About half-way between Rome and Naples, just at the edge of the Italian region of Lazio, lies the seaside city of Gaeta. Gaeta is situated in a dramatic bay, reminding visitors of a miniature Bay of Naples. The Orlando Mountain rises just behind it.
An important seaport, Gaeta has a long and rich history, spanning back to Ancient Rome. Its medieval center is stunning and well-preserved, with its imposing Arogonese castle, winding streets, pretty bell towers and churches. Gaeta is also the site of a NATO Naval base.
A walk around the winding streets of the medieval quarter is an enjoyable way to view the pretty architecture and views.
The fish market is a must-visit destination. It’s set just across the street from the bay where the fishing boats return with the day’s catch. Wander the stalls – many open late into the evening – this in itself might be the highlight of a trip to Gaeta.
Close to Naples, Gaeta is also a good place to buy the excellent mozzarella di bufala, mozzarella made with milk from the water buffalo from the neighboring region of Campania and the calorie-laden, mouth-watering Neapolitan desserts.
Gaeta can be easily combined with the beautiful seaside town of Sperlonga. Sperlonga is just a short distance north and, if you are staying there, Gaeta would be a great place to spend an afternoon and evening, eating dinner at one of the town’s many seafood restaurants located just along the bay.