Not only breathtaking views, challenging trails and amazing food, but also archeological and historical roots of the area which date back to Prehistory and to the mythical travels of Ulysses. Discover all this by visiting the National Circeo Park, in the South of Lazio!
One of the most ancient protected areas in Italy, the National Park of Circeo owes its uniquess to its position and its history: occupying the strip of coastal land of Southern Lazio, from Anzio to Terracina, it was established in the mid 30s to preserve the Pontine Marshes, which were being drained at the time.
As it is located in a totally plain area, the most eminent feature of the Park is the Promontory of Circe: a 541-metre-high calcareous elevation, whose silhouette has always been stimulating human fantasy, depicting it as a dwelling of gods, sorceresses, and heroes. According to the myth, Ulysses arrived at today’s Cala dei Pescatori on Lake Paola and with his companions fell victim of Circe’s spell, which transformed them into pigs. Tradition has it that the enchantress’s profile would be reflected in the mountain’s silhouette, nowadays the symbol of the Park and of the whole Agro Pontino.
However, the history of this territory can be tracked back even further. The several archeological sites from Grotta delle Capre to Grotta del Fossellone are witnesses of human presence already 75 thousand years ago, as proved by the discovery of perfectly preserved skull of a Neanderthal man in Guattari Cave. Moreover, if you are also a fan of ancient Romans, here you will find places that suits your interests: the Emperor Domitian’s Villa, the Ara di Circe, the Acropolis and the Lucullus’s Well.
Besides the archeological sites, the Park offers a variety of itineraries to explore on foot or by bike, alone or in organized groups, for a quiet walk in the woods through the path Selva di Circe, or for a challenging work out up until the Promontory, through the hiking trail and the Coastal Road.
Afterwards, you may reward yourself with the rich and varied culinary tradition of this territory. Buffalo cold cuts and meat are one of the excellences of the region, together with cheese and mozzarella made with their milk; Roman artichokes from Lazio PGI and Latina Kiwi PGI, together with pine nuts of the Lazio Coast are well known all over the country; moving to desserts, the abundant presence of Eucalyptus allows beekeeping which generates Eucalyptus Honey from the Pontina Plain, often accompanied by Terracina Strawberries and Sezze Biscuits. Finally, the Circeo area is a perfect choice even for wine lovers: the DOP Circeo Wine is definitely the symbol of Lazio in the wine sector, produced in nationally renowned wineries, namely Sant’Andrea and Casale del Giglio.
If you are an adventure seeker, passionate about history, archeology and good food, or maybe just looking for a fun hiking trail and nice spots to take pictures, not even 2 hours away from Rome the Circeo National Park is the perfect place for you!