Walking is the Only Way to Really "See" Gaeta
I have not changed my mind about the importance of walking while in Gaeta! In 1997, we walked about 3-4 miles a day for two months. This time, we probably walked about 2-3 miles per day [too many stops for coffee and gelato!] But, boy, did we discover lots of interesting spots on our walks.
To really see Gaeta, to really get to know the architecture, and to really become acquainted with the townspeople, you have to walk, walk, walk. And did we walk!
There was not one day of our two-month stay that Allan and I did not walk at least five+ miles per day, exploring all the mysteries of historical Gaeta. As you can see from the photograph, there are many steps and very steep inclines, so you really use leg muscles.
We found hidden gardens, old ruins, small, out-of-the-way restaurants, goats eating grass atop a building, lovely religious statues, gorgeous cats peering out windows, darling dogs yearning to be petted, and a multitude of friendly Italians who smiled, waved, nodded, and said "hello" in their own special ways.
None of this is possible in a bus, on a train, in a car....to experience a marvelous town such as Gaeta, you need to be up close and personal. We certainly were each day, sometimes twice a day.
Make sure that you wear a good pair of walking shoes and that you take water with you. Gaeta is a paradise for losing weight! Even with all the eating that Allan and I did, we lost weight, and it was painless.
What the people of Gaeta take for granted, the beauty of hundreds of years, we found to be enchanting. Seems as though we could have stayed forever.
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Convenient Busses in Gaeta
I added a new photo of a bus in Gaeta that I saw one evening while we were sitting in the Ancient Center's Park. It was good to see that the bus still runs with precision here in 2006 as it did in 1996.
Gaeta has comfortable, convenient, on-time busses. We used them frequently to go to the Naval Community Center in New Gaeta and to the neighboring town of Formia and to Formia's train station which goes to Rome.
We took the bus frequently and never had any trouble. Many times, the bus was quite crowded and we had to stand. But, since our destinations were never more than 15 minutes away, it was "no big deal".
We had to learn what to do, and our American serviceman friend, Hugh, "showed us the ropes" (gave us directions).
Tickets can be purchased at Tobacco shops. (Which are numerous) You must have the ticket punched when you get on the bus. The Italians would enter in the middle door or front door and exit at the rear of the bus.
When in Gaeta, use the bus for short destinations. It is convenient, clean, and efficient.
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Gaeta is a small town
You don't need a vehicle in Gaeta; it's a very small town. If you do stop in here to spend a day at the beach, go for the nickel and dime tour. Walk through old Gaeta and just follow the roads up. You'll find some beautiful churches and views and interesting little things, like Monte Orlando and split mountain. If you do need a lift, there are cabbies behind Triestina's and in front of the Navy pier from about 7 a.m. to noon and from 5 p.m. to about 8 p.m. The cabbies don't go by distance -- they quote you by what they feel like, so the cabs can be expensive.
Getting to Gaeta
You can get to Gaeta by taking any train that stops in Formia. Almost all of the trains that run between Naples and Rome will stop there. When you get off in Formia, walk to the front of the train station, and there should be one or two buses out front. They’ll have a sign in the front window that says Formia-Gaeta-Formia. Hop on this bus, and it’ll take you to Gaeta. Once you see some shops on your right and the water on your left, you’re in Gaeta. When the bus turns right, it’ll stop, and you can get off there. That’s right across the street from Bar Triestina. Or you can stay on the bus and drive around a bit.
Transportation to Gaeta
To get to Gaeta, take a train to Formia and then hop on the bus heading towards Gaeta. I believe the buses run every 15 mins or maybe it's every half hour. Beware that after around 9 at night, the buses stop running.
Transportation in Gaeta
There is a bus system in Gaeta with buses running every 30 mins around Gaeta and to Formia, but be aware that they stop running around 9 at night. Gaeta is fairly spread out, which could mean a LONG walk back to the hotel. Also, taxis stop running at night too, but there is a guy who will give rides from the Formia train station at night.
If you are traveling by train...
If you are traveling by train then stop in the neighboring Town of Formia. From there you will take a 10 minute bus ride to Gaeta.
The best way to enjoy this small village is by foot, however there is bus service throughout the city.
AS I have already mentioned before, the Best way to move in and arround Italy, and beyond is by train. its safe, confortable and fast...
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