Apartment | 3 bedrooms | sleeps 7
Located on the second top floor (no lift) of a residential building, the penthouse overlooks the entire bay. Its furnished sheltered terrace going all around the apt. enables you to eat out peacefully while enjoying a breath-taking view that changes in colours from dawn to sunset. The apt is spacious, full of light and conveniently furnished.
The building is located on a hill and yet at walking distance from the city XIX century centre of Gaeta "Elena" (5 minutes) and from the main beach "Serapo" (20 minutes). If you don't feel like walking, a city bus stopping in front of the gate , every hour, will connect you to both places and also to the Medieval citadel.
You can jog to Mount Orlando natural reserve, take daily boat trips to Ulysses coastline, explore beautiful beaches like Ariana, Arenauta and San Vito.
At Elena and the Medieval citadel you will find many "pizzerie", restaurants, art exhibitions and music festivals. You will try the local traditional pie called "tiella" with its different fillings, from small octopus to onions or vegetables. Twice a year a "Tiella feast" makes Via Indipendenza and the Municipal square a colourful stage of all local varieties of tiella and you can not only buy and eat them but also watch demonstrations on how to prepare it. Special mention goes to the Mediterranean blue fish daily sold at the fish market stalls. Sardines, anchovies, makarel but also orate and spigole are all fished in the surrounding sea. Accompany them with fruit and vegetables sold in abundance and at low prices by the local people at Via Indipendenza and don't miss the famous Gaeta olives and "bufala" mozzarella!
|Size||Sleeps up to 7, 3 bedrooms|
|Nearest beach||Serapo 900 m|
|Will consider||Long term lets (over 1 month)|
|Nearest Amenities||50 m|
|Nearest travel links||Nearest airport: Naples 90 km, Nearest railway: Formia 5 km|
|Family friendly||Great for children of all ages, Suitable for people with restricted mobility|
|Notes||No pets allowed, No smoking at this property|
Features and Facilities
|General||Central heating, Air conditioning, TV|
|Standard||Kettle, Toaster, Iron, Hair dryer|
|Utilities||Clothes dryer, Cooker, Fridge, Freezer, Washing machine|
|Rooms||3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms of which 2 Family bathrooms|
|Furniture||Single beds (3), Double beds (2), Dining seats for 6, Lounge seats for 1|
|Outdoors||Balcony or terrace|
|Further details indoors|
The ample entrance with XIX century mirror leads you to the living-dining room where you will find a dining-table for six, a sofa and two armchairs. Next to the entrance you will find the second double-bedroom (a 3-window room with three single beds), the large kitchen along the corridor and the rest of the apt with master bedroom, the second double bedroom and the two bathrooms. The main bathroom is equipped with sink, wc, bidet and bathtub with telephone-like shower while the second bathroom consists of a sink, wc and washing machine. Both bathrooms have windows. Hot water is available all the time.
Bedrooms are large and comfortable. The main bedroom is mainly furnished with xix century taste and will surprise you with very special romantic details: the iron bedhead, the dressing mirror, the pink Murano deco lamp and the lamps of the night tables that reproduce in bronze the famous Riace giants. The atmosphere and also the brand new orthopaedic mattresses will guarantee a fantastic rest. The second bedroom has three large windows and ample space to walk around. In the main bedroom two wardrobes allow you to store all the clothes you intend carrying with you. In the single bedroom you will find two single beds (that can be easily converted into one double bed) a desk with chair and a large bookshelf with three closed cabinets for storing clothes. An extra one-door wardrobe furnishes this room.The third bedroom has a double bed with ample wardrobe and closet.
In the kitchen there are sufficient pots and pans, cutlery and kitchen wares while more selected items can be found in the antique cupboard standing in the living- room.
The living-room has two large windows, one leading to the covered terrace. While you sit either inside or outside, you will enjoy the harmonious sight of Gaeta gulf, spacing from the Orlando Mountain and the Medieval city on your right to Formia, Scauri, Gianola promontory and Minturno on your left. While the Domitia Bay and Mondragone (40 kms from Naples)are visible just in front of you. On clear days you can see the Pontine islands.
There is nothing better after a day trekking, swimming or sightseeing than relaxing on the terrace and admiring the stunning view while you drink a good glass of wine or a cold beer. Another recommended source of aesthetic pleasure is watching sunrise and the glittering calm sea all around you!
Preparing a meal in the kitchen is handy and pleasant. A small table with two chairs allows you to sit for a first cup of tea in the morning. There you can plan your day and decide whether to go...fishing or making a boat trip to discover the enticing coast.
If you want to know what guests wrote about the apt or Gaeta, just go ahead and read our guestbook:
"27 July 2012
We have been five ladies enjoying this beautiful apartment, especially enjoying the view. We were stunned by the Old City. For eating Emilio's were the best place to eat. The best beach experience was 300 "Gradini" (steps - Arenauta beach) direction Sperlonga. We have really enjoyed our stay here.
Thank Adriana for being a great host for us. Hope we can visit this place again".
