Travelling halfway in the middle of the cities of Rome and Naples, you will come across the beautiful city of Formia which is also a commune on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. This urban center is situated in the Latina Province in the region of Lazio which is famous for its quaint towns and villages dotting the spectacular Italian countryside. Formia is located on the Appian Way that dates back to the time of the Ancient Roman engineers who were building paths in the major regions of the Roman Empire. The historic city of Formia was established by the Laconi people and given a Greek name that roughly translates to “landing place”. As time passed by and the regional languages evolved, the city’s name was changed to Latin as Ormiae. Once the Romans took over, the name was further changed to Formiae which refers to the words for “excellent landing” namely Hormia or Ormiai. Historians report that this part of Lazio was popular among the elite in the Imperial Era as a holiday destination. An important incident of note that occurred on the Appian Way in 43BC is the assassination of Cicero whose tomb is located close to his daughter’s in Lazio. Saint Erasmus, also called Saint Elmo, is the Patron Saint of Sailors and was martyred in Formia as one of those who were persecuted by Emperor Diocletian. The population was split in two settlements after barbarians attacked the city following the fall of the Western Roman Empire. They were reunited as one settlement called Formia in 1863 but suffered great damages in the Battle of Anzio in 1943 to 1944. Various rulers constructed fortifications and grand residences in and around Formia over the centuries. The Mola di Gaeta was commissioned by Charles II of Anjou while Castellone’s construction was ordered by the Count of Fondi in the middle of the 14th century. The Roman cistern in the city is well preserved and a source of wonder for tourists who are visiting from other parts of the world. This tourist attraction in Formia is one of a kind in Europe and dates back to the 1st century BC. You will also come across ancient Roman aqueduct and cryptoportici while exploring the historical places in the city. The Villa of Mamurra is worth visiting although it was damaged in the battles of 1943. There are a number of beautiful churches including the Church of San Giovanni Battista e Lorenzo, the Church of San Michele, the Church of San Luca, the Church of Saint Erasmus, the Renaissance Monastery and others. You may visit the Archaeological Museum of Formia to see the artifacts unearthed from nearby excavation sites. People love to spend time at the Regional Park of Gianola and the Mount of Scauri as well. The city remains significant as a center of athletics in Italy under the Italian National Olympic Committee. Several related events are held here annually including those for cycling, sailing, windsurfing and water sports.
Vacation rentals in Formia
Take a peek at the inviting villas in Formia where you may live in luxury with your family on an exotic holiday. There are several attractive listings available for houses in Formia on the website of CuddlyNest where you may get in touch with your lovely hosts. Browse the listings using our search filter to discover the ideal vacation rental for your friends and family.
Tourist attractions in Formia
Beautiful in the spring and summer seasons, the city is filled with opportunities to explore the local culture and cuisine. Try out the delicacies prepared from the fresh produce brought in from the countryside and fishing villages. Visit the beaches to enjoy hours of sunbathing, water sports, swimming and scuba diving in the blue waters.
The famous Roman Cistern near Formia dates back to the 1st century BC and has been built underground longitudinally. The structure contains rows of tall pillars that create 4 naves that are covered by vaults. Today, the village of Castellone rests above it and in the old days the fresh water springs used to feed this cistern from Saint Maria la Noce. The main purpose of this engineering marvel was to supply water to the city of Formia.
Torre di Mola
Among the several fortifications that you will see in Lazio, the Torre di Mola has been preserved pretty well. It stands tall at 27m and has a diameter of 15m. In the old days, this tower was fixed at the center of a wall that stretched nearly 200m to defend this area from invasion. The Regio Castellano used to live here with his family and there were arrangements for soldiers as well.
Perhaps the most aesthetic part of Formia, the Castellone District transports you back in time with its narrow alleys and stone pathways. There are a number of historical spots here including churches, the Roman Cistern and the Roman Theater. You should definitely visit the Piazza Saint Erasmus which is popular among visitors for its quaint ambiance. Make sure to try out the seafood and large variety of pizzas here.
Eremo di San Michele Arcangelo
Named in honor of the Archangel, Saint Michael, the Eremo di San Michele Arcangelo is as old as 830 but some parts were renovated in the Neo-Gothic style in 1893. This rupestrian sanctuary is a magnificent sight to behold and looks as if it was carved into Mount Altino. It was the idea of the archbishop Franceso Niola when he saw this place on a hike once during a pastoral visit.
Parco di Gianola e Monte di Scauri
Lazio is blessed with natural beauty and there is no better place to enjoy it in Formia than the Parco di Gianola e Monte di Scauri. This park was established for recreation and environmental conservation in 1987. A large variety of precious tree species are found here such as oak and mastic. There are many species of birds, insects and reptiles thriving here.