The Chiesa di Sant’Erasmo, or the Church of Saint Erasmus, as we see it today, dates back to the 1500’s. Saint Erasmus, also known as Saint Elmo, was a Christian martyr who died in 303. He was the acting bishop of Formia. When the prosecution of Christians began, he fled to Mount Libanus, but returned to the city after being visited by an angel. In the course of returning, he was captured by the Romans on numerous occasions, and was tortured, but whatever injuries were inflicted on him were immediately healed by angels, and he was able to escape his captors each time. He made it back to Formia, where he was once again arrested, only this time, he was disembowelled, resulting in his death. The church was built over the site where he was buried. Saint Erasmus is the patron saint of sailors, and also of those suffering from abdominal pain. The term “Saint Elmo’s Fire” came into use after a bolt of lightning struck the ground at the foot of the saint, while he was preaching. We walked down to the lower section of the city, as I wanted to see the fish market, which is one of the area’s finest. Unfortunately, we missed the fishmongers, as by the time we arrived, the area was empty, and cleaned for the day. The Fontana delle 5 Cannelle dates from the 18th century. During the day, the piazza, in which the fountain sits, is relatively quiet, but at night, the bars and cafés surrounding it are filled with people, and the area turns into an open-air living room. I would never be the person who would advise anyone to visit a McDonald’s restaurant when traveling overseas, but I have to tell you — the hot pistachio drink that they serve at the McCafé in Formia is delicious!We stopped for a quick lunch at Al Solito Posto. The food was good — mainly pub food, done Italian style. Another of Formia’s main landmarks is Torre di Mola, which dates back to the 13th century. The Chiesa di Santi Lorenzo e Giovanni Battisti is a more modern style church, located on the edge of the city.
Next up: We return to the Eternal City of Roma, for a brief stay!
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 Formia, as well as other Italian destinations. Grazie!