Ragnhild and Kristin Tynes Vagen plus three friends from Norway
"July 2012. Again thank you so much for your wonderful hospitality. The days on beautiful Serapide Beach and the wonderful day in Sperlonga. You are as much a draw to this beautiful apartment as the wonderful view from the terrace.
The apartment was as we remembered. Clean and neat with everything we needed. We spent hours on the terrace watching the sail boats and ships. Every evening at dusk we watched the bats come out, flying so close we could almost touch them. Gaeta is a wonderful place to vacation with its clean beaches and friendly people.
We enjoyed our shopping trip to the "Pam Club" and waiting in line for the cheese. We appreciated that you took such good care of us. ...
Just we will see you again.
Jenny and Kim Daugerau, Texas
Mona Stewart, Louisiana
Ed G. Bur, Chicago
Ciao, my friend."
"6 July 2012. Had a lovely week here. Really enjoyed our trip up to Mount Orlando and walking down the path to the Sanctuary. Loved the "authentic" feel that Gaeta has and the fact that there doesn't seem to be loads of foreign tourists like us! Will miss the views from the balcony, but - did we ever think we'd say it?! - not the heat!
Ate in Lupo di Mare tonight - best meal we've had in Gaeta. If you like fresh fish and seafood, it's in a lovely setting in the old town, great service and lovely food. Best to book: 0771 465559 (Wed. closed). Via Bausan 6, near the nautical school.
Anne and Dave Lamont, Scotland
"30 June 2012. We're back again, but this time we've brought mom along, 82 and a bit lame with walking stick, but we've managed the Cappuccini steps ok. Great to be in this airy, elegant, spacious apartment once more.
Adriana popped round with some of the apricots from her garden in the week - very kind and thoughtful - and very delicious. The superb seafood and succulent fresh fruit we've enjoyed - just doesn't taste half as good in England somehow.
We went to Tiberius' grotto on the coast at Sperlonga, interesting if you decide to visit, take your beach kit - there's a fantastic public bit of beach immediately behind it with pools of shallow seawater left behind with fish in. Ideal for small children and non swimmers.
Another great time here in Gaeta, back to the rain in England.
Peter and Janet Smith and Mom
"18 May 2012
We have had 3 lovely weeks in the sun in Gaeta. We do love the terrace and have spent a lot of time here. In the afternoon we have been watching the fishing boats coming in to the harbour. 'Only' 210 steps down and you can get all the fresh seafood ever! Really nice to cook dinner 'at home' - and there are lots of nice restaurants as well. Thank you very much Adriana. It was so nice to meet your charming mother - we appreciated that!
Tor and Audhill, Bakaroyna, Norway"
28 April 2012
"The apartment is great and the view cannot be surpassed - we thoroughly enjoyed our vacation in Gaeta. People here are very courteous and helpful. Our whole month in Italy has been unforgettable.
Gail Christie, Kim, Loraine and Marquis, Rhode Island and Colorado, USA"
8th April 2012
"We had a lovely week in Gaeta. The weather was beautiful, we really enjoyed the apartment: it was amazing and the balcony was very well used, with its spectacular views. Definitely hope to return soon.
Brian, La-vonne, Kirsty, Shawn and James from Scotland"
2nd September 2011
"We spent 13 days in this beautiful house with an amazing viewing from the large balcony.
Gaeta is a very lovely place, loads of things to visit and places to explore.
The Italian food is very tasty, we tried mozzarella from Santa Lucia which is amazing, pastas (try with the salmon), pizzas and various seafood.
For the best ice cream (gelato) go to Old Gaeta (Cajeta) you can find loads of pubs and bars/restarants.
We had a very nice holiday!"
Lucian, Ana Maria, Chip and Alina from London
9-16 July 2011
"We feel we have had a taste of the real Italy here in Gaeta, living amongst friendly local people, sharing a little of their lives and eating lovely food. The view from the penthouse balcony was what persuaded us to come here and it was worth it: a magnificent setting. Most of the town and beach was just a walk away which you soon get used to; you can't have a view without a climb. All the steps - good way to burn off all the excess of pasta - a new meaning to "cappuccino".
Thanks Adriana for your help. A lovely way to spend our first holiday in Italy.
Nev, Liz, Tom, Fleur and Rebecca from Sheffield, England"
"...We have had a great stay in Gaeta. A nice mix of excursions and lazy beach life. The evenings on the balcony with good wine and lovely Italian food made by Llian are unforgettable. The bay is a never ending fascinating scenery. You can sit looking at it for hours. Thank you Adriana for your great hospitality".
Larsson & Lilian, Sweden
" Hello Adreanna
Just to let you know we had a wonderful time in your apartment in Gaeta
A visit fondly remembered for the warmth of the people we met and the climate, the wonderful foods,[most especialy the fruits available] I have passed on the details to my brother and family,I think they might like to visit Gaeta...
We go to places all the time,but would not rule out a return to your wonderful town.
My best regards
"We had an excellent visit. Thanks, Adriana, for looking after our needs. The view from the villa is superb. It was a great experience".
