Gaeta Off The Beaten Path

  • Fence Around American School in Gaeta 2006
    Fence Around American School in Gaeta...
    by deecat
  • American Ship in 2006
    American Ship in 2006
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  • Just Before Teracina
    Just Before Teracina
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Best Rated Off The Beaten Path in Gaeta

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    Sperlonga: A Picturesque Coastal Town

    by deecat Updated May 9, 2005

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    Sperlonga, Italy

    Allan and I often took trips to other towns nearby Gaeta, and one of our favorites was the lovely, picturesque town called Sperlonga.

    It stands on a rocky cliff of Mount S. Magno and is recognized by its white buildings, narrow streets, and long steps that descend into the sea.

    The reason that Sperlonga was built on such a high spur was for defensive reasons. They needed to protect themselves against pirates who arrived from the sea.

    Sperlonga was a favorite holiday destination among the Romans, and the most famous visitor was the emperor Tiberius. He built a villa here, and the remains of the walls of his villa are visible above the SS Fiacca.

    In addition, in and around Sperlonga, there are many coastal grottoes. The most famous is called "Antro di Tiberio" cave. The area is where the National Archaeological Museum is.

    Allan and I really enjoyed our days there because we love to explore new places. It is delightful to climb the steep inclines, peruse the alleyways and narrow passageways, and to visit one of the lovely beaches such as Bazzano or Bambole.

    Sperlonga is still a holiday resort, but when we visited in early April, it was not crowded in the least.

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    • Beaches
    • Architecture

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    Riviera d'Ulisse and Parco Nazionale del Circeo

    by deecat Updated Dec 2, 2006

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    Just Before Teracina
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    When we left Gaeta to go to the airport in Rome, we took the route along the Riviera d'Ulisse and Parco Nazionale del Circeo, which located in Latina and its province. It took us much longer this way; however, it was well worth it.

    As much as I love mythology, I was fascinated by know that according to Homer's account, Aeneas stopped over at Gaeta before reaching Lavinium [where he lost his nurse, Cajeta] AND Ulysses moored his ships in what is now the Gulf of Gaeta to take on water, and at Terracina, Ulysses buried his friend, Elpenor AND on the slopes of Monte Circeo is where Ulysses lived for many years with his lover {Circe} AND Anzio supposedly took its name from Anteios, one of his children by Circe.

    Best of all, at The National Archaeological Museum of Sperlonga, there is a group of statues that recall the journey of Ulysses!.

    The coastline runns for more than 100 km with fine sand beaches that alternate with rocky promontories. Coastal resorts are Latina, S. Felice Circeo, Terracina, Fondi, Sperlonga, Gaeta, and Formia..

    We followed the sea and went from Gaeta passed Sperlonga toward Terracina toward the Parco Nazionale del Circeo and such places as Sabaudia, Bogo Grappa, Latina, Apriliaf.

    This area has spectacular views of the sea, islands, "new towns", art/culture, many parks,spas, and ancient hill towns.

    Of course, we were just passing through and only had glimpes of the area, but it certainly proved to be quite beautiful.

    I have selected some of the photos from that drive.

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    • Historical Travel
    • Beaches

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    Visit The Abbey of Montecassino

    by deecat Updated May 9, 2005

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    Splendor of Montecassino Abbey

    Just this week (May, 2005, Allan and I watched with interest the entire story of the bombing of the abbey and the town.

    While in Gaeta, we took a day trip to the Abbey of Montecassino which is located an hour away on the mountain above the town of Montecassino.

    This abbey is the mother church of the Benedictine order. It was founded by St. Benedict and built over the ruins of an ancient acropolis. At one time, it was considered the wealthiest of monasteries in all of Europe.

    The Allies bombed it in 1944, and most of it and the church in its complex. There are adjoining war cemeteries which honor over 30,000 soldiers, American, English, Russian, and the most are the Polish.

    The Battle of Monte Cassino was actually four separate battles that were fought over the course of five months! These battles were important because they led to the eventual link up between the Allied troops trapped further north near Anzio and their comrades further south. The link up of forces led to the eventual capture of Rome in June of 1944.

    The abbey's lovely mosiacs, large Corinthian columns, gorgeous statues, huge bronze-relief door, fading frescoes, ancient oil canvases, gold guilded altars, vaulted ceiling paintings, cloisters, crypts, and the Basilica Cathedral add up to an impressive Abbey complex indeed.

    Some of the most beautiful mosaics were not destroyed, probably because they were on the lowest level.

    Picture shows some of those beautful mosaics as well as a statue in the courtyard garden.

    It's a steep drive up the mountain to reach it, but worth it.

    Related to:
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    • Seniors
    • Religious Travel

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    Split Mountain

    by deecat Updated Nov 17, 2006

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    The Legend of Split Mountain
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    The Legend of Split Mountain says two things:

    1. This mountain split at the precise time
    that Jesus died on the cross.

    2. Says that once a doubter of the first legend
    touched the side of the split, and his hand
    print was forever enblazoned on the wall.

