Although Gaeta is at its crowdiest during the Italian vacation month of August, there is also much to do and see during the rest of the year. Below are the main attractions that make the town worthwhile for a the average tourist.
Top 10 tourist attractions
Gaeta has seven beaches, which are generally cleaner than those of other towns on the Lazio coast. The best known beaches are Serapo and Sant’Agostino, the latter mainly because of surfing. The Lungomare is the long street that runs along the sea.
02. Santissima Annunziata Sanctuary & Golden Chapel
The “Golden Chapel” (Cappella d’Oro) is located in the Santuario della Santissima Annunziata. It is famous because the exiled Pope Pius IX pronounced the dogma of Mary’s Immaculate Conception here on December 8, 1854.
03. Gaeta Cathedral
The frequently restored Cattedrale dei Santi Erasmo e Marciano e di Santa Maria Assunta dates back to the 10th century and was built on an earlier construction.
04. Monte Orlando panoramic view
Monte Orlando is the name of the hill separating the historic part of Gaeta from the new part of the city. The top of this hill offers a magnificent view of the sea. The Mausoleum of Lucius Muniatus Plancus, dating back to 22 BC, is also located on Monte Orlando.
05. San Giovanni a Mare Church
The San Giovanni a Mare church has a beautifully decorated dome. The floor of this church is slightly sloping, since it was sometimes flooded during high tide and in this way the water could drain away again.
06. San Francesco Church
The Temple of St. Francis was built by the saint himself when he came to Gaeta to convert people. The current neo-Gothic version is substantially different from the one built in 1222.
07. Santissima Trinità Monastery, Grotta del Turco & Motagna Spaccate
From the Santuario della SS. Trinità monastery complex, one can walk to the Grotta del Turco to see, not only the cave itself, but also the Montagna Spaccate. This “Split Mountain” actually consists of a number of cliffs split from top to bottom.
08. Museo Diocesano
The Museo Diocesano is housed in the Palazzo de Vio. This former bishop’s palace houses works of art from the former Santa Lucia Church, among others. This 7th century church itself is being used as an exhibition hall, marketplace and concert hall.
The Castello Angioino-Aragonese towers over the city, but unfortunately cannot be visited because it houses an Italian army unit.
The Romanesque bell tower of Gaeta was built in 915. It was partly raised by using material from earlier constructions.