Gaeta: A Bay of Naples in miniature

Gaeta, ItalyAbout half-way between Rome and Naples, just at the edge of the Italian region of Lazio, lies the seaside city of Gaeta. Gaeta is situated in a dramatic bay, reminding visitors of a miniature Bay of Naples. The Orlando Mountain rises just behind it.

An important seaport, Gaeta has a long and rich history, spanning back to Ancient Rome. Its medieval center is stunning and well-preserved, with its imposing Arogonese castle, winding streets, pretty bell towers and churches. Gaeta is also the site of a NATO Naval base.

Gaeta, ItalyFor lovers of the classics, according to Virgil, Gaeta was named after Caieta – wet nurse to the hero Aeneas. She is said to have been buried here.

A walk around the winding streets of the medieval quarter is an enjoyable way to view the pretty architecture and views.

Gaeta, ItalyThere are surprises around every corner, like this lovely 12th century bell tower.

The fish market is a must-visit destination. It’s set just across the street from the bay where the fishing boats return with the day’s catch. Wander the stalls – many open late into the evening – this in itself might be the highlight of a trip to Gaeta.

Close to Naples, Gaeta is also a good place to buy the excellent mozzarella di bufala, mozzarella made with milk from the water buffalo from the neighboring region of Campania and the calorie-laden, mouth-watering Neapolitan desserts.

Gaeta, ItalyShops abound in the winding streets of the “new town” near the port and the fish market.

Gaeta can be easily combined with the beautiful seaside town of Sperlonga. Sperlonga is just a short distance north and, if you are staying there, Gaeta would be a great place to spend an afternoon and evening, eating dinner at one of the town’s many seafood restaurants located just along the bay.


  1. ledrakenoir on September 3, 2013 at 9:41 am

    Great post – interesting part of Italy and the italian history… 🙂

    • kimberlysullivan on September 3, 2013 at 5:30 pm

      Definitely, Le Drake. And don’t forget an important area for Italy’s culinary history, too. : )

      • ledrakenoir on September 3, 2013 at 5:35 pm

        Agree, you’re right… 🙂

  2. wordfoolery on September 3, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    Sounds wonderful – I really think the Italian Tourist Board need to hire you to blog for them because you always make me want to hop on a plane to Italy.

    • kimberlysullivan on September 3, 2013 at 5:31 pm

      Thanks, Grace. Now THERE would be a great job. : )

  3. chillcat on September 4, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    Mmm looks lovely! Yes I can see you working with the Italian tourist board.. and doing lots of morning writing over the bay. Gosh can’t wait till Matera. My book launch for ‘Pelt’ is next week! We have lots to catch up on.. Ciao cat

    • kimberlysullivan on September 6, 2013 at 8:32 am

      Oops, now you got me daydreaming. Some nice villa in Capri would be nice. Want to split this fantasy job? Auguri for your short story collection. How exciting! Can’t wait to catch up in Matera!

Leave a Comment