    You can put your fingers into the hand print as my husband Allan is doing in the picture:

    "This is the world marvel, horridly beautiful, which makes enraptured and thoughtful the visitors flocking here in any season from Italian towns and abroad, attracted by the mysterious, superhuman power that produced such a wonder... it is finally the phenomenon that always leaves perplexed and doubtful the most eminent geologists in the world, among whom one of the most learned stated: "natural, physical, geological laws are upset; the splits of the rock are not the product of an ordinary earthquake, which might have separated its numerous layers breaking their ties in the weakest points...The rock is divided in a diagonal way, and it is not opened in its weakest points but in the strongest and thickest" (N. Aletta).

    On your way to the Naval Military Base, you will find signs to Split Mountain.

    There is a small chapel, Stations of the Cross done in tiles, and a gift store.

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    A Little of the USA in the Heart of Gaeta

    by deecat Updated Nov 15, 2006

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    Fence Around American School in Gaeta 2006
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    The first thing that we did when we reached Gaeta this time [2006] was to go to the American School for American Military children. When we were here in 1997, we loved going to this place with its Movie Theatre, Bowling Alley, Travel Bureau, American Post Office, English-Speaking Operators on the Pay Phones, and a Cafe. So, it was a shock to us to see this huge fence around it. A day later, we discovered that the school was closed down in August of 2006 because there were not enough children! See new photographs.

    Because there is a Naval Base in Gaeta, we were able to see and meet many Americans.

    When the Sixth Fleet was in the Harbor, I snapped this photograph. Another day we heard helicopters over our apartment coming and going. What they were doing was bringing supplies to the Sixth Fleet Ship before it set sail.

    It was great to be able to have a conversation with some of the Navy people because we were longing to here the English language, no matter whether the person was southern, northern, eastern, or western!

    There was a bar about four blocks from us that catered to the military. During the time we were in Gaeta, it was the NCAA tournament time, and the games were on TV about two in the morning. That bar I was talking about would close at midnight to everyone but Americans. So Allan went there and watched the finals of the NCAA tournament. I came to the bar about an hour after Allan did, and it was so jam-packed with American Navy personnel that I could hardly believe it.

    Allan had on his sport's coat, and someone who was smoking bumped into him and burned a hole in the back. (Bummer!)

    During our two-month stay, we met several military people and were helped by a few of them. We became friends with one young man from Kentucky.

    It certainly was nice seeing a small part of the USA right there in Gaeta.

    Related to:
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    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

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    In Gaeta, you never know what you might find next.

    by unravelau Written Mar 28, 2003

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    Surprising what you find in the back streets.

    Especially if you cruise around the backstreets and purposely get yourself lost up and down sets of stairs etc. I was just standing and staring at this and realised that a church had been here. A woman came past and said hello and in my limited Italian I questioned her about the place saying "vechio chiese?"...............she replied molto, molto, vechio chiese. Wow.

    As it turns out a fairly well known artist in the area modelled his painting of Madonna and child on this one here. See travelogue shortly.

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    • Historical Travel
    • Religious Travel

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    The beautiful Castle of Gaeta from another angle.

    by unravelau Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Gaeta Castle Aragonese and
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    To photograph the castles from this angle you need to go to the second level from the top of Mount Orlando ............walk around until you come to a sign on a rock referring to the birds (I have a photo of it I will find and put here too)....... you then have to find your way down a path through the bushes heading towards the edge of the mountain...........you eventually come to a look out and you will be able to take a similar photo from here.

    Related to:
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    • Castles and Palaces
    • Historical Travel

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    Stairways, Laneways and deserted villas.

    by unravelau Written Sep 28, 2003

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    Old Villa on Hospital Hill.

    Another beautiful old villa falling into disrepair at the top of this staircase in the backblocks of Gaeta. If you walk up past here you eventually come to the Gaeta hospital which commands quite a view of the Bay i.e. Gulf of Gaeta.

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    Venture Inland

    by NonnaLou Updated Oct 24, 2008

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    Itri �� NonnaLou
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    Venture a little inland to discover some lovely
    medieval hill top towns, such as
    Itri and Campodimele,
    and to explore the
    Aurunci Regional Natural Park.

    ..............................................................................

    Please also take time to visit my Itri Travel pages.

    I actually live in Itri -

    Take a look at my Home Page at Virtual Tourist

    or read my personal Blog at: http://trecancelle.wordpress.com

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology
    • National/State Park

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    There are so many sidestreets, laneways and paths

    by unravelau Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Shady Lane, Gaeta.

    That you can investigate and discover unusual sights.

    Visit the link below to see a lovely array of photo's of Gaeta, too.

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    • Adventure Travel
    • Hiking and Walking

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    You wouldn't expect to see this.

    by unravelau Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Quite a phenomenon

    On first visit to Planco's mausoleum on Mount Orlando, Gaeta, one of the cells of the four inside this structure had this curious remnant of a past era?

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    • Adventure Travel
    • Archeology

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    Another interesting laneway photo

    by unravelau Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Interesting laneway pic.

    I couldn't figure out whether this was occupied or not and it has some signs of very old doorways and patios. Someone might know here?

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    • Hiking and Walking
    • Adventure Travel

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Gaeta Off The Beaten Path

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