Ronald Pauls, Canada
"Excellent visit. Best restaurant "Il Nostromo" edge of town, road to Formia (Lungomare Caboto 154 - tel. 0771 470107). Wonderful food and excellent prices. On the same road "M.D.Discount" for groceries. Rome expensive as any tourist area is; leave the car at home take the train (Formia to Rome return with unlimited public transpot in Rome Euro 10.50) open top bus is bst to see sights (hop on and off). Close by (Formia) is Monte Cassino, worth a visit, as is Pompei (over 65 admitted free - produce driving licence or passport - regular entrance Euro 11). Parking inexpensive (e. 5), motorway best, avoid Napoli. We got lost in the mountains coming to Gaeta but worth it as we found the delightful mountain top village of Falvaterra. Amazing views into the valley. Delightful square, sit outside bar with beer/wine or coffee and soak in the sun and sights of surrounding buildings. Reached town of Itri (it's where we ended up after driving down the mountains).
Adriana delightful host. Very helpful.
In Pompei avoid cafés (coffee Euro 4, beer euro 6).
In Gaeta, Anna's bar near the US ship frequented by US sailors if you're American and wish a chat in English.
One evening at "Il Nostromo" I had a lemon sorbet for dessert(Sorbetto al limone, euro 4) and it was "orgasmic"!...
Returning to my lovely misty old Ireland tomorrow but lovely memories of a wonderful climate, food and people"
Bill MacQueen, Limerick County, Ireland
"Loved the month of October spent on the terrace of this apartment overlooking the bay , mornings watching the sun rise and hearing the church bells at 7 AM, afternoons relaxing with a glass of wine after walking and taking in the sights of old and new Gaeta, nights with the stars and moon reflecting on the water, there was always a beautiful sight to behold" M Carol Primavera Filippi, USA.
""11-18 September 2010
...We chose this apartment from the internet because we always try to avoid the Italy crawling with British tourists wanting 'All Day Breakfasts' and Irish pub culture (we like them too but not when abroad) and obviously we also thought the views from the apartment were fantastic and also the views of previous holiday makers were positive. We are not disappointed.
We've loved all the things that people have written about already but also the cat families on the 122 steps, us having a drink at the bars at bottom of steps with fishermen whilst said cats linger hoping for fish scraps. Buying home-grown produce from individuals in old part of town, we got a carrier bag full of peppers for 1 euro. They cost that much each at home and we've bought so many figs for pence only.
We've driven along the coast road which is enchanting and stopped at deserted beaches and swam in fabulous water (fish nibbling toes). We've lazed on the balcony watching the boats/ships being manoevered by tugs and gazed mesmorised by the views. We've got lazier as the weak has gone on. Bliss...
Well, I'm watching 2 tugboats going out to meet a ship heading this way and thinking about getting my stuff packed - I've only worn 1/4 of what I brought - I said I was lazy.
We consider ourselves very fortunate to have stayed here. Thank you Adriana and family for helping to make it so enjoyable. Best regards 'e un abbraccio'
Jan and Pete Smith, England"
"29 Aug. - 5 Sept.
We are three students from Toronto, Canada and we each had an amazing stay in Adriana's apartment. Adriana treated us great and was always available to help us when we needed. Gaeta is beautiful, the food here is amazing, especially the sea food dishes. We had a great stay and would love to come back some day.
Mike, Brandon, Nick"
"Ann, Steve, Ben, and Sam Chappell, 7-14 August 2010
We are a family of four from England - a middle-aged teacher and accountant and sons aged 19 and 22, who have not holidayed together for four years. We are not keen on sunbathing and prefer to stay away from crowds, so Gaeta in August may seem an odd choice!
However, we were drawn by the view - and, of course, have not been disappointed. We like to combine sightseeing with walking/exploring and swimming and have had ample opportunity for all.
What has been fantastic has been having the advice of Adriana and Anton on hand - to show us the best places to buy mozzarella (wonderful!) ice creams (excellent) and fresh basil. Also, help with bus and train timetables has been very useful and made our ventures out so much easier. We particularly enjoyed the pedalo trip with Adriana and Anton across the bay to the Turk's grotto - and took the boys there 2 days later. We also climbed to Mausoleum on top of Mount Orlando - not much more difficult than the steps to the flat, and with equally great views!
The trip to Pompei was hot and dusty but worth it. Formia and Sperlonga are both well worth a visit - the bus ride along the coast is beautiful and we were delighted to find Tiberius villa almost deserted, apart from the enormous fish in the grotto!
The pizzas/fish at Emilio's in the old town were very good - but on the whole, we found there was nothing better than cooking 'at home' and sitting out on the balcony to eat - followed by games of cards late into the night.
And we have even found (a little late) that if we go down to the beach at about 6 p.m. and sit at the café on the CAB beach, we can have the bay pretty much to ourselves - and get a shower at the end of it!
After a week we feel more relaxed, fitter, and as though we have had a taste of real Italy.
Thank you Adriana, Anton and "nonna" for an unforgettable week! Ann"
The beach is great, water is fantastic, very family friendly, slow pace of good living it seems here in Gaeta. The town is within travel distance to Napoli, Pompei and Rome, if you're up for it 'cause Gaeta is mostly a place for relaxation, though the medieval town is worth a walk or two....
