Formia is a town of ancient origins located halfway between Rome and Naples in the famous Gulf of Gaeta, on the Ulysses Riviera. It was baptised with the name 'Hormia' by the Romans, meaning 'excellent landing place', in reference to the safety of its harbour. According to legend, in fact, the only ship of Ulysses that managed to save itself from the giant Lestrigons landed in Formia. The charm of this town, which has attracted visitors since ancient times for its beaches and splendid views, is still maintained today. One only has to delve into the historical centre to realise its great historical and architectural value.
Here you can admire an evocative fusion of Roman and medieval structures, a legacy from the past of three ancient villages - Mola, Castellone and Maranola - that today form the centre of Formia. The village of Mola was a maritime and commercial district characterised by a long wall, which served to defend the Gaetan fortress of Emperor Charles II of Anjou. Only two towers remain of this defensive system: the Mola tower, characterised by three different stratifications, and the Clock Tower, at Porta degli Spagnoli, so called because of the presence of an 18thcentury majolica clock. Inside the Castellone district, you can admire the Roman Theatre and the Cisternone - the second largest cistern in Italy dating back to the 1st century AD. - Open to visitors every Sunday of the month. In Formia, you will also find the famous Tomb of Cicero, along with historical churches such as the Church of Sant'Erasmo - with three naves in Renaissance style - and the Twin Churches of San Lorenzo and San Giovanni Battista.
Flanking the city is a long and mighty wall from the Republican era, the 'Wall of Nerva', the jewel in the crown of the urban shoreline that starts from the defensive wall of the harbour. In addition to its historical wealth, Formia is best known for the beauty of its beaches. The most famous is the Vindicio coastline: an area subject to constant winds, and therefore a favourite destination for surfers and water sports enthusiasts.
Near Formia, then, you can find the beach of Sassolini, a natural inlet between two mountains within the regional park of Gianola and Monte di Scauri. The park covers an area of no less than 309 hectares and is a perfect combination of nature and archaeology. Here, surrounded by Mediterranean scrub, among different species of trees, you can observe the remains of the villa of the Knight Mamurra (1st century B.C.), the 'Temple of Janus' as well as an ingenious system of fountains and cisterns. But above all, you can visit the ancient Roman harbour, which once served as a mooring point for small Roman ships. So, if you want to spend a holiday among history, sea and nature, Formia is definitely the destination for you.
Set out to discover one of the most beautiful villages on the Ulysses Riviera.