Your Vacation Home in Gaeta

Yes, you can spend a lovely vacation in our Villa, spending less than what you would spend in an hotel, and enjoying an even better stay.
It's a 1920 Villa, overlooking the Serapo and Fontania beaches, at walking distance from the seaside.
This is the house where my grand-grandmother's family spent vacation time, long before I was born. Since then, several generations have enjoyed its peace, the awe-inspiring view of the sea, the smell of flowers that the wind carries from the garden.
Each generation has given its touch to the Villa, that has been frequently renowated (last time just 2 years ago) and equipped with every modern utility.
The house consists of three levels. The first is where my uncle and his family spend their holidays. The second floor is where we go and relax when the rythm of Roman life has us in need of a break. The third level is the penthouse that we rent to our guests (see pictures below).
The penthouse has an area of approximately 70-75 square meters (750-800 sq.ft.).
It is fully air-conditioned, and consists of a spacious living room, with a view on the sea, and a dinner table where one can enjoy breakfast or dinner.
The kitchen is fully equipped with everything a family needs to cook and serve meals, and a brand new dishwasher.Also a washing machine is ready for our guests.
There are two double bedrooms. One has a large iron bed, the second one has a double sofa-bed.
The bathroom is equipped with shower.
Our garden has been recently renovated, leaving the older trees (including two one-century-old palmtrees) and adding many new local and exotic plants. There are lemon trees, several kinds of palms, and even an avocado tree (the only one that we heard of that gives fruits in Italy!).
You can see a selection of pictures at the end of this page.
If you need more detailed information, just contact us:

Email :

Phone : 0039-331-7703753

Our rates for short stays:
1 guest : 100 per night
2 guests : 140 per night
3 guests : 165 per night
4 guests : 180 per night
(rates on demand for weekly and long-term rentals)
A view of the Villa

A view from the Villa's garden

A detail of the garden

Another corner of the garden

Granny's palmtree

The living room

The dinner table

The kitchen

A closer view of the kitchen

The main bedroom

A detail of the second bedroom

The bathroom

Another detail of the bathroom

The Ulysses Riviera

Gaeta is a small coastal town, located just south of Rome en route to Naples, facing one of the most breathtaking gulfs of Italy. Gaeta lies on a pictoresque peninsula and its strategic position and magic environment has made it a secure harbor since the time of the Roman Empire.
Its coast was described by many ancient poets, like Homer and Virgil. This is the reason why the coast that surrounds Gaeta is called the "Ulysses Riviera".
The golden beaches and many coves, scattered all over the coast, make of Gaeta an ideal place to relax.
The old town with its enchanting promenades and pitoresque alleys, the Angioino Aragonese Castle and the town's many beautiful buildings and churches, make Gaeta famous for culture and history.
Monte Orlando (that is a natural park) overlooks the sea, with its characteristic crocodile profile, and its grassy slopes bathed in the water: also called Montagna Spaccata ("the split mountain") is a great cleft rock face with a sheer drop to the coastline below, and nearby is the Grotta del Turco ("the Turk's cave").
Gaeta is also the perfect starting point to explore the most loved southern Italy's treasures as Pompei, Herculaneum, Capri, Pontine islands, Caserta Palace, Montecassino Abbey, Pastena caves and the adjacent wilderness parks of Monte Orlando, Circeo and Gianola.
You can reach Gaeta by train from Rome or Naples, directed to Formia that is the nearest train station to Gaeta (Gaeta does not have a station). From Formia you are only 10 minutes from Gaeta. A Taxi ride from Formia station to our house should cost no more than 20 or 25 euros. So, if the driver asks for more, just let him know that you know what the fair price should be.

Some pictures:

Some History

The history of these places is immersed in myth and legend.
Legend has that after the fall of Troy, the legendary hero Aeneas landed on these shores (Virgil's Aeneid, VII, 1-4). Among his companions was his nurse, Cajeta, who died in this area, giving her name to the city. The event is confirmed by Dante Alighieri, in his Divine Comedy (Inferno, XXVI, 92). Later the name Gajeta changed to Gaeta.
During the Roman age, Gaeta became a fancied resort for Emperors, Consuls and rich Patrician families.
Starting from the last century of the Roman Republic, the rich and famous built wonderful villas all along the coast between Gaeta and Sperlonga: the astounding luxury and beauty of their gardens and swimming-pools, nymphaeums, temples and mausoleums are testified by the many impressive ruins. Today we can still admire the tomb of the Consuls Lucio Munazio Planco, on top of Monte Orlando, and Lucio Sempronio Atratino, on the northern side of Atratino hill.
During the early Middle Ages, its high and rocky peninsula, easy to defend, made Gaeta a castrum, or fortress. Around the IX Century, it turned to a wealthy Dukedom and official residence of the Bishop, and a major hub of seafaring and commerce in the Mediterranean Sea.
In the beginning of the 5th century, Gaeta became an independently ruled port town, under the indirect rule of the Byzantine Empire. During this century, as the Byzantine Empire grew and spread throughout Italy, the population of the city of Gaeta grew rapidly.
Over the next few centuries, the French, Spanish, Austrians, and others were continually trying to gain control of this important port town.
As a Republic, Gaeta minted its currency, produced written laws, and resisted to many sieges.
And it was in this area, between Gaeta and Formia, that Italy's unification really took place: between the end of 1860 and the beginning of 1861, Gaeta, the last capital city of the crumbling Kingdom of Naples, was sieged by the Sardinian army. The fall of Gaeta opened the way to the unification of the country.
Over the following century, Gaeta continued to establish itself as an important port town. This strategic importance was realized during WWII, when various powers fought for control of the port.

