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About Gaeta

The genteel town of Gaeta is one of the most beautiful cities in southern Italy. This small town's ancient walls, narrow alleys and seven fabulous sandy beaches, lie in a magnificent location on a sparkling bay. And it's 'the' place to get a feel for the best of southern Italy - great food, friendly locals and a sense of history that ties it all together.

Once a defensive stronghold, this town is still partly fortified today. The imposing Angevine-Aragonese castle is currently used by the Italian military. Monte Orlando, the prominent hill separating new Gaeta from the old city, is an urban nature park with stunning views of the sea. Here you'll also find an ancient Roman Mausoleum and Split Mountain - the cliffs overlooking the sea are split from top to bottom.

In the very heart of the town is delightful Serapo Beach. And on Fontania beach you can see the ruins of an ancient Roman Villa. If you're looking for seafood, you've come to the right place. Most Gaeta restaurants specialise in dishes featuring local fish and shellfish. You'll also see plenty of the famous Gaeta olives - yes, this is where they come from! Don't miss the gelato at El Tiburon, at the far end of the old city.

 

Shore excursions in Gaeta

Please note: The shore excursions listed are typical for this port. The full programme of shore excursions available for your cruise will be displayed on Cruise Personaliser at least 12 weeks prior to departure.

Archaeological Treasures of Minturno

Activity high

Duration: 4 hours

Visit the Archaeological region of Minturno, and its antique village, during this half day excursion.

The Archaeological site of Minturno is located on the banks of the Garigliano River. The river is home to the Roman city of Minturno and the 19th century Bourbon Bridge ‘Real Ferdinando. This town boasts a strategic position, and for this reason it was conquered by the Romans who, after burning it to the ground, rebuilt it in 296 B.C. and took it as their colony.

The route of the ‘Antica Appia’, Regina Viarum of the time, crossed the town and constituted its main urban road, giving Minturno a considerable importance at a commercial level.

The Archaeological site offers the chance to visit the ancient theatre, temples, and thermal baths, as well as the Macellum (market) and the Forum (the ancient square) of the city. A remarkable exhibition of archaeological materials, stone inscriptions and statues can also be seen in the Museum.

After your tour the visit of the archaeological area, you’ll proceed to the antique medieval village of Minturno, where during the walking tour; you can admire the exterior of the Church of S Pietro and the Duchy Castle.

Essential information

This excursion operates by coach and on foot. A substantial amount of walking is involved on this tour, over cobblestones and uneven surfaces, Flat, comfortable, closed-toe walking shoes are essential.

Gaeta and Split Mountain

Activity high

Duration: 3½ hours

Explore the heart of Gaeta and discover the famous natural sea grotto named Split Mountain.

Along the south-western side of the Tyrrhenian coast there is a rock above the open sea marked by three big vertical fractures, this is Split Mountain. Split Mountain takes its name from a very old steadfast legend that the mountain developed 3 splits at the exact time that Christ died on the cross.

Follow your guide on a walking tour through the "Grotta del Turco" and walk down the steps carved in stone, to the staircase that leads to the split. The view from the terrace is breathtaking with the sparkling sea in the distance. You’ll pass a small chapel, built in the walls of the mountain. The extraordinary geological phenomenon and the constant religious tradition has made Split Mountain internationally famous and during the centuries it has been visited by Saints, Popes and Kings.

Afterwards, you’ll be introduced to the historical centre of Gaeta. Visit the Church of the Annunziata and neo-gothic Church of St Francesco, walk through the alleys of the Old Town and visit the castle, which dominates the whole medieval centre.

After your tour, you may remain in the town or return to the ship with your guide.

Essential information

A substantial amount of walking is involved on this tour, over uneven ground and steps. Flat, comfortable closed-toe walking shoes are essential. There are approximately 40 steps at Split Mountain to be negotiated.

Pompeii and Pizza

Activity highRefreshments included

Duration: 7 hours

Visit the archaeological excavations of Pompeii, a once flourishing civilisation, followed by a delicious slice of Pizza.

Take a guided walk through the rocky ruins of the excavated city of Pompeii, devastated by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. The baths and theatres, wrestling ground and the luxurious villas stand empty, yet there are many echoes of Pompeii's daily life; the wine jars are still set on the counter of the wine shop, the stepping stones are there to help you cross the street in the rainy season, and the mosaic floors and brilliant frescoes are a wonder to this very day. The plaster casts of the volcano's victims are particularly poignant and one can never forget the horrible events that brought life in Pompeii to an abrupt end.

Your guide will recount the fascinating story of Pompeii, its demise and how it has been miraculously excavated and restored over hundreds of years.

You’ll then enjoy a slice of Neapolitan pizza with Buffalo Mozzarella and tomatoes.

Essential information

This excursion operates by coach and on foot.A substantial amount of walking is required on this tour and surfaces are uneven and cobbled. Flat, comfortable walking shoes are essential. Pompeii is a vast and active archaeological site; therefore, it is not possible to determine which houses will be open in advance. Extremely dense traffic congestion can be anticipated and may affect the duration of the excursion.

Sperlonga and National Archaeological Museum

Activity mediumRefreshments included

Duration: 4¼ hours

Be enchanted by Sperlonga, a charming cliff top village, with white washed houses that look out to sea and enjoy a visit the National Archaeological Museum.

Take the coastal route to the National Archaeological Museum, which houses a treasure trove of thousands of ancient marble sculptures, which were found in a grotto in the grounds of the villa of the emperor of Tiberius. It is believed that the statues were placed amongst circular and rectangular basins used for breeding fish and plants.

After as short coach drive, you’ll arrive at Sperlonga, where you’ll follow your guide on a walking tour of the town, including the gates, the Church of St Mary of Speloncae and you’ll see the Truglia sightseeing tower.

Enjoy some free time for independent exploration, and before the return journey to Gaeta, you’ll stop for an aperitif, on the beach overlooking the sea.

Essential information

This tour operates by coach and on foot. A substantial amount of walking is involved in this tour over mainly even ground, however there are steps to negotiate at The Museum. Flat, comfortable, closed-toe walking shoes are essential.

The Abbey of Montecassino

Activity high

Duration: 4½ hours

Explore one of Europe’s oldest and beautiful Monasteries – the Abbey of Montecassino.

The Montecassino Monastery was founded by St Benedict in approximately 529 A,D, on the remnants of a pre-existing Roman fortification of the Municipum Casinum.

Around 577 A,D, the monastery was destroyed by the Longobards and in the 8th century it was rebuilt and then destroyed again when the Saracens invaded and burnt it down. Monastic life was only fully restored towards the middle of the 10th century, when it was built again and filled with beautiful manuscripts.

The 3rd destruction, caused by an earthquake, occurred in 1349. Many new additions and embellishments were made during its reconstruction and its imposing appearance was conserved until February 15th, 1944, during the final stages of World War II, when Montecassino happened to be in the firing line, and in only 3 hours it was once again reduced to a heap of debris under which many of the refugees residing there met their death. Reconstruction and decoration works took more than a decade and were exclusively financed by the Italian State.

During your visit of the Abbey you’ll see the Museum of the Cloister, Basilica and the cell of San Benedict.

After your guided visit of the Abbey, re join your coach, for the return drive to Gaeta.

Essential information

This excursion operates by coach and on foot.A substantial amount of walking is involved on this tour, over uneven ground and steps to negotiate. Flat, comfortable closed-toe walking shoes are essential.

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