22 Route 2.
of Apollo, said to have been founded by Cicero. Within the pre¬
cincts of the now royal Villa Caposela, below Castellone, where
there is a singularly beautiful *view of the town and fortress of
Gaeta, are situated the remains of Cicero's Villa, which derived
its name Formianum from the neighbouring village of Formiae,
now Mola di Gaeta (Villa di Cicerone, above the town, with
magnificent view). Homer, too, has contributed to immortalize
this spot. He describes F'ormia; as the place where Ulysses was
so inhospitably received by the Lsstrygones.
The traveller is strongly recommended to make an excursion
from Mola di Gaeta to Gaeta itself, 6 M. distant. The road along
the shore by Borgo as far as the fortress, and the view of the
harbour with the lighthouse and the wide expanse of sea, present
one of the most exquisite scenes in Italy.
Gaeta, the Caieta of the ancients, situated at the base of a
projecting mountain, and possessing a secure harbour, was cele¬
brated in antiquity for its beautiful and sequestered environs.
Here, according to tradition, was interred Caieta, the nurse of ^Eneas.
It was a favourite resort of many celebrated Romans, the fragments of
whose villas still strew the shore; among other names those of Scipio and
Laelius may be mentioned. After the fall of Rome a small remnant of
resolute combatants rallied here and for centuries withstood the attacks of
the Lombards and Saracens. The Normans then gained possession of the
place, which, however, up to the present day has maintained its reputation
for strength and endured many a protracted siege. Thus in 1504 Gonsalvo
da Cordova at length succeeded in gaining possession of it; in 1806 the
German Prince of Hessen, aided by the English fleet, here maintained
himself for nearly 6 months against the superior forces of the French under
Massena; and finally in Nov. 1860, king Francis II. of Naples, with his
queen Mary of Bavaria, bravely defended himself for four months against
the superior power of Sardinia under Cialdini. In Gaeta Pope Pius IX.
sought refuge when banished from Rome by the revolution, in Nov., 1848,
and did not return to his dominions till April, 1850.
The situation of Gaeta, in its groves of lemons and oranges,
is of unparalleled beauty; the town itself (14,000 inhab.) contains
few objects of interest. The Cathedral contains the banner which
pope Pius V. presented to Don Juan of Austria after the victory
of Lepanto. A pillar in the town is inscribed with the names of
the 12 winds in Greek and in Latin. On the extremity of the
promontory, within the present citadel, stands conspicuously the
* Tomb of L. Munatius Plancus, commonly called La Torre d'Or¬
lando , in the same style as that of Caecilia Metella at Rome.
Remains of an amphitheatre, a theatre, a temple and of the villas
of Scaurus and Hadrian are also visible.
About 28 51. to the S. W. of Gaeta, whence they are distinctly visible,
are situated the islands of Ponza (the Pontia of the ancients, a Roman
colony and place of banishment), known as the scene of the victory of the
fleet of l>nke Robert of Calabria under Ruggiero di Loria over the Sicilians