Benvenuti / Welcome to

Gaeta

 

 

 

 

Gaeta is a picturesque, coastal city, surrounded by the Aurunci Mountains and the deep blue sparkling sea, situated near to the southern border of Lazio and the Campania region.  It is built on a peninsula which reaches out into the Tyrrhenian Sea, on one side encloses the spectacular Gulf of Gaeta, a broad sweep of bay which stretches down towards Naples, on the other is the wide expanse of golden sand, Serapo Beach.

Gaeta has had a long and colourful history It is believed that Gaeta was first colonised by the Ionic Samian people.

 

 

 

Then, according to legend, after the fall of Troy the Greek heroes Ulysses and Aeneas are said to have sailed the Tyrrhenian Sea and the survivors eventually landed on these shores.   Among the companions of Aeneas was his nurse Caijeta who, it is said, died in this area and gave her name to the city. Later the name was modified to Gaeta.  Even during Roman times, Gaeta was renowned as a splendid holiday resort and many a wealthy and influential Roman built their summer villas along this beautiful coastline.

 

 

 

 

 

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Following the fall of the Roman Empire Gaeta became part of the enlarged Byzantine Empire, however in the 9th century it became an autonomous Duchy.  The fortified maritime city was naturally protected because of its strategic position, placed high on a promontory, almost completely surrounded by sea, but its defences were further strengthened by the  building  of  walls  and  towers.  Thus the city and port prospered and successfully resisted Saracen invasions.   

 

In the 11th century it was ruled by the Normans, during the 12th century by the Sicilians, before passing on to the Anjou and Aragon dynasties.  The fortifications were further strengthened during the 15th and 16th centuries.

 

Through the ages the town was repeatedly attacked by Spanish, Sardinian, Austrian and French forces, and endured several arduous sieges. Gaeta became known as being one of the strongest fortresses in Europe.

 

 

 

Finally Gaeta was ruled by Bourbons and was the most northerly post of their Kingdom of Naples / Kingdom of Two Sicilies.

 

After the fall of Naples to Garibaldi, Francis II and  his remaining 1200 men of the Neapolitan Realm made a stand from within Gaeta’s formidable fortifications.  They withstood a lengthy siege and heavy bombardments, but were finally forced to surrender in February 1861.  Consequently, this led to the formation of the new unified Republic of Italy.

Photo by Luigi Versaggi  ©

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Sperlonga

Itri

Gaeta

Formia

Maranola

Trivio

Castellonorato

Spigno Saturnia

Minturno

SS Cosma e Damiano

Castelforte

Suio Terme

Fondi

Monte San Biagio

Lenola

Pastena

Pico

Campodimele

Terracina

San Felice Circeo

Sabaudia

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Priverno

Fossanova

Sermoneta

Sezze

Ninfa

Norma

Anzio & Nettuno

Pontine Islands

Cassino & Montecassino

Caserta

Atina, & Val di Comino

 

 

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Except where photos have been rightfully accredited to the photographer / owner

 

 

Photo by Dee Johnson