Even a beach holiday can turn into a wonderful experience to discover the treasures of Lazio. Here is another fantastic idea for a Tour near Rome to book with Italy Where Else or to do it yourself: The Ancient Temple of Jupiter in Terracina.
Last summer we spent the last two weeks of July on holiday in Terracina, a charming seaside resort south of Lazio, in the province of Latina. We stayed in a hotel not far from the coast with the idea of going to the beach every day. But we did not want to give up the opportunity to visit the historical and most evocative sites of the place, to which we have dedicated weekends.
Our first goal was the Temple of Jupiter Anxur on Monte Sant’Angelo, in an area also known as Terracina Alta.
Getting to the Temple is not difficult; you can walk an uphill path that leads to the mountain or, alternatively, you can take public transport or car. We opted for the arrival in the car and then continue the last stretch on foot.
Once arrived at the top we were amazed by the beautiful landscape. The bases of the Temple stand out against an incredible background overlooking the sea that overlooks the Gulf of Gaeta and the Promontory of Circeo.
Surprised by the incredible landscape, we then entered the archaeological site and purchased four tickets at a cost of 6 euros for adults and only 3 euros for children.
The visit was without the guide, but in every room there were panels with information and curiosities that somehow compensated for the absence of the guide. Here we have learned that the name Anxur, with which this Temple is still called today, was the one with which the area was known before the conquest of the Romans.
After the visit began, we found ourselves facing the foundations of a Temple built thousands of years ago on three levels. The remaining walls are long as far as the eye can see and have 12 open arches on each side. We walked the narrow corridors marked by the arches and we found ourselves in a majestic environment. The light alternated with the shadows and the spectacular thing was to realize that we were overlooking the sea below.
The arcades continued on three sides and we all walked them. Some reconstructions, posted at the end of the route, showed us how the Temple was at the peak of its splendor.
Another striking aspect that we have learned is that this was not only a pagan place of worship but an oracle dedicated to “Jupiter unobtrusive“. In the end we arrived right in the heart of the structure, at the center of the first level.
Here we see a conduit that was used by those who went to the sacred place to ask for a prediction about the future. Under the floor of the environment there was, however, an underground area (now not accessible) in which the priests interpreted it before giving the response on the fate of the adventurer.
The sensation felt inside the Temple of Jupiter remains incomparable. The sense of sacredness and peace and the union between architecture and nature that infuse these walls are unique. We also discovered, reading the panels outside, that the whole area has recently been declared a natural monument.
In fact, the impression was precisely that of being at the presence of a monumental complex of immense proportions never seen before.
So, after finishing the visit, we hesitated a little before leaving. We still took some pictures and savored for a few more moments, the one we had just seen.
It was almost 6 pm when we finished our journey. But, before leaving, we asked at the ticket office if it was possible to come back to visit the site with a guide. We were told that, by reservation, it is possible to take a comprehensive guided tour.