Ture, Vladimir and Elena from Russia, Denmark, Chile"
What lovely memories we all have of our holiday to your penthouse in Gaeta. The views were second to none. The food was the best I've ever tasted! Really... even the most simplistic ingredient made tasty meals far better than I've made before at home... I have to admit Gaeta produces the tastiest food! You are very lucky.
Thanks also for all your help, picking us up and driving us to the shops etc. Also your hospitality you showed me and Abi, and of course the lovely evening to the theatre to Minturno - you truly looked after us and made our holiday more enjoyable".
Debbie and family from England
"Oh we loved the whole trip: Ponza, Gaeta, Italia! Ponza was lovely. Jamie and I had a beautiful couple of days there". Michelle and Jamie, Scotland"
...Michelle .. and Jamie have fond memories of their stay in Gaeta and were much taken with your kindness shown towards them.
Lyn and I also have very warm memories of Gaeta and will always remember your kindness and regard for our well being with thoughts of gratitude and warmth.
Our best regards to you.
Barrie and Lyn. New Zealand"
"Had a very lovely stay in Gaeta.
Loved the town, beach, harbour and many bars/restaurants. Found the people very friendly, especially Adriana and her mama, good to meet Anthon too. Particularly enjoyed the view and the terrace ...Many thanks also for information, conversation and the many lifts you gave us. Linda and Rod Arndt, Livingston, Scotland"
"The apartment of course is wonderfully spacious and the view from the balcony unforgettable! We ate all our meals around the balcony table - apart from the view, the fresh breezes are another benefit. We explored the waterfront market and very much enjoyed 'old' Gaeta. Our longest journey from here was to Pompei - about two hours and a fascinating experience. One of the best things about our stay was getting to know Adriana and her mother - lovely people - and we much appreciated their taking us to the Mausoleum on top of the hill - a piece of Gaeta's hidden history! Also showing us a hard to find viewpoint which provides a superb view of the town and sea.
We will be back!
Grethe, John, Kristina, Annabel and Oyvind, UK
"We had a wonderful week in Gaeta! Very lazy - mainly on the beach! Serapo beach is great - "Aurora" section we liked best. Ask at reception for toilet key! Best value restaurant is 'La Lampara' - great food, good prices. Steps are fun - only 122 - don't worry about them! Thank you Adriana for a lovely stay. We have many photos of that wonderful view from the balcony".
Colin and Dawn, Huddersfield, U.K.
"Another sunny day in Gaeta... This has been a great experience for us - a family of four from Norway. We searched for a place to go for our holiday and found Adriana and her apartment on the net. And now, after one week, we feel very fortunate to have spent our holiday here! We have spent most of the time on the beach, but have also walked around in the narrow streets in both the new and old parts of Gaeta. People here are very friendly and even though we do not speak Italian, everyone tried to help us when we asked around. If not the first person understood he asked the next - and the next - and so on, and soon there was a whole group helping us out.
For children there is a nice park - playground - with trampolines and different things 'to let out some energy' over in the centre of town.
We also accidentally walked into a market on Sunday afternoon - a lot of fun to watch on all the different tables.
Thank you Adriana for your hospitality.
Best wishes from
Jorgen, Randi, Herman (10) and Haagen (6)". July 2009
"The apartment is all we hoped for. The view is fantastic and the sea breeze the best. My sons Paul and Eric, my daughter-in-law Amy and husband Kim spent many hours sitting on the terrace watching the bay. We cooked many Italian dishes and ate on the terrace under the moonlight.
The Cappuccini stairs were an easy climb down but gave us trouble coming back up. Really they were not that bad. We finally caught the bus our last few days and so easy to get up and down the hill - 70 cents euro not bad to avoid the stairs.
Gaeta is as beautiful as we remembered from my husband's tour of duty in 1971-73 on the USS Springfield. My husband's shipmate Ed joined us our last week in Gaeta. We walked around the city remembering all the places we hung out back in the early 1970s.
We were happy to meet "Mamma" while we were here. My son Paul said he never wanted to be able to speak another language as much as when visiting with "Mamma". She is a kind lady.
Adriana and Mamma thanks so much for the morning on the beach. It was great.
I would recommend this lovely apartment in this beautiful peaceful city to all who read this. What a great vacation.
Jenny, Kim, Paul, Amy & Eric Daugerau & Ed Gbur", Texas, USA - May-June 2009
Thank you for the lovely stay at your apartment. The balcony was the place we all gathered each morning and night to plan our day. We had a fabulous vacation and can't wait to return. I took over 800 photos and we all take turns looking at them over and over again. Gaeta is as lovely as I remembered. We enjoyed Napoli, Pozzuoli, Minturno, Herculenium, Scauri, Rome and many restaurants and cafe's along the way. We got very little sleep and enjoyed every hour of the day. We must have taken the steps down in to Gaeta 3 times a day. We stayed in shape which allowed us to thoroughly enjoy all the pasta and pizza.
