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Villa Borghese, Nettuno
After a lazy and very enjoyable day at Anzio beach on Sunday with visitors from Rome then evening in the village centre among the street food markets excitement, we decided to head further afield today. We walked to the next town of Nettuno.
We couldn’t find an entrance to the enormous grounds of Villa Borghese but on the very edge was an open gate to a small park with a caretaker. We headed inside and were greeted by him then we played a game of Deer in the park, near the marquee set up for a special mass on Wednesday. When the caretaker was ready to leave on his scooter he asked us to close the gate afterwards then he rode 10m before parking outside the Catholic school opposite the park to Santa Barbara.
Nettuno exhibits more wealth than Anzio.
Nettuno has the feel of a weekend playground for Romans, with bars, clubs and private beaches.
The private beaches were setup for hundreds of visitors but because it’s Monday and not yet school holidays there were few people around
We entered the courtyard for this medieval castle but were told that the museum to the landing of the American forces was closed on Mondays.
I love this idea of using a packing create as a flower pot frame.
Our friends from Rome told us that Nettuno is popular because it has original city walls, an old town and bars. The city walls and the old town look medieval at the oldest and we didn’t see any sign of Roman ruins.
Views of Nettuno old town
Nettuno is named after the ancient Roman God Neptune. We stopped at a paneficio named Caffé della posta. I had a cappuccino with a fantastic sfogliatella, our children had tasty sandwiches with iced tea and my husband had a nice canolo with his coffee.
Our children read the Percy Jackson series of books set among Greek Gods (among other books) and they were able to explain the symbolism of the fish and horses with Neptune in this fountain in Nettuno (based on what they have learned about Poseidon).
The marina in Nettuno is another indication of wealth. We stopped for lunch at a small pizza shop selling pizza by the section or metre with a queue of people stretching almost out the door. Our children had pizza Margherita and we had simply delicious pizza with grilled eggplant. It was a memorably delicious meal but I didn’t catch the name of the place!
I like these sculptures on the wall of the sanctuary of Santa Maria Goretti
We walked on past the old town and down onto a section of the beach not occupied by a public bathing business. We played for about an hour in the nice, tepid water near children who were jumping off the break water until my husband finally read one of the many signs on the beach saying that swimming and sunbathing were forbidden in that section of the beach. We didn’t know of that was because a vendor hasn’t yet taken up the lease on that plot and they want to keep bathers funneled into the paid beaches either side or if there was a mysterious danger. We decided it was best to leave.
We stocked up on groceries at the Elite supermarket and walked back to Caffè Della posta for gelato for our children and drinks for us. After dropping off the groceries at our apartment we walked to the free beach in Anzio and had fun. We had a very nice dinner at home before heading to Bar Malaga in Anzio where I read some of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire to our children while we enjoyed another treat each. Their snacks that come with each aperitif are generous – bowls of potato crisps, corn chips, olives, and a plate of assorted pieces of piadine. It was another 5 star day.