In Roman mythology, Caieta was the wet-nurse of Aeneas. The Roman poet Vergil locates her grave on the bay at Gaeta, to which she also gives her name. Rising on the spur of Monte Orlando is Gaeta, a maritime republic and holiday resort area since ancient Roman times, as evidenced by various vestiges remaining in the territory.
Today’s Gaeta is a bathing resort of the middle Tyrrhenian. The village, “Borgo”, developed upon initiatives of fishermen and small farmers, winds along Via Indipendenza, with its abundance of small typical shops. Between S.Erasmo and the “Borgo”, one finds the post-war settlement.
The urban layout of old Gaeta is typically medieval and set around the majestic Anjou-Aragon Castle, made up of two structures, on which cylindrical towers and truncated cone-like keeps stand out. Here one finds typical narrow streets, communication trenches, Norman bell towers and walls that form the S.Erasmo district. There are many houses of worship of artistic and cultural value: the Cathedral of S.Erasmo, with bountiful paintings and 17th century works and the Norman bell tower; the churches of SS.ma Annunziata, with the adjacent Golden Grotto, S.Giovanni a Mare, the Sorresca, S.Francesco and S.Domenico.
Not far from this district is the Sanctuary of the SS.ma Trinità set onto Monte Orlando, a protected area inside the Regional Park of the Riviera of Ulysses, which overlooks a stretch of the sea declared a Blue Oasis. Within the area of the Sanctuary, one must not miss seeing the Grotto of the Turk and cleft in the rock, so called Split Mountain, both linked to Christian beliefs. Near these symbols are numerous historic-cultural sites, such as the Mausoleum of L.Munatius Plancus, the Diocesan and Piety Museum of the Park of the Aurunci, the Archaeological Museum and Picture Gallery of Old Town”Gaeta”.
For centuries, in the province of Latina, but not exactly in the Pontine Marshes, a special type of olive has been farmed; it is called “itrana” because it originates from lands in the vicinity of Itri, an inland town not far from the sea, and rather close to Terracina, Gaeta and Sperlonga.
A setting so favourable for Itri olives has seen the establishment of the DOP (Protected Designation of Origin) “Colline Pontine”. This production is obtained 50% from Itri olives, with the other 50% coming from the Frantoio and Leccino varieties.
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