We are all back to work and cherish the memories we have. I would like to thank you again for allowing us to stay at your home and the chance to meet you and your Mother. You are both lovely.
I plan to stay in touch and am already planning a return to Italy. This time probably just my husband and I.
Noreen, Larry ,Jeff , Cody ,Scott and Caitlyn"
Springfield Virginia, USA, May 2009
"This apartment is ideally situated for exploring the town, beaches and the coastline of this beautiful area. The rooms are comfortable, airy and clean, and there is only one word to describe the views over the bay: stunning! Adriana is a helpful, knowledgeable and generous host with a wealth of ideas to make your stay here as enjoyable as was ours.
We will certainly return here and would recommend this apartment and the area to everyone. Thanks for a lovely holiday". Tim, Vivien, Dario and Lara, UK, April 2009
"We stayed at this apartment in the beginning of May and can surely say that we do not regret at all about the choice we've made.
First of all I would like to point out that the view from the terrace that this apartment has is something unbelievable!!! I would say the view grasps 100% of the whole bay with abounding ships and yachts.....and the islands far in the horizon...You just can sit in the terrace, have a glass of good wine and contemplate - that is definitely promised.
"That is surely depends upon your taste .....but if you would like to be in a place where you don't meet groups of tourists - that is exactly what you are looking for. Pure Italian life...with no influence of "tourism-mania". Far not everyone speaks English here, there are no taxis... Anyways it's up to you to decide what kind of holiday you prefer - that's my opinion only: the place where you can feel yourself like in your own country – literally speaking OR a completely unknown place with its customs, life style..cuisine.
"The very city of Gaeta is located in a very good position: approx 80 km from Naples and 110 from Rome. It's not that difficult to have a bus ride to next town - Formia and change to train there. Tickets are quite cheap to my opinion. Approx. 7 Euro to Rome one way. Gaeta is a very safe place itself! We had quite late walks and were feeling completely safe.
"Now about the flat itself. I must tell you that the flat is very spacious.. and has been presented perfectly cleaned - was especially important for us as we travelled with 1.5 y.o. child. One useful observation is that we never experienced any heat in the apartment. We were in May and it wasn't hot itself, however some days were quite hot in the afternoon but in spite of that the apartment was always cool and the sea breeze gently wrapped the terrace.
"A separate paragraph should be devoted to the family which hosted us: Adriana, her husband and her mother (flat's owner). Adriana was very helpful and attentive indeed: she even arranged two excursions for us: to Sperlonga and to the mountain Orlando in Gaeta. We really appreciate all the warmth we were given during our stay. In this sense we really felt as if we are at home: surrounded by care and hospitality.
"Here are a few recommendations for those who seriously consider the apartment for the holiday:
1. Be prepared that there is no “in street” taxi in Gaeta. The taxi can be arranged by calling to a taxi company.
2. As I've mentioned already - it's quite rare to meet English speakers – thus it's better to have an Italian phrase-book. In our case - my knowledge of Spanish helped me a lot!
3. Rent a bike! The area around mountain Orlando is really worth a good bike ride!
4. Cook! The fish market which opens in the afternoon is something amazing! It offers a huge variety of seafood! Really tasty!
5. Be prepared that the apartment is located in the upper part and the main street and market are in lower one – thus you'll either need to climb a good dozen of steps on the way back home (short way) or make street rounds. We never regretted this physical exercise before sleep – helped to burn some calories after tasty pizzas and vine!
To sum it all up: I would really recommend this apartment for good, calm and – one of more important things – real Italian-like holiday! Great rest and impressions are promised".
Evgenia Protasova and family (three adults and two children), Moscow, RF, 2008
Cliff Bernstein and Vava Buitenkant, New York, USA.
"13-22 June 2008. We came from Port Jefferson Station, New York, USA to take a break from our busy lives on the outskirts of New York City. Cliff is a radiologist and I (Vava) am a graphic designer. Cliff had been stationed in Gaeta as a U.S. marine twenty years ago and wanted to return for some nostalgia. Besides I had been pestering him to go with me to Italy ever since we met in 2002. I always referred to it as my "imagined favourite country". Now it is simply "my favourite country".
"Anyway we ended up being very lucky finding the apartment advertised online. It has turned out to be everything we imagined. It is spacious, breezy and refreshingly cool after a long day of exploring Gaeta on these jot June days. And the views from the seemingly never-ending wrap-around terrace are as spectacular as we could have ever hoped they would be... All that clear bright blue water fading away to the misty dusty blue-gray mountains in the distance. Then there's the brillian green hill with the pink and sand-coloured balloings with their red-tiled roove nestled comfortably into its slanted side.
"Anyway, back to the apartment... so many windows! And such a good atmosphere, complete with paintings and carefully rendered pencil sketches apparently of and/or by family members, truly like being fortunate guests in the Catanzano home. We have been so much more comfortable and felt so welcome than we would have been if we'd stayed in a hotel! In fact, although we've had some fun and exciting adventures out around the town, we've spent much of our time sitting at the table on the terrace (where I now sit writing this) with wine, bread, cheese, tomatoes, basil and olives.
