Have you ever heard of Gaeta before? No? Don’t worry, me neither!
But when we were travelling to Rome we decided to do a little day trip. First we wanted to go to Capri but we had to determine that the distance between Rome and Capri is about four hours. And four hours there and back is a pretty long time for a day trip.
However Rafia and I had the plan to drive to the sea. It’s not far from Rome to the west coast of Italy but you don’t want to go any place. Right? So we made our way through a lot of google pages and finally discovered:
A tiny medieval town two hours away from Rome. Sounded pretty promising to us.
We were so happy the day before travelling to Gaeta. We planned to do a little boat tour, visiting the heart of the city and have a great lunch near the sea.
The next day. After a two hour drive we left the train at Formia-Gaeta. And had to find a bus stop. Nobody could give us a proper answer where we had to go so we just started walking. And got lost in Formia. We then asked a guy if he could tell us where the bus goes and luckily he knew the way. It was down by the port.
Finally: Gaeta was in sight! The pretty peninsula welcomed us…empty. We started discovering the town and there was no one in the streets. Which is somehow nice but also kind of confusing after being in crowed Rome the day before.
The town is located on a hill which looks amazing but made it exhausting to get on top of it…especially if you go there by 35 degrees Celsius.
Nevermind. You have to go a lot of tiny stairs to get on top of the hill and have the greatest view over the city and also the sea. And we did it!
It is really breathtaking (in more than one way 😀 ) to be up there. The view is unbelievable!
Which really makes Gaeta special despite from the view and location is also that it’s so Italian. Visiting huge Italian cities isn’t as you’ve seen it in the movies, is it? There are always too many tourists and it’s hard to find the good spots where the locals are.
But Gaeta is that kind of place. Only local people or at least Italians visiting it. 5 % of the people going to Gaeta are from other countries than Italy. So you can believe me here: it is a sleeper! 😉
The thing with insider tips like this one is that no one discovered it before so maybe your expectations are too high. At least ours were. We went to the port excited to do a great boat trip along the coast. But there was no boat hire around. Sadly we made our way back were we came from and were about to go when we had to see that there were people in swim wear coming down the road. We hadn’t seen a beach so far which made us curious. Where are those people coming from?
We went in their direction, kept on walking and…saw a beach! Yay! ☺
Beaches are great. And this one definitly was so too. There were huge cliffs tower above the sea. It looked so cool! But also we weren’t the only ones which made it to the beach (obviously). The beach was full of Italians which enjoyed their summer vacation to the fullest. It must have looked so funny: Rafia and me sitting in the sand without a towel in clothing which wasn’t made for a day by the beach with raddled faces. Everyone could have seen that we don’t belong there.
The lesson is clear: if you are planning a day trip to Gaeta don’t expect too much!
There are a few things you can do while being in Gaeta (although we didn’t managed to do all of them).
#1. Serapo Beach: The beach we went to. Great if you like to go swimming!
#2. Sanctuary of Montagna Spaccata: Wish we had found the way to that chapel. The view seems to be amazing!
#3. Grotta del Turco: Grottos are quite a thing in Italy and this one looks promising.
#3. Museum Ferdinand II: This building was created by Ferdinand II and is today the home of a museum for history and nature. Near by are two powder magazines which you can also visit of which one is a sea museum.
#4. Church of St. Catherine: This little church gives you the best view over the sea. But it only opens on Thursdays! 😉
I hope you enjoyed reading this disastrous travel diary!
Lots of love ♥
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