Roma, and more. Grazie!