An excursion to Gaeta, a seaside resort in the province of Latina. It is located at the end of what is called the Ulisse Riviera at the foot of Monte Orlando. A place where history, culture and enchanting landscapes merge together It is no coincidence that the name Gaeta derives, according to Virgilio, from the nurse of Enea, Cajeta. The origins of Gaeta are lost in the mists of time and sink in ancient Greek mythology.
By visiting Gaeta you lose yourself in the beauty of the landscapes starting obviously from the panorama on the gulf; but the city center itself, the medieval village of Gaeta, deserves a thorough visit. Known as Borgo Vecchio, it was built starting from 850 after Formai was destroyed by an incursion of the Saracens and the citizens of that locality moved to Gaeta.
We recommend a visit to the Cathedral of Gaeta, dedicated to Santa Maria Assunta, dated back to the tenth century and the two castles, the Palace of Alfonso d’Aragona called the upper castle and the lower part, which has always been used as a defense tool for the city, and from the Middle Ages until 1990 military prison.
The Montagna Spaccata of Gaeta
One of the places of interest of Gaeta is the Montagna Spaccata: a place that attracts many visitors for its beauty and for the legends it brings. The name of this suggestive place comes from the appearance of the mountain with three distinct clefts in the rock, and with a staircase of 35 steps leading to the bottom of the wall. According to the Christian tradition, the cleft would have formed after the death of Christ.
According to another legend, always of Christian origin, here lived St. Philip Neri on a stone bed still visible today and known with the name of “bed of St. Philip Neri”. For all these legends the Montagna Spaccata of Gaeta is a destination for pilgrims. Also in this place rises the Sanctuary of the S.S. Trinity built in the eleventh century
The Grotta del Turco
The tour of the Montagna Spaccata also includes a visit to the so-called Grotta del Turco, also with various religious legends behind it. It is said that the grotto came to light at the time of Christ’s death, when the veil of the temple of Jerusalem was slashed.
The name “Grotta del Turco” was born instead for the discovery of an imprint of a hand of a Turkish sailor on a rock. The cave is a natural spectacle, once used as a hiding place by the Saracen raiders.