Culture and Arts

(under construction)


Distinctive local gastronomy is typically Mediterranean, with some peculiarities, and ranges from buffalo mozzarella and local seafood to Neapolitan pizza and also wild boar, olive oil and cheese from the inland.
Gaeta is a fishermen village. Not surprisingly, seafood is abundant and fresh, and prepared in many different ways. Maybe, the most famous is the Acqua Pazza ("Crazy Water"). It's a whole fish baked a bath of seawater, sea salt, white wine and cherry tomatoes, and drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil. The saltwater preparation renders the fish absolutely moist and flavorful.

Acqua Pazza
Probably, the Queen of Gaetan cuisine is the Tiella, the typical fisherman food, that resembles a stuffed pizza. It can be made with a number of stuffings. Typical stuffings include diced octopus with parsley, garlic, oil, hot pepper and just enough tomato slices for color. Other stuffings include escarole with capers and pineseeds, or egg and zucchini. There are several "Tiella masters" in Via Indipendenza, but probably the best Tiella can be tasted on the Lungomare, at "La Voglia Matta": Mino, the owner, has learnt the secret for making great tiellas from his grandmother, and he's the one we turn to, when my grandmother doesn't have time for cooking.


Another Gaetan food is the Caniscione. It is a crescent-shaped fried calzone, stuffed with fresh cheese and other ingredients, like fresh tomatoes, olives, ham, basil leaves, depending on the personal creativity and taste of the cook.


The town is also notable for its distinctive brand of olives, marketed throughout the world.

Gaeta Olives

A typical dessert is the Sfogliatella, made of countless paper-thin layers of flaky pastry with ricotta and candied fruits filling.


Another popular dessert is the world-famous Neapolitan Babà, a spongy cake soaked in Rhum. It exist in the cake-version, and also in the smaller one-portion version, that has the shape of a mushroom. It is very appreciated, to the point that when the locals want to say that something is really lovely, they say "è 'nu babà!" (meaning "it's a babà!").


The Pastiera is a local cake stuffed with ricotta cheese, wheat grains and candied fruit, and the pastry smells deliciously of orange blossoms oil.


Main Sights

The massive Angioino Aragonese Castle, built in the 8th century and then underwent periodic changes according to the tastes and needs of later conquerors. Perfectly preserved, it still dominates Gaeta, as the picture below shows.

The Mausoleum of Lucius Munatius Plancus (22 BCE) is a cylindrical travertine monument at the top of Monte Orlando (168 m). It stands at 13.20m and has a diameter of 29.50 m.

The Sanctuary of SS. Trinità, mentioned as early as the 11th century and visited, among the others, by St. Francis and Saint Philip Neri. Its Chapel of the Crucifix is a curiosity: it has been built on a huge mass of rock that hangs like a wedge between two adjoining walls of rock. Legend tells how the rock was thus split at the moment of our Saviour's death.

From the sanctuary the Grotta del Turco can be visited: it is a grotto which ends directly in the sea and where the waves create atmospheric effects of light.

The Church of Annunziata (1320), was rebuilt at the beginning of the 17th century in Baroque style by Andrea Lazzari. It houses works by Luca Giordano, Sebastiano Conca and Giacinto Brandi, as well as the sarcophagus of Enrico Caracciolo, a notable Gothic work of art.
The most interesting sight is however the Golden Grotto, a Renaissance room where Pope Pius IX devised the dogma of Papal infallibility. The walls of the grotto are decorated with 19 panels by Giovan Filippo Criscuolo (1531) into carved and gilded frames with small pilasters. On the altarpiece is an Immacolata by Scipione Pulzone.

The Church of San Giovanni a Mare was built by the hypate Giovanni IV in the 10th century, outside the old sea walls of the city. It is a rare example of fusion between the basilica form with the Byzantine one. The simple façade has a Gothic portal and a decorated dome, while the interior has a nave with two aisles. The inner pavement is slightly inclined to allow waters to flow away after sea floods.

