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ANZIO, Province of Roma, Lazio

Anzio is a harbor and resort on the coast south of Rome. Well known for its beautiful seaside harbor setting, it is a fishing port popular with tourists and a departure point for a ferry and hydroplanes to the Pontine Islands of Ponza, Palmarola and Ventotene. Anzio is also notable as the site of an Allied forces landing (Operation Shingle) and ensuing four-month battle (Anzio Campaign) during World War II.

Info

  • Altitude: 3 m a.s.l
  • Population: about 55,000 inhabitants in 2010
  • Zip/postal code: 00042
  • Dialing Area Code: +39 06
  • Patron Saint: St Antony of Padua, celebrated on 4th June
  • Frazioni & Localities: Anzio Colonia, Cincinnato, Falasche, Lavinio Stazione, Lavinio Mare, Lido dei Gigli, Lido dei Pini, Lido delle Sirene, Marechiaro, Villa Claudia
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Provinces of Lazio

History

Called Antium in ancient times, it was the capital of the Volsci people until it was conquered by the Romans in the year 468 BC. The patrician Coriolanus was exiled to Antium (where Shakespeare sets several scenes in his tragedy), and at Antium found himself at the head of the Volscian forces. After the last unsuccessful revolt, it was razed and colonized in 338 BC; the beaks of the ships of Antium decorated the tribune in the Roman forum that became known because of their presence as the tribuna rostrata. During the Social War, Antium took the side of Lucius Cornelius Sulla, and so was sacked by the troops of Gaius Marius, in 87 BC.

Afterwards, at the end of the Roman republic, Antium became a preferred maritime residence of the patrician Romans, just within reach of a day's travel, just far enough to be insulated from the riots and tumults of Rome. When Cicero returned from exile, it was at Antium that he reassembled the battered remains of his libraries, where the scrolls would be secure. Leading Romans built magnificent seaside villas. Mecenus had a villa at Antium; both Emperor Caligula and Nero were born in Antium; the ruins of the latter's villa can still be seen today. The Fanciulla d'Anzio, the Borghese Gladiator (Louvre Museum) and the Apollo Belvedere in the Vatican were all discovered in the ruins of villas at Anzio.

Of the villas, the most famous was the Villa of Nero at Antium which extended along the coast of the Capo d'Anzio some 800 meters of seafront. Nero razed the former villa on the site, where Augustus had received a delegation from Rome to acclaim him Pater patriae ("Father of his Country") to rebuild on its foundations a villa on a more imperial scale, which was used by each Emperor in turn, up to the Severans.

What to see

  • The Commonwealth Anzio War Cemetery and Beach Head War Cemetery.

Where to stay