"Tips about the apartment - with all these windows you can definitely get a wonderful breeze going. However, care must be taken not to let them flap around and slam shut...Kitchen: to light the stove, turn the yellow gas knob so that the "wings" are in a vertical position, press the white knob on front of the stove that corresponds to the chosen burner and turn to the right. Light the burner with a match. When finished, don't forget to turn the yellow gas knob back to the original position with the wings horizontal. Bathroom: In the large bathroom there is a yellow cabinet containing a hairdryer and an iron. There is an ironing board resting against the wall in the smaller bathroom with washing machine. I was unable to get the outlet in the smaller bathroom to work so I ironed in another room (perhaps there is a switch to activate it?) I brought an adapter with me from the U.S. so that I could use the outlets here. The Cappuccini steps are a great way to get down into town without having to cross the Via Flacca. You can see the steps from the terrace ...get a sense where they are, and they will be easier to find once you have exited the apartment building. Turn left after you've gone through the building's gate, walk down the hill and make a very sharp lefthand turn to find the steps. When you get to the bottom, carefully note what it looks like at bottom of steps so you can find again upon your return! At the bottom you will be on Via Indipendenza, turn right on this beautiful old narrow street (mostly travelled by pedestrians with an occasional car or motor bike) to get to the main part of town. There are many little shops along the way and a large supermarket at the top of a small incline at the right (behind large open-air fruit market). Please keep in mind that most stores are closed between 1 p.m. and 4.30 p.m.! Cash - Upon arrival in Gaeta we tried to get into three different banks and found that they are very different here. They are not easy to just walk into like in the U.S.! You must go one by one through a glass revolving door where you can be rejected by your fingerprint! Inside it seemed that everyone on line was there to get paychecks cashed. Anyway, we ended up getting cash from the cash machines outside the banks by inserting our debit cards. So avoid bank hassle! Restaurants - there is a lot of great inexpensive food to be found at the small cafés/bars scattered around town. The pizza and panini were good everywhere we had them. You can't go wrong there! Most of the shops and restaurants are found in the main centre of Gaeta. However, one night we went to Il Nostromo, which Adriana had recommended as a very nice special place. You can get there by turning left (instead of the usual right) at the bottom of the Cappuccini steps and then walking toward Formia (without straying too far from the shore). Il nostromo is a very spacious, elegant yet comfortable restaurant with kind service and generous portions. The prices were very reasonable... (by New York City standards). We ordered linguini scampi and penne with salmon. We also ordered a salmon pizza which we ended up taking home and having for lunch the next day! Before the pasta was even brought out a platter of bread with tomatoes and herbs, a bowl of olives, a bowl of plain bread had been bestowed upon us!...
"Sights - The day we climbed Montagna Spaccata/Monte Orlando was a very exciting one... It's a nice climb up via Lucio M. Planco but sunscreen is definitely necessary during the hot months. Also bring plenty of drinking water. If you go up Via della S.S. Trinità there is an amazing view down onto the wide beach below. There is a fun bar/pizzeria to the left of the road. If you walk a bit further past the souvenir stands out on the street, you will find a permanent small souvenir shop/bar to the right that looks like nothing special from the front, but if you go in and order a drink from the friendly grandmotherly woman at the bar, you can sit down with it at one of a handful of tables in the back - which overlooks the water (as it is securely built into the side of the mountain!). Absolutely delightful...
"Anyway, it is our last night here, and we are sad to leave. Adriana has been most welcoming and hospitable. She greeted us with maps and schedules of events, and train/bus schedules and a handwritten list of recommendations, as would an old friend. She also text-messaged us now and then on my cell phone to make sure we were okey, and to ask if we needed anything. Very personal care! One morning Cliff also met her mom who is also delightful, as he reported, after Adriana had translated back and forth. He also commented that Concetta Catanzano looks a lot like the subject of the paintings/drawings here (quite stunning still, at 91!)."
"Thanks for nice accommodation and hospitality! We wish you all good summer period and autumn!
Tips for next visitors: We liked Miramare beach in Serapo. The Nostromo restaurant in Gaeta was good and the food was delicious. If you visit Rome, it's wiser and cheaper to travel by train".
Family Riikonen, Helsinki, Finland - July 2008
"I am sitting on the balcony - my favourite place of this beautiful apartment - and thinking about our wonderful holiday here in Gaeta.
"Adriana and her 'mamma' are such fantastic, welcoming and kind people. Adriana could not do enough for us and she was so passionate about Gaeta and worked us to see as much as we could - she took us to the superb beach of 'Fontania' and to the Museum at Sperlonga. Gary loved the museum as he has studied the Greeks and he enjoyed explaining everything to Adriana and our sons Liam and Paul.
"We have been here 8 days and only have 5 left. We feel so relaxed despite all the walking we have done! Our boys have coped very well with the 20 minute walk to Serapo beach every day - it is not too bad going but I found it a killer coming back up the hill or up the 105 'Cappuccini' steps! But the shower is fantastic after such a walk!
