The City of Terracina is located in the “Agro Pontino” (a valley within the province of Latina), near to the mouth of the Amaseno river, on the Tyrrhenian coast of the Gaeta Gulf. The city is developed from the Monte Sant’Angelo, in the ridge of Monti Ausoni, where is located the old city center, until the seafront Circe. The town is an outdoor museum filled with artistic, architectural and archaeological wonders: the aforementioned piazza was once the Emilian Forum and is filled with remnants of Roman and Medieval times – from the stone paved ground, which has been in use for 2000 years, the Romanesque cathedral with its preciously decorated portico and interior with five naves, the Roman amphitheater and the Gothic Palazzo Venditti to the Romanesque Bell Tower and Torre Frumentario (wheat tower), now home to the “Pio Capponi” Civic Archaeology Museum.
The historic city centre of Terracina stands on two hills facing the sea: the lower one was the place where the first inhabitants lived, while the higher one, called the hill of San Francesco, became the seat of the acropolis. We have some information about the origin of the place through literary documents. Terracina became an important town both thanks to the Via Appia, which linked the town to Rome in a shorter time, and the building of its port. The town became a famous agricultural centre after the intensive method of exploitation of the fertile west valley and it enlarged in the lower part near the sea.
The Middle Age is represented by the Cathedral dedicated to the patron St. Cesareo, Palazzo Venditti, the Torre dei Rosa, now the Civic Museum, and Castello Frangipane. Nearby are the 18th-century Palazzo Braschi and Palazzo della Bonifica, and the modern section with the Municipio, the town hall. Piazza del Municipio also offers a view of the two symbols of Terracina, the sea and the Temple of Jupiter Anxur (Natural Monument); the latter was part of the monumental complex of the ancient acropolis, situated on the top of Monte S.Angelo, which affords a breathtaking view of the entire gulf and the Pontine Islands; indeed, on especially clear days you can see the jewels of Campania, the islands of Ischia and Capri.
The modern town – which grew up around the Borgo Pio suburb, founded in the late 18th-century – also has some Roman ruins. These lie in the Porto di Traiano (Trajan’s Port), the Foro Severiano forum and the rock known as Pisco Montano, the southern gate of the city that the Emperor Trajan made to open the Appian Way to the sea.
Terracina is one of the largest cities on the Pontine coastline. Dominated by the evocative Temple of Jupiter Anxur, which has towered over the city beneath since the second century AD, Terracina boasts about 6 km of shoreline, with a wealth of beach facilities equipped with the finest services. Every year, the long, marvelous beach attracts visitors from every part of Italy and around the world, winding several kilometers to the north up to the promontory of San Felice Circeo, home to the park by that name, and south to Fondi. Terracina’s shoreline is flanked by towering palm trees, giving the landscape that exotic touch.