Sperlonga is one of the most beautiful villages on the coast of Southern Lazio. It will welcome you among sandy beaches, caves and Roman villas.
Among the beautiful villages that dot the Riviera di Ulisse, the southernmost part of the Latium coast, lies Sperlonga, a small treasure in the province of Latina.
Located halfway between Rome and Naples, the village lies within the Regional Park of the Ulysses Riviera, considered one of the most evocative and relaxing places in the world. From Gaeta to Formia, it draws a landscape of imposing cliffs, deep clear waters, fine sandy beaches, caves, Mediterranean vegetation and archaeological sites from Roman times.
This fairytale scenario enchants all types of tourists, from trekking enthusiasts to hikers, from sea lovers to those who love Roman culture and history.
Let us take a detailed look at what Sperlonga has to offer.
Sperlonga: essential info
Being halfway between Rome and Naples, Sperlonga is easily reached by plane by landing in either of these two cities. Once there, it is possible to reach the village by train in just over an hour, taking the Rome/Naples line; the station of arrival is Fondi-Sperlonga, which is 12 km from the historic centre, well connected by regular buses coinciding with train arrivals.
It is also possible to rent a car at the airport to reach Sperlonga with more independence: by taking the A1/E45 Rome-Naples motorway, it will be enough to take the 'Cassino' exit if you are coming from the south, while it will be necessary to take the 'Frosinone' exit if you are coming from the north, then taking the direction of Sperlonga via Terracina.
What to see in Sperlonga
Among the Most beautiful Villages in Italy for its spectacular fusion of nature, spontaneous architecture and great archaeology from the Roman era, Sperlonga has also been awarded the Blue Flag for its beautiful sandy beaches.
Most beautiful beaches
Sperlonga's rocky coastline embraces the Mediterranean Sea and offers crystal-clear water, fine, clear sand and perfect currents that ensure the water is always perfect. The offer ranges from public to private beaches, also suitable for families and children.
Among the most famous are the Canzatora and Salette Beaches, equipped with every comfort and very popular, especially in high season.
A special mention goes to the Fontana Beach, or Sorgente Beach, due to the presence of a pool that collects spring water, fresh and drinkable, which then reaches the beach. A stone's throw from the town centre, the Fontana also offers a restaurant with tables right on the sand, which will satisfy you both at lunch and dinner.
The most beautiful beaches with even clearer water can be found on the other side of the promontory (on the eastern side): among them, the Angolo Beach is a wonderful place that you absolutely must visit, just before the Grotta di Tiberio (Tiberius Cave).
The old town and its towers
As already mentioned, Sperlonga is part of the association 'Borghi più belli d'Italia' (Italy's most beautiful villages), and a walk through the historical centre will give you proof of this. Wandering through its milky white streets, stairways and houses of the village all whitewashed to keep the heat of the sun at bay.
The village has a typical medieval structure and wraps itself around the promontory of San Magno, becoming one with the rock; this structure was functional to defend against attacks by sea, which were announced with smoke signals thanks to the tall towers, present all along the coast of southern Lazio.
There are four towers in Sperlonga: the Torre Centrale (Central Tower) and the Torre del Nibbio (Kite Tower) are now incorporated between the houses of the town, giving it a perched and winding appearance. The Truglia Tower, on the other hand, stands sheer above the sea: erected in 1532, it was rebuilt several times due to its destruction first by pirates and then by the Turks. From its terrace, which is always accessible, it is possible to admire the entire coast of Sperlonga, a panorama so suggestive that today civil unions are also held there. the tower can be visited on request.
The fourth tower, that of Capovento, is 3 km from the town centre and will amaze you with its magical cliffs.
For the most beautiful panoramic view of Sperlonga, a stop at the harbour is highly recommended: among the piers and floating docks that are perfectly set among the splendid beaches, it is worth stopping to admire the view of the village, among boats, crystal-clear water and the promontory on which the white walls of the town stand out.
Tiberius' Villa and Cave
A ten-minute drive from the centre of Sperlonga you can enter one of the largest sea caves and ravines that dot Sperlonga's rocky coastline, the Grotta di Tiberio (Tiberius Cave). Ancient sources identify the Roman ruins outside the cave, which are part of Sperlonga's National Archaeological Museum, with the villa of Emperor Tiberius; inside, the emperor used to hold small banquets sheltered from the summer heat, and there was a scenic swimming pool, fountains and alcove.
History also links this place to Ulysses, since some of the objects that came to light during excavations recall the legend of the mythical king of Ithaca, protagonist of Homer's Odyssey.
5 things to do in and around Sperlonga
As you have read, Sperlonga truly has everything that can engage travellers in an authentic experience: beaches, crystal-clear waters, a milky white village and renowned archaeological sites.
So here are 5 ideas to make your trip even more unforgettable:
- boat excursion to admire the village from a privileged position, or to reach nearby Gaeta along the coast, in the Riviera d'Ulisse Regional Park. Some excursions include stops at the most famous caves and allow several caves to be combined.
- scuba diving to discover the seabed.
- excursion to the Grotta delle Bambole from the nearby port of Gaeta: a cave that can only be reached by sea and is characterised by numerous rock formations of stalactites and stalagmites with bizarre shapes. For those who love marine fauna, snorkelling will also be possible. The departure of the excursion on a characteristic gozzo takes place at the port of Gaeta and lasts 1½ hours.
- cycling in Terracina: the city 20 km from Sperlonga offers a long cycle path along the sea refreshed by the shade of palm trees, ideal for a relaxing excursion