The Cathedral of Assunta was erected over a more ancient church, Santa Maria del Parco, and consecrated by Pope Paschal II in 1106: it had a nave with six aisles separated by columns with Gothic capitals. In 1778, however, two of the aisles were suppressed and the Gothic lines hidden. In the 13th century Moorish arches were added over the capitals. In 1663 the crypt was decorated in Baroque style. The interior houses a banner from the Battle of Lepanto, donated by Pope Pius V to Don John of Austria, who used it as his admiral's flag. The main sight of the church is however the marble Paschal candelabrum, standing 3.50 m tall, from the late 13th century: it is in Romanesque style, decorated with 48 reliefs in 4 vertical rows, telling the Stories of the Life of Jesus. There are also paintings by Giacinto Brandi and Giovanni Filippo Criscuolo. The cathedral contains the relics of St. Erasmus, transferred from Formiæ; the campanile (see picture below), in Norman style, dates from 1279. Standing at 57 meters, is considered the city's finest piece of art. The base has two marble lions, and the whole construction made large reuse of ancient Roman architectural elements.

The large church of St. Francis, according to the legend constructed by the Saint himself in 1222, was in fact built by Frederick II, in very fine Gothic-Italian style, and contains paintings and sculpture by many of the most famous Neapolitan artists.

The Medieval Quarter of Gaeta is itself of interest. It lies on the steep sides of Mount Orlando and has characteristic houses from the 11th-13th centuries.

Gaeta is also the centre of the Regional Park of Riviera di Ulisse, which includes Monte Orlando, Gianola and the Scauri Mounts, and the two promontories of Torre Capovento and that of Tiberius' Villa at Sperlonga. In the picture below, the ruins of the emperor's Villa.

The Pinacoteca (picture gallery) offers remarkable local pictorial testimonies of the Early Middle Ages and late Gothic among which Giovanni Da Gaeta's frescos of the fifteenth century. Here is also conserved the precious "Stendardo della Battaglia di Lepanto" (The banner of Lepanto's battle) of 1571 attributed to Girolamo Siciolante. The picture gallery collects moreover some painting of the Renaissance and Baroque Ages of various painters (below, the Patrons of Gaeta, a work by Sebastiano Conca).

The Archeological Museum collects a section of finds that date their origin to the Roman period: vases, utensils and funerary sets found in Gaeta during excavations of public works or in the Gulf waters. A considerable collection of tombstones, capitals, columns and ceramics of the Middle Ages, coming from the ancient "Castrum" enriches the exposition.


The coastline offers a magnificent variety of beaches, bays, sand and shingle: this is probably the stretch of coast in which Nature has done its utmost to create as many different sights as possible. It's a paradise for freeclimbers, scuba-divers, and bathers alike.
Our house overlooks the long sandy beach of Serapo (see 3 pictures below) complete with facilities for bathers. It's a long sandy beach, with shallows, and the left side lays in the shadow of the crocodile-shaped Montagna Spaccata. In some areas, the beach is dotted with flowers that grow spontaneously into the sand (see third picture).

Wading a shallow, on the right side of Serapo beach, you reach Fontania (see picture below) and Fontanino, two small beaches usually less crowded, and less developed.

In Fontania, you can swim around the remains of an ancient Roman Villa, now covered with sealife beyond recognition.

North of Gaeta, the long beach of Sant'Agostino (see pic below) is a small surfer's paradise, because that's where the most powerful swells are.

For naturists, the beach to go is the Arenauta (see 3 pics below). It's a very long stretch of fine sand, at the feet of a steep rocky cliff. Nudists chose this beach in the second half of the 70s because the only way to get there was by inacessible paths. To reach the beach nowadays, park your car in Torre S.Agostino locality, then go down by one of the private flights of steps. You have to pay some money for your passage to the owners.

The Torre Scissura promontory (see picture below), dominated by an ancient watch-tower built in a time to prevent the visits of the unwelcomed Saracen invaders.

Ariana beach (see 2 pictures below) is a sandy beach safe for children.

Gaeta offers a lot also to divers and scuba-divers. There are several high cliffs bathed in the sea, ancient watchtowers, the tiny rocky island of Nave di Serapo, and some caves. The Nave di Serapo (see first picture below) is a perfect place for the beginner diver and scuba-diver. The water is not too deep, and the coast is easy to reach. Beginners can also explore the sealife teeming on steep Monte Orlando cliffs, or Falesie (see second picture below), on the left side of Serapo beach.

Another fascinating scuba-diver's paradise is a cave named Pozzo del Diavolo (see pic below), meaning "the Devil's Well", whose ceiling has an opening that lets the light filter inside, turing the water a spectacle of blues and greens). You can get to the cave from Serapo beach, swimming to its entrance, or by boat.

Expert divers can explore the Piroscafo Giuseppe Magliulo wreck (see pic below), a 1917 merchant ship sinked in the Gaeta Gulf, and now lying on the seabed at 70 meters below the surface. There are several dive centres in town.