Gaeta is a nice touristic destination near Rome, not only because of its many treats and fish dishes, but also because of its famous beaches and monuments. Though, even if the small port city is one of the favorite destinations for Italians from Lazio and Campania, foreign tourists are very rare in this area.
Gaeta is situated in southern Lazio, close to the borders with Campania, the region surrounding Naples. Unfortunately, it has no train station, but you can reach it easily by bus from the train station of Formia.
The small city set on top of a promontory has seven beaches, but probably the most beautiful one is Trecento gradini (three hundred steps), located not far from the town. Inside the town instead, a walk through the narrow streets and town gates in old medieval Gaeta takes you up to the Church of San Francesco from where you have a splendid view over the gulf of Gaeta. If you continue upwards, you will reach the Angevine-Aragonese Castle, until a few years ago a military prison, and now transformed into a space for exhibitions and meetings.
Walking back to the port of Gaeta, you should have a break in one of the numerous and excellent fish restaurants in the old town. Once arrived at the waterfront, the Cathedral of Gaeta with its characteristic bell tower is waiting for your admiring glances.
Though, the most famous attractions of Gaeta are located outside the city: the Monte Orlando and the Grotta del Turco. Monte Orlando is a mountain behind Gaeta which came to fame thanks to its Montagna spaccata,the split mountain which is said to have split when Jesus was crucified. On its foot you can visit a 15th century pilgrimage church, a popular destination for pilgrims.
Walking down the steps from there, you will see the Grotta Turca, a beautiful grotto which can only be reached by boat and against payment.