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According to Encyclopædia Brittanica; the town of Anzio is of uncertain origin; according to legend, it was founded by Anteias, son of the Greek chieftain Odysseus, and the enchantress Circe. It was a stronghold of the Volsci, an ancient people prominent in the 5th century bce, and was founded before Rome, which conquered it in 338 bce. Antium became an all-season resort where many wealthy Romans owned villas. Augustus, the first Roman emperor, was proclaimed “father of the Roman nation” there, and the emperors Caligula and Nero were born there. Nero had a villa there and it’s possible to visit the ruins of the villa and see archeological remains from those times in the archeological museum in Anzio.
Anzio was virtually abandoned after repeated raids by Goths and Saracens and not until the 17th century was it rebuilt by papal order. It was damaged during WWII during the important landing by Allied troops in their relentless march to capture Rome and release it from German occupation. We visited the archeological museum; it’s closed for renovations at the moment but there are lots of pieces in the foyer, including a large floor mosaic from Nero’s villa and the apologetic woman at the door explained some things to us. The museum commemorating the Allied landing (sbargo) at Anzio is interesting and worth a visit. They played a video in English for us that captivated our children and was very informative.
We watched a procession marking the appearance of the spirit of Jesus to his apostles when they were fishing.
It’s always a thrill to experience live music and the marching band in the procession played well.
We had a lovely vacation as a family in Anzio. Our 10 year old daughter and 8 year old son had a wonderful time playing at the beach, throwing balls, digging sand, jumping waves on the 1 day that there was a small swell, resting, running, swimming and best of all, twice we hired paddle boats with slides and it was fun to paddle the boats out past the shore and slide into the deeper water.
We hadn’t heard of Anzio before. We used Airbnb to book an excellent apartment in a great location close to the beach, railway station, supermarket, bars and restaurants. We used Claudio’s airport shuttle service to drive us and our luggage in comfort from Fiumicino airport and back. Everyday we had the best gelato ever at il Gelati di Conforti gelato bar where they greeted us cheerfully, waved to us as we walked past and gave us a taste through the window of what they were making and twice gave us fresh figs otherwise destined for their excellent crema di fici gelato. We had aperitifs at Bar Malaga everyday. We took a day trip to Rome. We explored Anzio and neighboring Nettuno. We ate delicious food. We used the beach everyday. We finally realised that we don’t want to cram sightseeing into our trips. We said goodbye to each other briefly, while my family travels on to Australia and I return to Trondheim to compete my expat assignment before joining them in early August.