The city of Gaeta
Gaeta is one of the most fascinating and beautiful cities in Italy and specifically of the Riviera di Ulisse (Ulysses’ Coast), a land full of attractions which boasts seven beaches and an enchanting sea even during the winter months.
During the summer it is a perfect destination both for couples, with breathtaking romantic sunsets, and families thanks to the shallow beaches that slowly degrade to deeper water.
Gaeta is an exceptional location whether you’re looking to relax or to spend time doing sports or sightseeing. The historical parts of the city are a maze of suggestive streets and alleys, while the Parco di Monte Orlando is a blend of nature and history to discover. For the fine food enthusiasts, the local cuisine has no rivals.
The “Tiella” is definetively the main attraction, a typical dish of folk tradition that mixes flavors of sea and land: a not too thin, pizzafocaccia stuffed with fish or vegetables. Local food and wine events are numerous and a must-do while in town.
Origins of the name
According to the Greek geographer Strabo, the name derives from the ancient doric word “Kaietas”, which means cove, and in fact many Phoenician and Greek sailors used to land here. Virgil connected the name to Aeneas’ nurse Caieta, telling the story of her death on these shores in the pages of the Aeneid, while Dante would later reference this legend in the Divine Comedy.
After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, Gaeta faced a difficult period with frequent raids from barbarians and Saracens alike. Thanks to the growing naval trade in the Mediterranean Sea, Gaeta saw increasing prosperity during the Middle Ages and became an independent duchy and episcopal see. In the following centuries, thanks to its strategic position, Gaeta would become a fortress with bulwarks able to resist multiple sieges.
In 1032 the authority of the Docibili family over Gaeta came to an end and the city passed first under the rule of the Normans, then the Swabians, the Anjou and the Aragons, until 1054 when Spain conquered the Kingdom of Naples. The Spanish domination lasted until 1707, and during this period the city became a military citadel with a series of defensive works completed by Charles V in 1538. This brought a severe economic and demographic decline. Meanwhile the “Borgo” outside the walls continued to flourish both in trade and agriculturally, so much so that between the years 1897 and 1927 a separate municipality called Elena was established.
In 1737 Gaeta was conquered by Charles III of Bourbon, founder of the Bourbon dynasty of Naples.
The fortified citadel had to withstand numerous sieges during this time. On November 25th, 1848, following the Roman Revolution and proclamation of the Republic, Pope Pius IX sought refuge in Gaeta after his escape from Rome. A couple of months later the Pope proclaimed Gaeta “the second Papal State”. In 1861, with the last siege of Gaeta, the Bourbon rule came to an end leading to the Italian Unification.
During the 1960s the city saw an increase in tourism thanks to its remarkable environmental, cultural and architectural heritage.
Serapo Bed and Breakfast – Via Genova, 14 – Gaeta (LT) Italy – Tel. 329 16 66 439 / 329 26 29 985 Email: email@example.com