La Grotta

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Sperlonga is a little gem located in the province of Latina, Lazio.

The small seaside town is famous for its whitewashed houses, narrow streets that often end in breath-taking terrace over the sea and stunning beaches.

The white sand shores, turquoise water and beautiful trees create a unique and luxurious scenario.

However due to its proximity with the Pontine Marshes for many years the town wasn’t very prosperous. The Romans connected Sperlonga with Rome by the Via Appia. Its grotto on the coast attracted the Emperor Tiberius who built a villa here. After the decline of the Roman Empire Tiberius’ residence became a refuge for the local population. The region was constantly under the attack of the Saracens. Many watchtowers were built in order to keep the locals safer. The city decline rich is high during the 16th century when Frederick Barbarossa attacked and destroyed the town.

Finally during the 18th and 19th centuries many rich residences were built in the Sperlonga’s area.

However only after the construction of the coastal road Via Flacca the city started to become a very popular touristic destination.

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Sperlonga most important cultural attraction is the Villa of Tiberius. The ruins of the villa were hidden for centuries; it was rediscovered in 1957 during the construction of Via Flacca. The villa was called La Grotta (the cavern) because its banqueting hall was located in a natural grotto. A museum was built where once stood the villa; the gorgeous statues found in the cave are now housed here.

Interesting is also the oldest church of Sperlonga: the former Church of Saint Mary built during the 12th century. Today the deconsecrated building is used to host cultural events and performances. While the edifice was restored years ago some beautiful medieval mosaics were discovered.