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San Felice Circeo

 

 

 

  

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From a distance, Monte Circeo could easily be mistaken for an island, however it is in fact a limestone promontory and mountain which rises up to a height of 541 meters at the far end of the wide sweeping sandy bay stretching from Terracina.  

 

 

 

San Felice Circeo takes its name from Classical Greek mythology, as Homer in his work the “Odyssey” described this as the location where the hero Ulysses found himself enchanted by the goddess and sorceress Circe.  She is said to have transformed his fellow seafaring companions into a herd of pigs, however Ulysses was spared as the God Mercury had gifted him a flower that offered protection against Circe’s magical powers.

 

The first colony  was founded by members of  the Volsci tribe before being taken over by the Romans. Wealthy Statesmen and Emperors, such as Domiziano, built summer villas in this area. There is an impressive archaeological site with the remains of a Villa dating from 1AD, and a water cistern, a small theatre, a gymnasium, a swimming pool and thermal spa.

 

A steep winding road, passing through verdant woodlands,  leads up to a plateau, which was the site of the ancient acropolis of Circeii.

 

Here there are the remains of 3 circles of fortified walls that guarded the city, constructed of tightly fitting cyclopean / polygonal blocks of limestone. On the highest peak stood an ancient temple dedicated to the goddess Circe or Venus.  From the mount there are extensive views of the gulf stretching towards Terracina, Sperlonga and Gaeta, the Pontine Islands and, in the direction, the Pontine Plain, Saubaudia and its lakes.  

 

 

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CONTENTS

Home

Sperlonga

Itri

Gaeta

Formia

Maranola

Trivio

Castellonorato

Spigno Saturnia

Minturno

SS Cosma e Damiano

Castelforte

Suio Terme

Fondi

Monte San Biagio

Lenola

Pastena

Pico

Campodimele

Terracina

San Felice Circeo

Sabaudia

Sonnino

Priverno

Fossanova

Sermoneta

Sezze

Ninfa

Norma

Anzio & Nettuno

Pontine Islands

Cassino & Montecassino

Caserta

Atina, & Val di Comino

 

 

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