Among all the villages that Lazio has to offer, San Felice Circeo holds a special place for us, for its Mediterranean atmosphere that immediately makes you think of summer.
In the province of Latina, on the Circeo Promontory and under the protection of the National Park of the same name, one of the most important naturalistic areas in Italy is the town of San Felice Circeo, a renowned seaside destination that has been awarded the Blue Flag for years, together with other towns along the Lazio coast.
An area rich in history, myths, which enjoys a beautiful sea where many VIPs refreshment during their summer vacations.
Mount Circeo, with its very recognizable profile, has always inspired myths and legends.
Homer, in the Odyssey, calls it Eea Island and, in fact, seen from the sea, or from the surrounding shores, the promontory really looks like an island.
In this place, stands the home of Circe, the charming sorceress daughter of Helios and Perseide.
Legend has it that Ulysses reached the island of Eea and, noticing smoke coming from Circe's house, sent some of his men on a patrol. Arrived at the palace, they are welcomed by the sorceress, who invites them to a banquet, but as soon as they taste the food, they fall victims of a spell.
Ulysses runs to their rescue, but, warned by the god Hermes, takes an antidote against the potions of the sorceress.
Circe, cornered, dissolves the previous spell.
The hero, bewitched by her beauty, remains in the palace for an entire year, before leaving for Ithaca.
The charm of the legend, still today, surrounds San Felice Circeo; its history, however, is no less interesting.
A very ancient history that begins with Neanderthal men.
The Circeo Promontory has an interesting coast, full of caves and ravines, some of which have become famous for the discovery of fossil species and a skull belonging to a Neanderthal man (Guattari Cave).
In 1939, some workers working inside the Cave a few hundred meters away from the Tyrrhenian coast, found the remains of a "humanoid" skull. At first glance, in fact, the skull seemed to have different dimensions than those of a normal human head. Subsequent investigations showed that the suspicions were well-founded: it was not a skull of Homo sapiens, but of homo neanderthalensis.
The investigations carried out in the following years have allowed to find other bones dating back to the Neolithic and belonged, probably, to the components of a Neanderthal clan lived between 70 thousand and 55 thousand years ago on the coast of the Pontine coast. An exceptional discovery, which has allowed us to confirm that the whole of central Italy was populated by Neanderthals long before the arrival (or, more likely, at the same time) of the first families of Homo sapiens.
Recently, fossil finds have emerged attributable to 9 individuals of Neanderthal man, of which 8 can be dated between 50 thousand and 68 thousand years ago and one, the oldest, can be dated between 100 thousand and 90 thousand years ago.
With the other two individuals found in the past in the same place, there are a total of 11 individuals found in Guattari Cave, which in this way confirms itself as one of the most significant sites in the world for the history of Neanderthal man.
San Felice is one of the four municipalities that are part of the Circeo National Park, a protected area established in 1934 that includes the promontory, the dunes and the wetlands.
Certainly the promontory is the symbol of the whole park, characterized by a side consisting of a forest and a side marked by Mediterranean scrub, and for lovers of slow tourism can not miss the walks along the trekking routes that allow the discovery of the promontory.
And for lovers of the sea?
In San Felice Circeo there are beaches for all tastes. The area of the promenade is suitable for children and for those who love comfort with sandy and equipped beaches, the closer you get to the mountain and the more the water becomes transparent, we refer to the reef of Quarto Caldo del Promontorio, the side most exposed to the south. Arriving there from Via del Faro, where you arrive after having passed the historical center, we find in that area several accesses to the sea. There are no organized structures, but only uncontaminated nature.
Another destination not to be missed is the one known as the RINASCENTE, convenient to lay down to sunbathe, and continuing a little further you can reach the path that leads to the GROTTA DELLE CAPRE where you can dive surrounded by an intimate environment, hardly crowded.
It is no coincidence that many celebrities choose this area as a vacation home or more simply to escape the chaos of the city and regenerate.
The first of all, the diva who led the way here, building her marvelous villa perched on the mountain at Punta Rossa in the 1950s, was Anna Magnani. Magnani's relationship with the Circeo was one of pure love, so much so that her son Luca brought the actress's remains here.
Once you could meet famous names of Italian cinema as Alberto Sordi and Bertolucci to Verdone, Castellitto and Barbarossa....
Today the VIPs that we normally find in the area are models, television starlets, social influencers, since times have changed, but also stylists, sports champions, prosecutors, and great financiers.
For some years we have seen many footballers on which the couple Francesco Totti and Ilary Blasi naturally stands out, who have had their home in nearby Sabaudia for years, where they take the children to the free beach.
There are many celebrities that we consider to be "at home" in this area, perhaps because they are struck by the beauty of the views, the glamorous charm that characterizes the nightlife, the hospitality and discretion of the citizens, but many of them have chosen this location as their "Buen retiro" (home).
Obviously, the typical cuisine of San Felice Circeo is based on tasty seafood dishes, prepared according to the catch of the day.
Fresh fish, but not only. Among dairy products to be tried are caciotta, buffalo mozzarella and bresaola with a particular condiment of garlic, juniper, orange peel, pepper and wine.
And speaking of wine, in the glass cannot miss the characteristic Circeo red DOC, a Montegiove or a Cannellino.
We have told only a "small" part of what is really this place of a thousand colors and a thousand characteristics and facets, but unfortunately the emotions can not be written, the smell of the sea has no words, and only what the eyes can see to get excited does not have the right reward ...