Famous for the ruins of a summer retreat of Roman emperor Tiberius, this Latina coastal town also has beautiful beaches and a quaint historic quarter.
Sperlonga sits at the foot of the Aurunci Mountains, backed by green hills and overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea. Bathe in the warm waters of Sperlonga along a coastline made up of long sweeps of golden sand and isolated bays. Marvel at the artistic talents of the Romans at an ancient ruin and museum. Escape into the countryside for hiking and wildlife spotting.
The remnants of Villa of Tiberius, the one-time retreat of emperor Tiberius, will give you an idea of the lavish life of the ancient Romans. Walk between the ruined walls, see fish ponds and spot the Grotto of Tiberius, where the emperor is thought to have entertained guests. Within the complex, the National Archaeological Museum of Sperlonga has a fascinating exhibition of oversized and elaborate sculptures unearthed at the villa. Many celebrate the mythological story of the Homeric hero Odysseus.
Spend time meandering around Sperlonga's Centro Storico, a cluster of narrow cobblestone lanes, stone archways and twisting staircases. Find antique shops, boutiques, tavernas and wine bars set inside stacked whitewashed houses. Piazza Fontana and Belvedere Sperlonga offer nice sea views. More great views await at Torre Truglia, a defensive tower set above Sperlonga Port.
Take advantage of Sperlonga’s coastal location by visiting dozens of beautiful beaches. Lido Blumarine, Lido Le Tre Conchiglie and Lido Beluga form part of an almost uninterrupted stretch of sand to Terracina. Lido Grotta dei Delfini sits in the shadow of the old town. Dramatic cliffs tower over Bazzano Beach and Bambole Beach on the way to Gaeta.
For a break from the coastline, travel inland to Parco Naturale dei Monti Aurunci. Miles of hiking and biking routes traverse landscapes traveled since ancient times by shepherds and monks, on route to the Abbey of Montecassino.
Sperlonga is located in the Province of Latina about halfway between Rome and Naples. Catch a train to Fondi-Sperlonga then use the local bus service from there. Or, rent a car and cruise along scenic coastal roads.