Our tour among the Wonders of the Pontine Marshes starts from the enchanting scenery of the Gardens of Ninfa. If it is one of the opening days of the site you will have the chance to visit one of the most romantic places in the world, where rare and secular plants grow, a town that was already inhabited in the Roman times.
It is a must to stop by the Abbey of Valvisciolo, where we can admire the traces left by the Templars, who inhabited these lands between the XIII and XIV century. The abbey is a pure example of Gothic style, a solemn and majestic church that expressed at the same time austerity, characteristic at the base of the Cistercian order. You cannot miss a walk in the cloister, a place full of spirituality.
We continue towards Sermoneta, a town of decisive Renaissance style, like the “Loggia dei Mercanti” (Merchants’ Lodge), conceived to be the beating heart of the town, where to discuss both business and bureaucratic and political issues. We go into the alleys of the town to access the Castle Caetani, one of the few castles that are still perfectly intact and open to the public. You can admire the magnificence of the outer walls, the beauty of the inner rooms and, recently, even the prisons. You can enjoy a magnificent vie of the plain below up to the Tyrrhenian coast from the top of its battlements.
We leave Sermoneta and move to Bassiano. Among the several sources on its origins, one tells that was indeed the emperor Bassiano Antonino, better known as Caracalla, to found it and from him took its name. It is certain that in the X century a group of shepherds and peasants took refuge there to escape the Saracen raids. We walk through the alleys and stairs that separate the characteristic houses called “tower houses”. In the evening we enjoy a dinner with local specialities, especially the renowned ham.
The next morning proceeding towards the coast we stop at the Tower of Acquapuzza. What we see is all that remains of the thriving city of Acquapuzza, which owes its name to the smell of the springs of sulphurous waters present. Here there was one of the customs of the Papal State, it was so important that it was also portrayed in the famous painting “The Mona Lisa” by Leonardo da Vinci.
We arrive in Sabaudia and visit the Villa of Domitian, before its construction in this place stood bathing establishments and patrician villas, and in the I century AD was realized a complex that covered 50 hectares, with a private port, thermal baths and an articulated water system. Since XVIII century the villa was subject to several looting, and what remains today are: baths, marbles that covered some floors, frigidarium, calidarium and a large gym.
After lunch we will make an excursion of your choice in the Circeo National Park, then check-in in the chosen accommodation and dinner.
On the third day we head by ferry to Ponza, an island already frequented by both Greeks and Romans. Of its glorious past are preserved two Roman necropolis, artificial caves, remains of two sumptuous imperial villas and numerous cisterns. We visit natural pools, a Bourbon fort, we snorkel in the Ulysses cave and a boat tour to see where the peregrine falcon lives and nests.
On the fourth day we return to the mainland, where you continue with another tour or return to the place of departure.
In a few days we will visit some of the most romantic places of the Lazio, and in some other chosen as places for a holiday by the Ancient Romans even before the advent of Christ.
We will go for walks across the pristine green and swim in crystal clear waters.
09:00 Gardens of Ninfa
11:00 Abbey of Valvisciolo
12:30 Sermoneta, lunch
14:00 Castle Caetani
16:00 Bassiano, visit of the town
09:00 Tower of Acquapuzza
10:30 Sabaudia, Villa of Domitian
12:00 Circeo National Park
09:00 Ponza Island
09:00 Back to San Felice Circeo