ARCHAELOGY

Though a young town, Sabaudia offers the possibility of visiting historical sites, and in particular prehistoric and Roman remains.

Numerous finds have been made during the centuries in the  southern part of the Pontine plain, the most important of which remains the discovery of a Neandethal man skull in the Guattari Cave on Mount Circeo in 1939. With the expansion  of the Roman Empire, the area around Paola’s lake  witnessed a flourish of building: villas, a necropolis, bridges, roads and walls. Patricians spent their holydays here, fascinated by the beauty and tranquillity of the landscape. Emperor Domiziano built a majestic villa in the locality of Palazzo (81-96 a.C.).

Within the building are situated: a small theatre, a gymnasium, a swimming-pool, collective facilities, and a bathing area with an annexed thermal spa. During the excavation of 1700 a beautiful statue of Apollo (today in the Kassel Museum, Germany) and one of a Satyr playing flute (in the Vatican Museum) were found.

Nearby Domiziano’s Villa (on the south-east  side of lake Paola) are the remains of the Casarina, a Roman Villa converted into a convent in medieval times. Along the road that takes you to Torre Paola is the Piscina Lucullo, a pool for breeding fish. Roman Colombari (rows of niches in a cemetery) are within immediate reach. Directly beside the 17th  century Torre Paola, is the port-canal that connects the lake to the sea. It was initiated by Nero in his outstanding plan to join Rome to Naples through  the use of coastal lakes and canals. 26 metres high on the Mount  Circeo, overlooking the lake and the sea, is Torre Paola, ordered by Pope Paul III as part of a defensive system which involved the entire coast of the ancient  Papal State.  Further west, behind the promontory of the Casarina, is the Lucullo mineral spring, situated in a cave in the middle of a wooded depression, which is of great visual impact. Again  on lake Paola, but near the centre of town, is the medieval church of Santa Maria della Sorresca, a small edifice of the VI century, built on the remains of a Roman villa dating back to the 1st  century a.C.

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