"We have eaten at 'La Bella Napoli' and 'La Lampara' - we preferred La Lampara as we felt it was better value for money. Most evenings I cooked as we enjoyed eating on this balcony with this amazing view. We have enjoyed the 'bufala' mozzarella, Gaeta olives, tomatoes and basil. Also the salami, prosciutto, pizza and pasta consumed with lots of red wine of course!...
"On Saturday we went to see our friends who run a bar at Vindicio beach in Formia - a lovely beach. The following day our friend took us to the Aquapark at Itri in the mountains which made a refreshing change from the beaches. Our sons loved the Aquapark.
"We enjoyed watching the procession of 'La Madonna di Porto Salvo' on Sunday. The Madonna statue was taken from the church and put on a boat and taken across the harbour. Many boats followed and the streets were packed with people. At 10.30 p.m. there were fantastic fireworks and we watched them from the balcony with Adriana and her 'mamma'.
"Adriana and her husband Anthon took us to 'La Montagna Spaccata' by car which is an absolute must - it was awesome.
"On our last night Adriana dropped us off at the restaurant 'Il Nostromo' - a beautiful restaurant on the outskirts of Gaeta towards Formia. It was absolutely packed with people still pouring in at 10.30 p.m. for a table! The meal was superb but we over ordered despite the fact that Adriana had warned us about the portions and it was not expensive.
"So now I'm sitting on our wonderful balcony having my last espresso before we return to the UK. I will miss this beautiful place and I will miss Adriana, 'la mamma' and Anthon. We will be back.
Arrivederci e mille grazie per tutto! Baci, baci..."
Licia, Gary, Liam (aged 6) and Paul (aged 4) - Kettering, U.K. - August 2008
"Thank you for all your help. A beautiful place to stay and the apartment was just as we expected. The personal service was more than we could have hoped for which made our stay so much more delightful. The local sights are stunning - we can thoroughly recommend an excursion to Ponza and Palmarola".
Alan and Bernadette, Joseph, Daniel and Vincent Hughes - Kent, England. August 2008
"Hi Adriana hope all is well. The drive to Rome was good and we arrived back safely to a cold and wet UK. Thank you for all your help and assistance during our stay. We had a great time. I will send you some photos shortly.
All the best and kind regards to you and your family",
John and Jane, England Sept. 2008
Kelly and Graeme Lowry, London, Canada - Pat and Phil Stanghetta, Blind Riveer, Ontario, Canada
Sept. 14 - 21 here, then a week in Tuscany
"What can we say about Gaeta? We came in search of a beautiful village on the sea and I think we got everything and more! Adriana and her mother are very welcoming and a fountain of information. I only wish we spoke better Italian to ask mama what life was like so many years before.
A trip up the mountain and a visit to the Turk's grotto is a must. The everending entertainment in the harbour and the view make the terrace the ideal spot to begin and end the day.
We have two new favourite things. The white wine Falanghina is awesome with Matilde vineyard our favourite. Visit it on the road to Napoli beyond Formia. The secon is the mozzarella di bufala. Try the roadside restaurant on the road to Sperlonga beyond the beaches on the northern edge of town. Get it on a panini with meat or by itself on a plate but get it with the fresh tomato and herb topping. The mushrooms are good too.
Don't miss "Il Nostromo" and enjoy your stay.
Grazie Adriana per tutto.
Ann and Steve Staples, 20th Sept. - 27th from Bournemouth England
"Gaeta is a magical place, we really enjoyed our stay here. The weather was lovely and we spent two days on the beach - 12 euros for two chairs and umbrella - very good value.
"The view from the terrace is fantastic and we spent many hours just 'watching' and drinking the local wine.
"Thank you Adriana for your hospitality and would recommend your apartment to anyone visiting Italy.
Many thanks, Ann and Steve"
|Further details outdoors|
Just outside the house, you will find the Cappuccini friars' steps that lead you straight down to the ancient city of Gaeta : via Indipendenza (Independence street) a long pedestrian street that crosses in length the XIX century district of the city: Elena. With its many narrow ways that depart from it, via Indipendenza has always been inhabited by fishermen and peasants who still live and sell their produce there. Everything in Gaeta tastes much better than, say, in Rome or anywhere else I know. Via Indipendenza is full of local fruit and vegetable shops but also of typical restaurants (trattorie). If you cross the street, you will immediately be in the middle of the fish market where fresh fish is daily carried and sold in afternoons, directly from the boats opposite to it. While if you walk all along it , you reach the main Piazza (Piazza della Libertà).
Walking along the Lungomare on your right, you will reach Flavio Gioia sailing peer where expensive motor and sailing boats are anchored most of the time. The club peer stands in the Piazza, centre of the new town where the road to Serapo beach departs. Corso Cavour represents the fashionable meeting point for local people: in the afternoons you will see pedestrians strolling about and chatting, watching each other, glad to meet and to be watched. There you can sit at one of the many terraces and taste the famous Italian ice-cream for example at the Triestina bar.
