Gaeta: handpicked hotels and insider tips
Gaeta, where history, sea and nature meet. Situated in the province of Latina, on the Gulf of Gaeta, which forms the natural boundary between Italy's Lazio and Campania regions. The massive medieval castle of the houses of Anjou and Aragon dominates the coast, testifying to the strategic importance of Gaeta in centuries past.
The historic center boasts a number of beautiful churches. The Cathedral dedicated to St Erasmo, the town's patron saint, is a medieval masterpiece built in the 10th and 11th century and to which a splendid Arabian-Norman style belltower was completed in 1279. Legend has it that the Church of San Francesco was built in 1222 by the Saint of Assisi himself. Altered on numerous occasions over the centuries, today the edifice can be admired in all its neo-gothic glory. The Church of San Giovanni a Mare is characterised by an Arabian style cupola and a pavement which slopes so as to permit the water entering the church during high tides to drain away.
The 14th century Church of the Annunziata is famous for its Grotta d'Oro, in which an important collection of ancient musical scores are conserved. In the sanctuary of the Montagna Spaccata, nature and spirituality meet. The protected area of Monte Orlando is an explosion of green, which forms a stunning contrast with the Oasi Blu, the section of sea managed by the WWF for research reasons. No visit to Gaeta can be considered complete without having first spent at least a few hours by the sea, on the beach of Serapo.