We couldn’t check into the apartment in Formia, our next destination, until mid afternoon, so we decided to take a last walk around Gaeta. History is everywhere, in Italian towns and cities. All one has to do is to walk through a town center, and you will come across something that is worth seeing, and making note of. I’ve found this to be true, in each and every place that I’ve traveled to, and Gaeta is no exception. The Porta Domnica was one of the main entryways, into the city.Finishing touches were being made on an ice skating rink, which would open to the public later on that day, when the big kick-off of the holiday light show began. Before we knew it, the time had arrived for us to return to the hotel, and grab our luggage, as we had arranged for a taxi to pick us up and drive us over to Formia, which was the next stop on our adventure. Formia is only approximately 10 kilometers away from Gaeta, on the other side of the bay. On a normal day, the ride only takes about fifteen minutes, but this was not a normal day. It was a weekend, and on top of that, later in the day, as I mentioned before, Gaeta was holding the opening ceremony of its Holiday Light Festival. So, the ride around the bay took us a little longer than it normally would have. We booked an apartment for ourselves, again using “Booking.com.” It was located on the top of the town, in one of the more modern apartment buildings, just past the historical center. The apartment itself was very spacious, and nicely equipped with everything that you could possibly need. But, the feature that I liked best was the large terrace that surrounded it. Behind the apartment, on the hill, overlooking the town, is the Castello Miramare. This was a hotel/restaurant, which was open at the time of our stay in Formia, but has since closed its doors. The building dates back to the fifteenth century, and the hotel welcomed guests for forty-four years, before recently shutting down. After we got settled, and I had a quick nap on the swing, outside on the terrace, we set out to explore the town a bit. We began our explorations in the area known as Castellone. At the very top of the neighborhood, in Piazza Sant’Erasmo, you will find the Torre di Castellone. Dating from the 14th century, the tower was the tallest of all of the towers that once guarded the city, and stands at 25 meters. The base of the tower incorporates a section of the megalithic wall, which once enclosed Formia. The Castellone neighborhood is the oldest part of the city, and it is entirely built on a hill. A good cardio workout is guaranteed simply by walking, and discovering this lovely area.
Next up: More from Formia, including a visit to an ancient Roman cistern!
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 Gaeta, Castel Gandolfo, as well as other Italian destinations. Grazie!