From that point of the Lungomare, you can either decide to go to Serapo beach or walk to the Medieval city (Gaeta medievale). Alternatively you can make a walking tour and explore Mount Orlando Regional Reserve. About half way to the top of Mount Orlando, you can visit the Sanctuary of the Split mountain and the Turk's Grotto. If you decide to continue upwards, you will reach the Belvedere plain and the Statue of the "Madonna of Porto Salvo”(Safe Harbour) and, proceeding upwards you will see Lucio Munazio Planco funeral monument and the Lighthouse . The whole Reserve is forbidden to cars from the Sanctuary upwards, but if you do not feel like walking, in summer months you can easily take a shuttle bus that starts at the Municipality and costs Euro 2 per person/ return trip. Orlando mountain is a rare unspoilt example of Mediterranean vegetation full of aromatic bushes (wild sage and rosmarine) and flowers. Special paths for bird-watching are indicated along the way together with gym fitting exercises. In summer months horse riding tours of the mountain can be booked at reasonable price.
On your way down you can take a different road towards the Medieval city. on the opposite site of the promontory. There you will see the XII century bell house and the dome, several other churches, and the Castle. I would recommend you to take an aperitif on one of the terraces there and at least once eat your pizza at Emilio's, the most ancient 'pizzeria' in Gaeta which serves different types of wooden baked pizza at very cheap prices. To avoid queues you'd better go there around 7.30 p.m. not later! Finally I would advise you to taste your ice-cream at “Il Pinguino" or "Il Molo” , a small bar opposite the quay. The promenade is very pleasant and a favourite place for families on Saturday afternoon and a must for joggers early in the morning. On the quay also start round boat trips to visit the coast. Sometimes historic sailing boat are anchored there.
Free parking around the apartment is generally available but not guaranteed at peak periods or peak hours. If you prefer to have your private parking place and you have a compact rather short car, we can provide you with a garage at minus 1 of the same building. In the city centre you will need a parking permit (daily -24 hours : 10 Euro or Euro 1.50 per hour).
The apartment is available for weekly, fortnight, monthly rent.
English-speaking representative on hand to answer questions.
Departure time is 10 a.m. Arrival in the afternoon around 4 p.m.
We provide sheets and home towels at the cost of e.10 per person per week.
A sum of euro 50 is requested at your departure for final cleaning costs.
The penthouse is suitable for elderly guests provided they don't suffer climbing two floors of steps.
Smoking is allowed only on the terrace.
The Lazio region
The coast between Terracina (Circeo) and Formia is linked to Ulysses, Eneas and the Romans. The latter appreciated its mild climate and beauty and had their summer mansions built there. In 1957 impressive statues from emperor Tiberius' mansion were discovered in a sea grotto half way between Sperlonga and Gaeta and later exhibited at the National Archeological Museum along the via Flacca. Gaeta (20,700 inhabitants) whose name originates from Aeneas' nurse Caieta is located on the promontory of Mount Orlando (now Regional Park) and has always held a strategic position which made it a fortress inhabited by Normans, French, Spanish dominations. You will see medieval walls, doors and a castle. Gaeta's catholic inheritance is still present in many outstanding churches and paintings but also in religious events (on the second Sunday of August a big procession worships the Madonna of Porto Salvo: the statue is carried on a fishing boat to bless the gulf of Gaeta) and local pilgrimages (to the Sanctuary of the Split Mountain). Different dominations, especially the Spanish and the French left an interesting cooking inheritage, which is especially evident in pastries and cakes (f.e. in Gaeta you can find the best "baba" cakes (originally coming from French "Brillat Savarin" recipes as well as the Sicilian pastry called "cannoli alla siciliana" originally from Spanish cooking tradition). Visit the many "pasticceria" present on the territory. My favourite one is "Stenta" where only by stepping in you are taken into a paradisiac world of flavours and elegance! .
On foot you can visit the medieval town, the fish market, the port, Serapo beach, Mount Orlando with the impressive funeral tomb of Roman general Lucio Munazio Planco (1 century B.C.), the Sanctuary of the Split Mountain. On wednesday morning don't miss the local open-air market .There are food festivals (in May and October), concerts (mainly in July ), night life and music (in August).
By car , at less than an hour drive, you can visit Montecassino Abbey, the Sanctuary of Madonna della Civita, Minturno and its Roman amphitheatre, the fishermen village of Sperlonga, the National Archeological Museum and many other villages of interest (Terracina, Fondi, Campo di Mele, Maranola, Itri).
If you are interested in swimming or just sunbathing, you have only the difficulty of choice: apart from Serapo beach at walking distance, you can go to Ariana beach, Arenauta beach, San Vito beach or even farther towards Sperlonga beaches (12 kms away).
If you want to make a one-day tour, visit either Naples or Pompei, or one of the islands (Capri, Ischia, Ponza, Ventotene). The ferry for Ponza and Ventotene leaves just 5 kms away from the house, at the Formia port.
If you are interested in deep sea diving, join the official diving team and discover the beauty of the blue sea reserve in front of the Split Mountain. You can also do free climbing, or just cycling... Children will enjoy the Acqua Park in Itri and later you will taste Itri's famous olive oil products (egg-plants, paprikas and others)