Mythical Sperlonga and its imperial charm


Poetry lives here, perched on the narrow strip of land of Monte San Magno in the province of Latina, among houses that were whitewashed to dazzle the pirates. We are in Sperlonga, a mythical place, whose origins are said to be related to the city of Amyclae founded by Spartans. But legend has it also that Sperlonga was the name of a beautiful nymph. Zeus fell in love with her, he turned himself into a fiery meteorite and crashed on the beach where the nymph used to sleep. The coast was so shocked by this meeting that it raised precipitous cliffs, the famous cliffs which are now a destination for climbing enthusiasts from all over Europe. One of these is the Mouth of the Dragon, with routes both overhanging and slab, or the White Wall cliff which offers a breathtaking view of the village.

The village grows around his castle, in concentric circles, and it has been a small fishing village since its foundation. Later palaces and stately homes were built. Even the Emperor Tiberius was fascinated with this enchanting place and here he built his villa: inside there is a natural cave that was modified and decorated with statues representing Ulysses. For lovers of art and archeology it is possible to visit the National Archaeological Museum which contains over a thousand items recovered in the cave and in its surroundings.

Murale a Sperlonga

The name of Sperlonga originates from the natural caves (speluncae) that open onto the sea. It is relaxing to stroll among archways, staircases and narrow streets that open and hide to finally slip into the sea. The town has a defensive structure, reflecting its history characterized by frequent raids by the Turks.

Three towers, Torre Truglia, Torre Capovento and Torre del Nibbio, and two gates – the Portella (or Porta Carrese) and Porta Marina, the main gateway to the country – have survived since medieval times.

Sperlonga is a natural stage, not by chance the actor Raf Vallone chose it to shoot a film with Lucia Bosé in the fifties. Sandy beaches are flanked by two lakes, the so-called “eyes” of Sperlonga: the circular S. Puoto and the Long Lake.

Plus, this is heaven for lovers of good food: some typical products at the base of the local cuisine are: ribbed celery, tomatoes, arugula and basil. Among the dishes not to be missed, the soups (sardines, fish, à la sperlongana, beans, marinata) and the bambolotti with minced cuttlefish sauce.

For true connoisseurs of quality drinking, finally, everything must be accompanied by the “Wines of the Emperors”, Falernum and Cecubo were the Roman kings favorites.

From Sperlonga, you can set sail for an excursion to the nearby Ponza island, the largest of Pontine archipelago, with the charming Chiaia di Luna bays, Lucia Rosa, Cala Feola, Ferns beach, and the Cala Fonte inlet.

Sweet Dreams – Our selection of palaces, mansions and boutique hotels:

Villa Laetitia - EsternoVilla Laetitia – Salita SCOTTI, Ponza (LT)

Fotografia di copertina:

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